Up close and personal with - Juhanie Cheung

Juhanie Cheung joined international education specialists IDP UK in 2016 as a Client Relationship Manager where his role is managing and getting the best from relationships between UK clients and the IDP network.

He previously worked with the British Council in South East Asia where he held positions including Regional Transnational Education Manager, Regional Client Relationship Manager, Education Manager and Account Manager. With more than 15 years of experience in international education Juhanie has worked in marketing, business development and as a registrar for partners of Australian universities and professional bodies in Hong Kong. Juhanie holds a degree in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Law. Education Intelligence recently got the inside scoop on his life at IDP and learned why he thinks UK weather is the seasoning of life.

 What do you like best about your job and why?

Providing a real contribution to the objectives of both university clients and the lives of students. I have a more client-facing role, and I find it satisfying to add business value to our service while also contributing to their strategy and other levels of decision making. It helps that IDP thrives under ethical, technology and recruitment best practices.

What is your current country of interest and why?

Very difficult to pick just one as each of the UK’s markets has a unique future they are navigating. If I am forced to choose just one, it has to be India, only just eclipsing China. With over 800 new universities that need to be built by 2050, India’s demand will be unprecedented. India’s higher education infrastructure, regulations and quality must undergo a revolutionary change, which will be interesting to observe. And then there is the dynamic of the UK’s relationship with India. The UK’s current relations indicate we can no longer rely on our history with India, as evidenced last week when for the first time, we saw India sending more students to China than to the UK.

What is your greatest challenge?

Overcoming misconceptions – international students have many misconceptions about the UK that continuously need addressing. For example, the belief that the UK is unsafe, expensive, and unwelcoming – compared to the cities where many international students come from, this is simply an ill-informed perception. Or that the weather in the UK is a negative – this actually adds a dimension to learning because experiencing four seasons can be incorporated into courses such as civil engineering, product design, fashion, veterinary science, event management, tourism, archaeology and so on. If variety is the spice of life, then the UK weather is the ‘seasoning.’

What keeps you up at night?

Loss of the UK's global position – if it were to happen soon, it would feel self-inflicted for the most part. Of course, there are many well-documented external forces at play but when it comes down to the individual universities, many struggle to distinguish themselves at institutional, department and programme levels. Having an award-winning business school or being based in a diverse, exciting city aren’t qualities that translate into competitive advantages if these points describes the majority of players in the sector. While each UK university has key selling points, many institutions have not developed them for the competitive international markets. International offices cannot achieve this alone, so a breakthrough for many would be to ‘simply’ break down those internal department silos, harness the expert resources each university has to develop and realise their most compelling proposition to the international markets.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I’m passionate about American Football and follow the NFL (National Football League) closely. I play both the contact (kitted) and non-kitted (flag) versions in Scotland – albeit very badly. I’m in my mid-forties, trying to compete against speedsters half my age and twice my size!

02/03/2018 - 07:02