Feedback Please – UKET Baku 2013

Thank you for attending the latest UK Education Tour in Baku. We hope you had an enjoyable, educational and rewarding few days in Azerbaijan with us. The photos are online here.


We feel the event went very well considering the challenge of a state agency introducing a competing event. We will continue to offer a focussed and professionally-run Tour that adapts and grows with your feedback.

The next UK Education Tour in Baku is already receiving enquiries and is planned for early April, after the Novruz holidays.

Thank you once again for your support and your feedback, we look forward to working with you again in the future.


UK Education Tour Kurdistan – Latest Photos

UK education came to Kurdistan this week, running a lively campaign to promote UK education in Erbil and Suleymaniyah during the election season.

Despite election fever, a good turnout proved once again that UK education is extremely well regarded in the region, and as far as sponsored and private students are concerned, will always be first past the post.

Would you like to know more about the next UK Education Tour to Kurdistan? Please complete this form.

It was 20 years ago today

Richard Branson would recognise the tactics used by the British Council

The story of how the British Council in Azerbaijan is using ‘client poaching‘ business practices to compete with legitimate British business reminds us of the “dirty tricks” story from 20 years ago, involving Britain’s most famous entrepreneur and the established flag-bearer in the airline industry, British Airways.


BA’s ‘dirty tricks’ campaign against British rivals Virgin


In the early 1990’s British Airway’s Helpline team at Gatwick airport, usually responsible for ‘meeting and greeting’ passengers as they transferred between airlines and giving special help to elderly passengers, were called to a secret meeting held behind locked doors. Jeff Day, the head of British Airways special services and sales at the airport, addressed the ‘Helpliners’.

‘British Airways doesn’t make money by helping old biddies to the gate,’ he quipped. ‘From now on we must get more passengers from other airlines’.

‘Helpliners’, the friendly customer service face of British Airways, would covertly tap into computer systems at Gatwick Airport to track late running Virgin flights. They would then pop a white carnation into their smart uniforms and go  ‘passenger poaching’ – talking customers in the terminal into transfering to a BA flight, usually targeting Virgin’s more profitable service to New York.The industrial espionage operation was then taken up a notch, when BA staff hacked into Virgin databases in order to get Upper Class passenger contact details for BA sales calls. Furthermore, as the BA-Virgin rivalry at Gatwick intensified, BA hired a PR consultant to undermine Richard Branson’s reputation in the City.

When the commercial dirty tricks campaign was discovered, Richard Branson said on ITN news that “if Lord King and Sir Colin Marshall had been caught doing this in the US they would be behind bars. I’m not so sure they shouldn’t be put behind bars here.”

The actual result: BA apologised “unreservedly” for the “dirty tricks” campaign against Virgin Atlantic, and agreed to pay damages of £500,000 to Virgin boss Richard Branson and £110,000 to his airline, as well as incurring legal costs of up to £3m.


We can just imagine the scene at BC HQ when reviewing its finances:

The British Council doesn’t make money helping old relics like arts, culture and British identity. From now on….

Further Reading

Gregory, Martyn (2000) Dirty Tricks, British Airways’ secret war against Virgin Atlantic (3rd Ed).,_Baron_King_of_Wartnaby

UKET Azerbaijan 2013 – Now Booking

Building on the success of UK Education Tour in Baku 2012, and the UK – Azeri Scholarship Workshop held in London in March 2013, we return to Baku for a UK-only education exhibition and networking events, working once again with the Azeri Ministry of Education, SOCAR and SOFAZ.

The UK Education Tour is successfully promoting UK education as a high quality, high value option for private and scholarship students looking abroad for higher education.

We are now accepting registrations to exhibit at UK Education Tour Autumn 2013. Exhibition places are limited, and we will only accept registrations from UK universities and schools providing acadmic pathways. We will be exhibiting at the Hilton Hotel and targeting the exact segments suitable for UK universities and schools. Once again we will be working closely with the Azerbaijan Ministry of Education and local UK Alumni. Azerbaijan is seeing unprecedented economic growth and social mobility, and government scholarships are increasing to sponsor UG and PG students.

Baku, October 25: Visit to local university; Meeting with Ministry of Education, SOCAR, SOFAZ.

Baku, October 25: UK Universities Alumni party (tbc).

Baku, October 26: UKET exhibition – THE event for UK education in Azerbiajan. We prioritise quality over quantity, while ensuring enough interest for all exhibitors to recruit from the event. We are once again exhibiting at the Hilton Hotel. In the evening we will enjoy an informal dinner in a local, traditional restaurant.

Feedback for the UK Education Tour in Azerbaijan

“The event was very well organised, and the personal attention to detail was much appreciated. The students at the fair were of a good number and high quality, very focussed on education in the UK, which demonstrates very good marketing on your part”.
Rebecca Crookes, Sheffield Hallam University, (Azerbaijan, November 2012)

If you want to meet focused, qualified students in premier venues, then the UKET fairs should be your first choice when considering your marketing activities in Azerbaijan”.
David Thornber, Durham University (Azerbaijan, November 2012)



Fee for exhibition : £1595. Attendees of the Azeri Scholarship Workshop held in London in March will save £100.