The PIE News team is delighted to launch The PIEoneer Awards.

Date for the diary: 8th September 2017

The PIEoneer Awards will honour achievement and recognise innovation in the international education industry globally.

With a distinguished judging panel representing geographical and professional diversity, The PIEoneer Awards seek to recognise both individuals and organisations who are pushing professional standards, evolving their engagement or redefining the international student experience.

Gold sponsor:

Silver sponsors:

Bronze sponsors:

Where, When & Tickets

The awards evening will be held at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in central London on Friday 8 September 2017. There will be an after party at The Gherkin from 11pm-2am. Dress code will be dress to impress/smart.

Tickets will be available soon on a first-come, first-served basis, including a limited number of early-bird tickets. To be alerted when ticket sales open, enter your details here.

The Venue - RIBA

The After Party - The Gherkin

Award categories

Our categories enable both individuals, and companies and institutions to enter, and we welcome nominations on behalf of others in some categories.

PIEoneer of the year

This award is open to both organisations and individuals who can demonstrate their commitment to improving some facet of the international education industry. This could be: a new programme, service, charitable mission, agent relations, quality accreditation, marketing, teaching, social engagement, visa advice, widening participation, recruitment or retention achievement, career planning etc. There is no timeframe around this award, it can be awarded to some organisation or person who has been working on their nominated project, business or idea for more than one year.

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Marketing campaign of the year

Inspirational and inventive marketing campaigns are what we would like to know about in this category. There are some super inventive campaigns out there, which capture students’ imagination and reaffirm the life-changing power of education. But they don’t have to be just education campaigns from education providers and agencies, there are many service providers offering support to the sector via language testing, housing support, insurance etc. who may also have a unique marketing campaign that deserves recognition for its success / reach / message / impact.

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Student support award

What has your company or institution set in place to ensure that international students feel welcomed, meet domestic students and are able to assimilate successfully? Lunch clubs, education programming that necessitates co-working with partners, SMS helplines, specific activities for international students such as away-days, Meet-the-Mayor initiatives, mentoring, buddy-systems. There are a myriad of initiatives around the world and we would love to hear about the success of yours in this category. You don’t have to be an educational institution but you have to have developed a product or service that is primarily targeted at international students.

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Accommodation provider of the year

Accommodation providers who believe they should enter this category might be a university’s own estates department, a property management company, accommodation investment company, host family organisation or property development portfolio. The key to winning this award will be to demonstrate a pro-active effort to provide services that are specifically designed or oriented to an international student audience. Do you cultivate a mixed placement of international and domestic students to help facilitate integration? How do you reach and ensure appropriate provision for international students? What about considering the social life of international students, what social spaces are provided, how do you listen to student clients, and understand what they want? As accommodation is becoming as competitive and wide-ranging as the education sector it supports, we’re keen to honour those who can show high levels of international student satisfaction.

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Education agency of the year

Education agencies are a vital part of the international education industry and essential partners to educators, reporting on local student trends and market factors quickly and helping shape the evolving international education market. Many are run by innovative business people who have evolved to offer language testing, visa counselling, study abroad fairs and non-education related travel advice and products.

This category is an opportunity for educators, language schools, colleges and universities to nominate an agent partner for this award, or for agency directors to submit their own entry and supporting information. In order to be shortlisted, we want to hear about exceptional service, innovative collaborative campaigns or beyond-the-call-of-duty support for student clients. Other ideas for nomination-worthy agencies include those trying new ideas to recruit students in a depressed market, or those building productive relations within their domestic agency industry or with embassies in their country.

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Championing diversity award

International education and study abroad experiences can be life-changing but also expensive. How does your company, agency, language school, high school, college or university help encourage students from backgrounds that are unlikely to lead to study abroad participation? Do you have a scholarship scheme? How does it work? Do you make an effort to encourage ethnic minorities to study abroad? What about families from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, or refugee students whose lives are on hold while they live in an unfamiliar country? There are many such schemes but we are keen to hear about successes in widening participation/diversity in the last calendar year that you may have achieved.

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Progressive education delivery award

How does the way you teach work? How do you ensure your students significantly gain in confidence in speaking a new language and have a workable language use, rather than learning to pass a test? How do you ensure your pathway programme prepares your students for success: not just matriculation to a degree programme, but for a rewarding degree education that they fully profit from and succeed at? And at any education level, have you developed a programme that is brave, different, and focused on the student’s life journey in the 21st century? In this category, we’re keen to hear from educators that believe they offer something that is unique, important or successful for some reason.

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International alumni of the year

There are many great examples of international students who have made a huge contribution to either their institution and/or the wider community in which they live. We’d like to hear examples of super assimilation, inspiring achievement in some way, and find out how an institution has helped foster a student’s approach to community engagement. The award will be presented to the host institution of the student if they are not able to attend our awards event in person. Positive mentoring is expected to play a role in the achievements of the alumni shortlisted. But likewise, international alumni are invited to nominate themselves in this category.

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Association of the year

What makes you, as an association, vital to your membership? Is your advocacy action gaining traction? Do you represent and campaign for a collection of companies or organisations who would otherwise be un-unified and unrepresented? What have you achieved for your members, in terms of cohesion, engagement with students, with the general public? We’d like to hear about much of the commendable (and often, unpaid) work that happens within associations to augment the interests of their members who have to operate in the international education industry.

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Public / private partnership of the year

Public / private partnerships have been one of the defining trends of the last decade, with assets such as recruitment expertise or tech capabilities around remote delivery of education making private sector operators strong partners for universities and colleges which are seeking to expand and innovate and wish to leverage the expertise of private companies. Some partnerships take more subtle forms, such as market-entry facilitation via a specialist company or the white labelled outsourcing of accommodation or conversion activity. We’re keen to hear about some of the many successful partnerships and their achievements in the last 18 months.

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Digital innovation of the year

Using online or blended modules can have a significant impact on the way teachers teach and students learn. We’re keen to hear about how technology has been successfully blended into an educational programme and how it particularly impacts/aids international students. It doesn’t have to be a programme of education - an innovation that facilitates social integration or helps students find part-time jobs, for example, can also be considered. What we’re keen to uncover is an innovative use of technology which has a clear success story about its impact for international students.

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Outstanding contribution to the industry

In this category, we accept nominations on behalf of others. We are looking for nominated individuals who have helped evolve or shape the international education sector. They do not have to have worked in the industry for a minimum period, but their influence in the field and how the international education industry has developed must be evidenced.

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How to enter

To enter an award you must first complete a PDF entry form. Select the required award below and click "Download" to save the file to disk.

Then open the downloaded file using a recent version of Adobe Reader and fill in all the details. Save your completed entry as a PDF file and upload it as part of the form below.

Our T&Cs offer full details on rules, but only three entries are permissible from the same entrant.

Entries will close on Friday 16th June.

The PIEoneer Awards are supported by:

“This is a wonderful idea and we certainly see PIE playing a very pivotal role in the industry and the award function is a fantastic approach of not only creating a platform but bringing everyone together.”
Natasha Chopra, The Chopras, India

How to get involved

Why should you decide to become a sponsor?

  • Like us, you’d like to become involved in an event which celebrates what’s best about international education for our globally engaged audience
  • You’re keen for your brand to be allied with The PIE News – a global and independent media brand accessed by 1.4 million stakeholders since we launched in 2011
  • Unique cross-section of stakeholders from higher education, commercial education, language teaching, education agencies and professional services
  • Invaluable corporate entertainment/team-building: bring your team to find out first-hand about the nominees and their achievements
  • Associate your brand with integrity and excellence
  • Long-term brand awareness via social media reach and PIE media resources

We hope you can join us on a night to remember and can see the benefit of aligning your brand with an event that will attract thought leaders and influencers in the sector.

For more information and to book your sponsorship package, contact Jane on jane@thepienews.com, or +44 20 8133 5178, or email amy@thepienews.com

Please download our sponsors’ literature here and get in touch

Meet our Judging Panel

Helen Zimmerman – Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Navitas

Helen Zimmerman has worked in leadership roles in Australian public and private education for over 35 years. For the last 12 years she has held operational and corporate roles with Navitas Ltd, an ...

Helen Zimmerman has worked in leadership roles in Australian public and private education for over 35 years. For the last 12 years she has held operational and corporate roles with Navitas Ltd, an Australian top 100 Company and global education provider. Prior to joining Navitas she was Managing Director of the ACL Group of companies, the largest private provider of English language education in Australia.

Helen has served on the boards of a number of peak professional education associations and regulatory bodies. She is a former President of the International Education Association of Australia and a current member of the Victorian International Education Ministerial Advisory Roundtable and of the NSW International Education Advisory Board.

Helen is the Chair of the Australian Business and Community Network and a member of the Jobs for NSW Board. She is also a member of the NSW State Advisor Council of CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia) and an Honorary Senior Fellow of the LH Martin Institute of the University of Melbourne.

In 2000 Helen won the Private Sector Award for the Telstra NSW Businesswoman of the Year. In 2010 she was one of five national finalists for the award of Leading CEO for the Advancement of Women.

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Samuel Vetrak – Founder and CEO, StudentMarketing

Samuel Vetrak is the founder and CEO of StudentMarketing, a global market and investment intelligence company specializing in international student sector.

The company, a United Nations Worl...

Samuel Vetrak is the founder and CEO of StudentMarketing, a global market and investment intelligence company specializing in international student sector.

The company, a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Affiliate Member, with individual memberships in the prestigious international research association ESOMAR, provides comprehensive insights on global student mobility patterns and market trends, and helps investors, associations, institutions, governments, destinations and other stakeholders to succeed in the market (strategies, policies, solutions)

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Randall Martin – Executive Director, BCCIE, Canada

Dr. Randall Martin has experience spanning more than 25 years in post-secondary education, development education and International Education, including development work as well as more than 15 year...

Dr. Randall Martin has experience spanning more than 25 years in post-secondary education, development education and International Education, including development work as well as more than 15 years supporting the internationalization efforts of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver. He began his professional career teaching in the college sector, then moved to a university development project in Eastern and Central Indonesia, after which he returned to Canada mandated to design, build and implement international and international student programming for SFU. He assumed leadership of BCCIE in 2006. Dr. Martin has an earned doctorate in International Education and is an acknowledged presenter, speaker and mentor in the field.

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Brett Berquist – Director International, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Brett Berquist has over 25 years’ experience in the sector, in Europe, the US, and Asia, as academic staff and administrator leading international ...

Brett Berquist has over 25 years’ experience in the sector, in Europe, the US, and Asia, as academic staff and administrator leading international recruitment strategy, transnational education, ESL provision, campus-wide internationalisation strategy, and credit mobility. Prior to becoming Director International at the University of Auckland since 2015, he held senior roles in the sector in Michigan and France. He holds French and US passports and degrees in music, French, and linguistics.

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Dr Sonal Minocha - Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at Bournemouth University, UK

Dr Sonal Minocha arrived in the UK as an international student from India and transitioned into a...

Dr Sonal Minocha arrived in the UK as an international student from India and transitioned into an academic career starting at Northumbria University in Newcastle, U.K. before joining Raffles Education in Singapore setting up and developing a number of sites across Australasia including the establishment of the first foreign private university in Mongolia. She then returned to the UK, and has since held various senior academic management roles at several other UK Universities including Sunderland, Anglia Ruskin and Bedfordshire.

Sonal has more than 10 years' experience of higher education across public and private sectors in a global context in various senior leadership roles. She is a widely published author with over 50 publications to her credit including books, chapters in books, journal articles, think pieces, refereed conference papers and so forth.

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Victor Hugo Baseggio – Co-CEO and Co-Founder, CI, Brazil

Victor Hugo graduated as a civil engineer and holds an MBA degree in finance. After his graduation he spent three years in Europe to enhance his education. He experienced a few exchange and language ...

Victor Hugo graduated as a civil engineer and holds an MBA degree in finance. After his graduation he spent three years in Europe to enhance his education. He experienced a few exchange and language programmes in various countries.

After co-founding CI in 1988 with focus on quality services, the company has become Brazil's largest educational agent with more than 600 people directly involved in its activities.

Today CI is clearly positioned as an omni channel company. Its digital marketing with a remarkable performance in social media powers its network of more than 100 stores in Brazil and overseas, its telesales and its e-commerce activities.

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Bei Guo – Deputy General Manager, EIC Consulting, China

Bei Guo joined EIC in April 2014 as the Deputy General Manager of EIC Consulting. Ms Guo has 12 years of overseas studying experience, and obtained her bachelor degree from the University of Tokyo ...

Bei Guo joined EIC in April 2014 as the Deputy General Manager of EIC Consulting. Ms Guo has 12 years of overseas studying experience, and obtained her bachelor degree from the University of Tokyo and MBA from Harvard Business School. She worked for world renowned professional service institutions including Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and McKinsey before joining EIC.Besides her academic achievement and career, she is also active in social works and was awarded the “Rising Talent” by Women’s Forum in 2014.

EIC is China's number one overseas educational counselling service provider, with 16% national market share, and number five test preparation tutoring provider, with 6% market share. The business was founded in 2000, and today counselling is present in 22 cities, with a number one position in eight cities and top three position in 18 cities, including a number one position in three of the top markets in China: Guangzhou (49% share), Shenzhen (33% share), Shanghai (13% share). EIC has grown rapidly, with EBIT CAGR of 60% over 2011-2013, driven by both student volume and ASP growth.

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Douglas Proctor - Director of International Affairs, University College Dublin, Ireland

Douglas Proctor is Director of International Affairs at University College Dublin, where he has m...

Douglas Proctor is Director of International Affairs at University College Dublin, where he has management responsibility for the international office and provides leadership to the broader university community on internationalisation, international engagement and international partnerships. Having recently completed a PhD in international higher education at the University of Melbourne, Douglas serves as a member of the AIEA Editorial Committee (USA) and is a Member of the Register of Experts for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) in Australia. Douglas is also co-editing a book for Routledge (due out in early 2018) offering new perspectives on the future agenda for internationalisation in higher education.

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Jan Capper – Chief Executive, CUBO

Jan Capper is the new Chief Executive of CUBO, the professional association for senior managers in UK higher education with responsibility for an institution’s commercial success. Prior to this rol...

Jan Capper is the new Chief Executive of CUBO, the professional association for senior managers in UK higher education with responsibility for an institution’s commercial success. Prior to this role which she took up in 2017, Jan was Executive Director of the International Association of Language Centres, an association of independent and mostly owner-operated language schools in over 20 countries worldwide. Jan has over 20 years of experience working with issues around quality and regulation, access to market and business needs of language schools, and now adds commercial strategy at HE level to her knowledge base.

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Jean-Marc Alberola - President, Bridge Education Group, USA

Jean-Marc Alberola is President of Bridge Education Group, a comprehensive provider of language and education services including corporate language training, teacher training, university pathway pr...

Jean-Marc Alberola is President of Bridge Education Group, a comprehensive provider of language and education services including corporate language training, teacher training, university pathway programs and international student recruitment. Jean-Marc started his language industry career with Telelangue Systems in Washington, D.C., before venturing on to Brazil, Chile and Argentina to launch Linguatec Language Centers. After 12 years in South America Jean-Marc returned to the U.S. to head up Bridge Education Group.

Jean-Marc has over 25 years’ experience in language and education abroad and is a regular presenter at AIEA, NAFSA, AIRC, IALC, and ICEF events. Jean-Marc holds a BA in Economics from the University of Vermont.

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Natasha Chopra – Managing Director, The Chopras, India

Natasha Chopra is Managing Director at The Chopras, India’s largest higher education business that has been fundamental in bringing global education & career development to the forefront of Indian ...

Natasha Chopra is Managing Director at The Chopras, India’s largest higher education business that has been fundamental in bringing global education & career development to the forefront of Indian students and parents. The company was set up in 1995 after Mr. and Mrs. Chopra saw India’s future potential being limited with Indian students and parents only considering a narrow frame of careers and areas of study to progress towards.

Educated in the UK with a degree in economics from the University of Essex and an MBA from Lancaster University, Natasha commenced her career as a financial analyst, then moved into management consultancy working on assignments with some of London’s most prestigious merchant banks. She has also worked in the US, Netherlands and Australia.

As MD of the firm, Natasha has played a fundamental role in leading and developing the international relations of the business. With strong relationships with over 600 universities across four continents, The Chopras have helped more than 150,000 students pursue higher education in more than 38 countries globally. Every year more than 300,000 students engage with The Chopras.

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David DiMaria – Associate Provost International Programs, Montana State University, USA

David DiMaria is associate provost for international programs at Montana State University, where ...

David DiMaria is associate provost for international programs at Montana State University, where he is responsible for advancing the international dimensions of learning, discovery and engagement. He regularly presents, publishes and consults on best practices pertaining to international education administration. Di Maria is a recipient of NAFSA Region VI’s Advocacy Award, past-chair of NAFSA's International Enrollment Management Knowledge Community and president of the American International Recruitment Council. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. His dissertation focused on campus services for international students.

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Safi Sabuni – President, Erasmus Student Network (ESN)

Safi Sabuni is the President of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), one of Europe’s biggest network of student organisations. ESN exists in 40 countries, at 1000 campuses around Europe and represent...

Safi Sabuni is the President of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), one of Europe’s biggest network of student organisations. ESN exists in 40 countries, at 1000 campuses around Europe and represents 200.000 students every year. As President, Safi is in charge of institutional representation, research and advocacy related activities and the implementation of EU-funded projects. Safi has been President of the network since 2015. Safi has a Social Science background, having graduated from the Linnaeus University in Sweden with a degree in Communication and Development Studies. She has been working in the field of student affairs for the past 7 years.

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Nimesh Patel – Foundation Development Manager, The Class of 2020

Nimesh has been active in student mobility for over 10 years, which started with his love for travel whilst being a student himself. He was first introduced to the global youth and student travel...

Nimesh has been active in student mobility for over 10 years, which started with his love for travel whilst being a student himself. He was first introduced to the global youth and student travel sector whilst volunteering for The World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC). Nimesh went on to manage various marketing and digital communication projects for youth travel organisations at Umi Digital. He later returned to the non-profit sector as Association Manager for STAY WYSE and STUDY WYSE. STAY WYSE advocated the development and safety standard for global youth travel accommodation and STUDY WYSE the development of international study and language travel. In 2015 Nimesh joined The Class of 2020 Foundation as Foundation Development Manager, supporting the overall development of the foundation. The Class of 2020 is the leading platform/think tank on European student living.

Read more >

Troy Peden – Founder, GoAbroad.com, USA

Troy Peden is the founder of GoAbroad.com, the first website devoted to meaningful travel opportunities. GoAbroad.com was founded in 1997 when Troy was the Study Abroad Advisor at the University of...

Troy Peden is the founder of GoAbroad.com, the first website devoted to meaningful travel opportunities. GoAbroad.com was founded in 1997 when Troy was the Study Abroad Advisor at the University of Colorado at Denver. Troy has volunteered, worked and studied around the globe. Today he lives with his wife and five children in the mountains of Colorado and works closely with the GoAbroad Foundation and their support of sustainable community projects in the developing world.

Read more >

The PIEoneer FAQs

1. How much does it cost to enter an award category?
There is no charge to enter but each entrant (if a company is entering via multiple divisions then each division is treated as separate entrant) can only enter a maximum of three categories.

2. For what period does an entrant have to demonstrate relevant achievements for each category?
As this is the first year of our awards, we would want to see the achievements that have occurred between November 2015 – May 2017.

3. How will we know you have received our submission?
You will receive an email letting you know that it has been received.

4. How are the awards judged?
The PIE will decide on a shortlist of 3 entries for each category. The judging panel will then award point scores for each shortlisted entry. The entry with the highest amalgamated score from the judges will be the winner.

5. When will the shortlist be announced?
The shortlist will be announced in July. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by email and listed on social media.

6. If I am shortlisted, will I receive feedback on my entry?
We will endeavour to provide a selected highlight from the judging panel that each shortlisted entry is able to use publicly.

7. If I win, do I get to make a speech?
Yes, you can make a short, two minute speech when you collect your award on stage.

8. How many people will attend the awards ceremony?
We are expecting 250 people to attend.

9. What is the program for the evening?
Drinks reception 6.45pm
Gala dinner 8.00pm
Awards presentation 9.30pm
Drinks and more mingling until 11pm.

A cash bar will be available after dinner.

10. What about an after-party?
There will be an after party at The Gherkin from 11pm - 2am. Buses will be provided. Address: 30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8EP

11. When I book to attend the ceremony, how do I get my ticket?
Tickets must be booked via Eventbrite. Please print out your ticket and bring it with you on the night.

12. Will I be able to purchase a ticket on the evening?
No, best to book early to avoid disappointment.

13. Will I be able to get in if I am late?
Yes but we urge all attendees to arrive by 7pm at the latest.

14. What happens if I purchase a ticket but am unable to attend?
Tickets are non-refundable but you can nominate someone else to attend in your place. If you cannot make it or are sending a colleague, please let us know so we can arrange the seating accordingly. Please email pieoneers@thepienews.com if this is the case.

15. Will the seating be pre-organised?
Yes it will. If you would like to sit with someone who is also coming, please email clare@thepienews.com with the details and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

16. Is there wheelchair access?
Yes.

17. What is the hashtag for this event?
Follow #PIEoneers17 for updates.

18. What is the dress code?
Dress to impress/smart.

19. What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?
RIBA is located a short walk away from Regent's Park, Marylebone High Street and Oxford Street.

Nearest London Underground stations are Oxford Circus, Regents Park and Great Portland Street. Buses that stop nearby include numbers: C2, 18, 27, 30, 88, 205 and 453. On-street parking is available on Portland Place (A4021) and its vicinity. Please note that 66 Portland Place is inside the northern boundary of the Congestion Charging zone.

20. How can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Please contact clare@thepienews.com with any questions you have about the event.

About Us

The PIE is an independent media and recruitment company offering a market-leading portfolio of services for professionals working in international education around the world.

Keep up with industry news via thepienews.com and The PIE Review magazine, find new staff or your next move through thepiejobs.com and executive search consultancy The PIE Talent, and make business connections through The PIE Plus.

For more information, or if you would like to become a sponsor of the PIEoneers, contact jane@thepienews.com or call +44 (0)20 8133 5178.