The North American Market

September saw Humanities staff take a whistle stop tour of North America to launch and promote the University’s MA programme, which spans across Humanities and into the wider School of Social Sciences, including the new Liberal Arts pathway. 

Jim Livesey (Dean of Humanities), Pat Whatley (Associate Dean International), Matt Ward (Senior Lecturer in History) and Margaret Teven (Marketing Manager) flew to the States to show off our general portfolio in Houston, New York and Ohio in a bid to promote the University to the North American market. The team showed the USA exactly what we have to offer, with great results – the trip was such a success that there were sign-ups on the spot! Among others who showed great interest, Nicole and Alex (pictured, left) registered for CAHID courses during the visit. 

Margaret kept in touch throughout her trip, sending snippets of news, photos and her travels for us to document on the One Dundee blog…

Margaret covered 23,300 miles for the trip to North America (flying from Edinburgh to London to Houston, then Houston to New York, New York to Columbus, Columbus to Chicago, and finally Chicago back to London and Edinburgh) in just 10 days.

The trip was mostly focused around raising awareness of the profile of the University of Dundee and the city of Dundee as a go-to for higher education, as well as Scotland as a destination, and in particular, promoting the MA Liberal Arts degree. In addition, the University attracts many applicants from America for Life Sciences, CAHID, Politics and International Relations and Business, so these were all included in the marketing plan throughout the trip.


In Houston and New York, the team attended CIS (Council of International Students) fairs. CIS is a global organisation providing services to schools that encourage their students to study internationally. Dundee was one of four institutions from Scotland, but the only one with staff actually from Scotland – so the Scottish accent was, and is, a real attraction!

But who actually attends the fairs? American school students, and their counselors, who are the equivalent of the UK’s guidance teachers and careers advisers – so they really have a lot of influence with the pupils who are deciding where their future education might take them. That’s why it’s so important for us to be visible at these fairs, talk to the counselors, and make sure they’re fully informed about what we have to offer their students.

It wasn’t just the CIS fairs that were on the agenda though; Margaret also visited some international schools, meeting directly with their counselors and pupils to talk to them about our pogrammes and rankings, and exactly what life is like in Dundee and Scotland.

Columbus was the final leg of the trip, and the purpose was to attend a three day conference, NACAC (National Association for College Admission Councelling). The event attracts over 10,000 school counselors, all on the lookout for great institutions to recommend to their students. The three priorities were:


  1. To make sure the University is embedded within the programme and environment, to build on our knowledge and understanding of the American market, culture and education system to ensure we are well equipped, and fully understand, the systems in the USA.
  2. To take part in the College International Fair, a mini event at NACAC which is dedicated to just the school counselors. The fair is a wonderful opportunity to get the attention of the high volume of counselors who are attending, with the sole purpose of discovering new opportunities for their students.
  3. To host an event sponsored by NACAC, to which high school counselors are invited exclusively to meet with our academics, to get a true understanding of our programmes and excellent teaching. This trip was attended by Jim Livesey , Pat, Matt and Margaret, to showcase the University of Dundee and the new MA Liberal Arts programme.

Each fair generated almost 100 enquiries from potential applicants, and developed strong links with international schools, high school counselors and other representatives, all of whom are important links in the process for American students deciding where to study for further education. Due to the American system, it can be more costly to stay in country to study at university level, so part of our message is to show that our courses and excellent rankings make Dundee an excellent choice for value for money, quality of living and being an excellent provider of higher education across the globe.