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Chris Kelly

Director of Partnerships, UK & Europe
Chris is Director of Partnerships for the UK and Europe. He works with universities to advise on solutions to grow international student recruitment through in-country staffing, global marketing, new market entry and advisory services. Based in Cardiff, UK, Chris has over a decade of experience in international higher education, working for British universities in markets including India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

When did you join Grok?

March 2024

Describe yourself in three words.

Personable. Humourful. Ambitious. 

What were you doing before working at Grok?

I was Head of Marketing, Recruitment and International for Swansea University, delivering domestic and international activity to achieve student recruitment targets. Prior to this, I was International Recruitment Manager at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where I developed the university’s presence across multiple markets including Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Middle East. 

What was your first job in education?

Widening Participation Officer for Bath Spa University

What does international education mean for you?

International education is all about broadening horizons and mindsets, not only for students who travel abroad, but for those who welcome international students into their classroom and build lifelong friendships. 

What is something interesting you have learned while working at Grok?

No two universities are the same! It is wonderful to work with such a breadth of institutions to understand their goals for internationalization and how Grok can support them. 

What is one of the most satisfying outcomes you’ve helped a client to achieve?

Helping to shape a university’s plans for deploying staff in China. The institution wasn’t sure what approach to take, so I connected them with Grok’s brilliant team in China, who drew on their extensive experience to advise the institution and help shape their strategic plan for the market. 

What is your favorite book?

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

What is your dream travel destination? Why?

I fell in love with Southeast Asia, in particular Vietnam, about 10 years ago. I will happily keep going back to visit!

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