Mr Lever joined the FCO in 1990 and has worked in a wide range of roles, including in Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and on security issues. He has particular experience in East Asia, with previous postings in Vietnam and Japan.
He was invited to speak to our students about the advantages of a British-style education, including the attractions of going to university in the UK.
“The high quality of British Education is admired all over the world and that is reflected in our reputation for higher education”, he said. On balance he is right, with 33 of the top 200 universities in the world all based in the UK, that is a formidable record.
Mr Lever went on to say that the success of a British Education came from the very spirit of it. Students need to “learn how to question and challenge things” because in order to succeed they must become critical thinkers and lifelong learners. Educators have a challenge ahead of them: to teach students the skills to solve problems we’ve never seen before and won’t see for years.
To put this into perspective, 65% of today’s school children will eventually be employed in jobs that have yet to be created, according to the 2013 U.S. Department of Labor report.
Students were eager to listen to Mr Lever’s wealth of experience both from a personal and professional perspective, and as a result were keen to challenge him further during a question and answer session. Naturally, a lot of questions related to the changing political and economic landscape in the UK. Mr Lever was both honest and reassuring with his thoughts about how, in his opinion, the UK would continue to welcome foreign students and talent. Stating, “It’s part of who we are”.
In his parting sentiment he told our students to balance confidence with modesty, to study what they are passionate about, to never stop learning, regardless of whether they are the most senior or junior and to persevere, because “you only fail when you have given up”.
Lucy Glynn, Online Marketing Officer