Andrew Disbury

Andrew Disbury was an English boy with no family background of higher education and no international experience beyond a brother who emigrated to English-speaking Canada. Nevertheless from an early age, Andrew had a natural passion for languages. He studied French, German, and Latin at school and went on to read French with Chinese at university, during which time he was sent on student exchanges to China and France. He returned to China on graduating, supported by a British Council scholarship, and by the end of the 80s had spent 4 years in China.

On returning to the UK, Andrew worked in UK-China trade promotion to develop nascent town-twinning links, and then became a lecturer in International Business. After 13 years as an academic, where he became the lead on student recruitment and admissions for his Business School, he was hired by British Council China to promote study in the UK to Chinese students, and later became Director of Education for the China Region, essentially the lead education diplomat at the British Embassy in Beijing.

Since then he has been a university Admissions Director, an International Director, and Pro Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement. He entered the private sector as “President UK” for MSM, an offshore international student recruitment company headquartered in Canada, from which position Andrew retired in February 2022. In September 2022 Andrew stepped down from a long period within the leadership of the European Association for International Education.

In 2023 Andrew became the inaugural Chair of the new UK Advisory Group for the Duolingo English Test, and interim Head of Student Recruitment at The Glasgow School of Art. He has also been engaged in various consultancy projects for UK HEIs. He also is a member of the UK Advisory for Studyportals.

Andrew’s husband was born in China and at home, they speak fluent Chinglish.