A one-stop shop tailored service platform for Chinese students who come to study and work in the UK
+44 07940267917
CM16 4HG, UK

Our Team

Lily Lin

EFEC Co-Director & CEO
Lily Lin is a highly respected expert in UK / China partnerships. Educated and worked in Shanghai with a strong reputation as an excellent educator honed during an early career in China, and subsequently with a master’s degree gained at Cambridge University, Lily showed her taste for adventure and enterprising nature by emigrating to live and work in the UK and USA working for government and private enterprise organisations in the fields of education, cultural partnerships and business development. She is currently a professionally trained coach to work with students and teacher leaders in the education sector.

Daniele Labriola

Director of CognateUK

CognateUK Application Plus service is led by Dr Daniele Labriola (BA UC Berkeley, MLitt & PhD University of StAndrews). Formerly a university lecturer, he has dedicated the last 7 years concurrently assisting families and working with private firms and schools, both in Britain and internationally, on how best to prepare students for the top tier of US and UK higher education. As an educational consultant, Dr Labriola provides a supportive programme to help the student choose and apply to competitive institutions for a taught or research degree that closely matches the student’s personal, academic and professional interests. His students have received offers from the top tier of US, UK, and European higher education, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, UC Berkeley and UCLA, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, the London School of Economics, St Andrews University, and the Bocconi.

Jeff Greenidge

Career Coach

Jeff’s career in education and training began as a teacher in the South Wales Valleys, then as a civil servant developing the National Curriculum for Modern Languages. After a spell in developing European vocational and mobility initiatives, Jeff joined Ufi in 1999 to help set up the first UK national network of learning on line centres (LearnDirect). After managing the UK online learning delivery, Jeff started to set up coaching and support programmes for Individuals and businesses. Your Horizon was developed to specifically support students and graduates. He maintains a keen interest in supporting adults in learning and is on the board of a number of UK Education and Training organisations and ‘Think Tanks.’

“Education is evolving at a faster pace than any other period in recent history. I  am keen that we explore how emerging technologies, including analytics and   artificial intelligence can deliver far greater understanding of student capabilities,  and support new, more inclusive approaches to teaching, learning and advice and guidance.”

Jeff has spent many years playing competitive sport and coaching sports teams and players and his focus is very much on personal development, growth and performance of the student, challenging them and supporting them to excel.

Jonathan Gallie

Career Coach

Jonathan graduated from Keele University in 2005. Following stints in recruitment consultancy and HR, he attained a role on the Tata Steel graduate development programme in 2007, after which he became a HR Business Partner covering four steel works across the UK. Since then Jonathan has worked in a number of senior HR roles in both PLC and private equity environments. Having held a number of HR and commercial roles, Jonathan’s experience has focused on business change, TUPE, contract implementation and the design, development and implementation of learning and talent programmes. Jonathan has a BA Hons in HR and Business, as well as being a chartered member of the CIPD.

Jonathan currently works as a HR Director within a private equity construction business with operations across the U.K. Students benefit from the strongbusiness focus he brings to his coaching and mentoring.

Tamara Hanley

Career Coach

Tamara is the Author of ‘Within Me – Every Child’s Secret to Living an Awesome Life’ & Founding Director of Tribe Within. A single mum-of-one, Tamara found that the market lacked interactive tools to enable her daughter to fully understand and use the power of the mind. Her search for child-friendly tools to help her daughter navigate through traumatic experiences resulted in the commitment to innovate in this space. Prior to Tribe Within, Tamara held a variety of executive leadership roles in global businesses. She is a seasoned public speaker and professionally trained facilitator, she has spoken on international stages to large audiences, worked with both large and small businesses and led multi-skilled teams.


Shirley Williams

Career Coach

Shirley has worked in skills, employability, asset management and healthcare for over 28 years and latterly helping young people achieve their dream role and true potential. Shirley has worked in senior management and director roles within operational, development, sales and training throughout the UK and overseas in global blue-chip companies, SME’s and start up’s. Shirley is passionate about people and how they can become the best version of themselves in the workplace andbeyond.

“I was coached by Shirley on a one-to-one basis. She is a very  experienced coach on career development, took my motivation from nothing to where I am today. I am very confident and ready to face the  world despite the circumstances. As a result of these wonderful few months, I have secured myself a job in my country, Malaysia, as an equity research analyst in one of the nation’s biggest asset management companies.” – Rahul

Andi Lewis

Career Coach

Emerging Talent, next generation, well-being and the future of learning and business are close to Andi’s heart. Andi brings a passion for transforming lives by inspiring, enabling and empowering people to make the difference and drive their personal and business performance and success. She thrives on a challenge, unlocking potential and maximising performance. With over 15 years experience partnering with next generation apprenticeship graduate talent from attraction through to recruitment, learning and development progression and graduate succession.

Her key clients have included: BAE, Fujitsu, SIG, Thales, Santander, Mott MacDonald, BT, Laing O’Rourke, Yorkshire water and WYG. She has also led Culture Transformation Change programmes for Kelda Water and Thames Water, Npower, PHX Training, BAE Systems, BIP Organics and Lancaster University.


Suzanna Tan

Suzanna has a 25-year financial services career in various senior management roles across stockbroking, retail banking and accountancy. Her corporate experience includes research, sales, marketing, events management, diversity and inclusion, commercial product management and business development. Over the last ten years, she has also been a facilitator and coach to middle/senior managers and university students. Clients value her business acumen coupled with her straight- talking and focused style, because her supportively- challenging approach motivates results quickly.

Eleonora Suhoviy

From 2006 Eleonora was the head of a global educational consultancy. She led an international team of experts specialising in a wide range of educational services, from entry to top independent schools to admission to distinguished universities.

Under Eleonora’s guidance countless students have gone on to not only fulfil what they thought was their potential, but far surpass what they believed was within their capabilities. Eleonora Suhoviy’s clients have gone on to forge successful careers in the arts, medicine, engineering, computing, and law to name but a few. Some have founded their own companies, while others have progressed on to Masters and Doctoral courses. This is why  Eleonora’s clients are so happy to recommend Eleonora as a trusted adviser and invaluable asset to international students

Chris Thomson

Christopher Thomson won a scholarship to Oxford University in 1975, to study English at University College.

He graduated in 1978 with a First-Class Degree. He then took an MA in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute, London and then spent four years teaching English in Genova, Italy, whilst mastering the Italian language himself. On his return to England, he moved rapidly through the early stages of his career in Sixth Form Colleges, becoming Principal of Brighton Hive and Sussex Sixth Form College in 1998.

He led this College for the next eighteen years, and in 2014 the College became the first to be awarded ‘Outstanding’ status by Ofsted, the national Inspectorate of Colleges, under its new regime of tougher inspections. Christopher is now a respected adviser of leaders of colleges on how to improve quality. In his spare time, he writes well-received poetry and researches philosophy, literature and poetry.

Christopher can offer support with all forms of English (Language, Literature, IELTS) at all levels (GCSE, IB, A, Oxbridge and tuition for Oxbridge interviews as an Oxbridge scholar. 

Mirko Junkovic

Mirko has significant experience within the British Art & Design education system in a range of different contexts, from secondary education to postgraduate study. He used to work as an A’ level Art & Design examiner with the University of Cambridge. Currently, he works as an international inspector for Cambridge International. He is familiar with international students, including Chinese who he worked with while conducting Cambridge international inspection programmes in Europe, Indonesia, America and China.

Mirko is also a practising artist, exhibiting regularly in galleries in Cambridge and London. Mirko was one of 10 artists highlighted in The Art and Craft of Pedagogy: Portraits of Effective Teachers (Rickard Hickman 2014) where his positive impact on the development of young artists was described.

With his significant experience in successfully guiding students through the process of making applications onto some of the best art courses in the UK, Mirko is well placed to provide bespoke advice based on the individual student’s strengths, interests and career aspirations. Every stage of the application process, from deciding which course and university is suitable, to writing personal statements and creating visual portfolios must be carefully considered if students’ learning and personal growth is to be successful.

Eve Leung

Eve has over 20 years UK Education experience, including admissions and guardianship. She worked as the International manager in University of Greenwich, University of Arts London admissions agent (Australia) and the registrar for the International School of Creative Arts. She were appointed as a governor in a independent prep school named Top 50 by the Times Education in 2019 and 2020. 

She has also been published by Oxford University Press about music research and Chinese works. Eve studied at King Edward’s School Witley in the UK, before going onto to obtain a BA, MA and PhD from SOAS in Music Culture programmes. Eve also possess the CELTA (foreign language English teacher qualification).

When based in the UK, as a guardian she is responsible for related affairs, communicating with schools, students, parents and host families. When based in Hong Kong, all new students and parents meet directly with her in person to discuss their specific needs and plans


English Language and Literature

: I am a capable, conscientious person who has a proven record of performance, reliability and use of initiative. During my ten years of teaching I have taught all ages and all levels. I am very adaptable and flexible in my teaching methods and always work to ensure that my students achieve their best possible results. Some of my proudest achievements of teaching are helping my students to achieve scores of 8.5 and 8 in their IELTS exam.   (IELTS  copy  as  testimonial plus new  photo available

CELTA Teaching Certificate (2016) – City of Bath College; TEFL Teaching Certificate (2010); GCSE Mathematics (C) English Literature/Language

(B) – City of Bath College; BTEC National Diploma in Animal Management (2005)

– Bridgwater College; Level 2 Diploma for both IT Users and Practitioners; GNVQ Intermediate in ICT – Norton Radstock College

: English teacher, Empire English School, Kiev, Ukraine (2018- Present); Private English teacher, EFL and IELTS preparation (2015 – Present); English teacher, Windsor School, Moscow, Russia (2012-2015)



IB Literature and IB English Language and Literature IGCSE Language and IGCSE Literature KS 3 English (12-14)

I am a highly experienced teacher of English with a successful track record of teaching all levels from 11-18 years of age.  I  have taught in international schools both abroad and in the UK. II am also an IB Examiner and Team Leader.

B.A University of London, First Class Honours, 2001

Currently an English teacher at an international school in Latin America. I have served as Head of Department in my current school and previous school in the UK.


  • Subject(s):  
    • Undergraduate Economics, Business, Accounting,
    • Postgraduate Business,
    • Mentoring, career coaching, soft skill development
    • Up to GCSE: Business, Economics, Accounting, Maths
    • A Level: Business, Economics, Accounting

Oxford graduate, British Mensa member, entrepreneur in education & ed-tech sector

a process-oriented entrepreneur and education consultant with over 2 decades of tutoring experience across all age groups. I enjoy mentoring and teaching. I have experience in caring for and nurturing children. I focus on personal growth for all my students and mentees.

In addition to my passion of teaching, over the past 5 years, I have guided multiple businesses in the past in terms of brand establishment, operations management, revenue growth, product development and change management.

Revived and re-developed education platform SmartGrad.co.uk to provide tutoring, admissions and mentoring services for students and young career professionals.

Successfully helped students with admission strategy for universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, SOAS, INSEAD (Singapore), Georgetown (USA), Queen’s (Canada).

Conducted sessions with clients from Siberia, Moscow, Almaty, Amman, Riyadh, Melbourne, Singapore, Dhaka, Toronto, New York, Washington DC, London, Birmingham and Manchester.


University of Oxford

MBA in Strategy & Finance · 2012

Brunel University

BSc (Honours), 1st Class, Economics & Finance · 2007

Recent work experience: 

  • Originated and delivered 7 consulting projects in food & beverage, retail, education sectors in UK, Europe, USA, and South Asia, advising on branding, revenue generation, and operational processes.
  • Developed partnership with independent school in London for project-based learning in ICT and Entrepreneurship.
  • Launched SmartGrad – a scalable ed-tech initiative to nurture next generation entrepreneurs by offering tech, business, and soft skill development courses online and in after-school clubs.


    “Applications can be especially daunting to those with a gap in their studies. I felt completely at ease when I sought Sakib’s support, knowing he has previously helped many academic aspirants get admitted to universities of their choice.

    I found his logical and structured approach very professional, while at the same time also appreciated him going out of the way to understand the course content and how it fits my career objective. He was meticulous with detail and his advice on how to compose my essay answers certainly helped me secure admission to Queen’s.”

    Raihan  – Queen’s University, Canada (2020


Computer Science, ICT and Theory of Knowledge at IGCSE and IB.

Personal profile: University College Cork 1999-2003 First Class Honours BSc Computer Science West London Partnership 2005-2006 Graduate Teacher Programme. Qualified Teacher Status

Education: West London Partnership 2005-2006 Graduate Teacher Programme. Gained Qualified Teacher Status


Recent work experience: Currently teaching IGCSE Computer Science, IB Computer Science at international school in Spain.


Mathematics, Chemistry to A level and English to 13+ entry level.
  • Personal profile: DPhil in Medical Science — University of Oxford 2021-2025 M.Biochem Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry — University of Oxford, St Hugh’s College 2016-2020

    Recent work experience:  I have tutored students for 13+ entry Mathematics and English, Chemistry Olympiad + Chemistry A-level, and consulted on Personal Statement writing and Oxbridge admissions process.


Physics and Mathematics; GCSE science subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Biology)

Personal profile: 2021–present University of Cambridge.  Natural Sciences undergraduate student studying Physics, Materials Science, Earth Sciences and Mathematics.  

Education: 2014–2021 St. Olave’s Grammar School, Orpington

A-levels: Mathematics (A*), Further Mathematics (A*), Physics (A*) and

Chemistry (B). AS: Computer Science (A).

Nine GCSEs at Grade 9, two GCSEs at Grade 8.

Recent work experience:  I have successfully provided online  tuition to GCSE level over the last two years.


English Language and Literature
  • Personal profile: I have been a teacher of general, business and academic English since 2011. As a teacher, I have a special interest in pronunciation and IELTS. The real purpose of language is communication, so it’s lucky that I’m interested in lots of different things. Lesson themes can be anything from archaeology to zoology, and from kayaking to cooking. I have students who have been with me for a year or more, and we still find lots of things to talk about. 

    I worked for two years as an instructor of mountain sports and watersports, and for 20 years as a solicitor (a lawyer and advocate). I wrote the Law Society’s 2005 book on my special area of law. Today, my interest in language means that I also adapt classic short stories for non-English readers; and I do French to English translation and correction for institutions including the Sorbonne.


    CELTA Teaching Certificate (1997) – International House, London; Solicitors’ Final Exams (1983) – College of Law, Guildford; Bachelor of Laws (LL.B – 2:2 Hons) [1982]- University of Exeter.

    Recent work experience: I’ve been an independent teacher since 2016. I have worked with young people, with university students, and with executives from Hitachi, EDF, SIFA Aérien, SGN-Areva, In Extenso, EHL Lausanne, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Dow Wolff Cellulosics, Kerneos, Turbomeca, General Electric, Renault España, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, HSBC Bank, Banca Barclays Italia, Wincor Nixdorf and many others.


11+ English and Verbal Reasoning to GCSE English, IELTS and TOEFL tests

Personal profile: I have been teaching English for more than 16 years building up our students’ vocabulary range and understanding of the complexities and subtleties of the English language which is the key to obtaining not only high grades but also academic Success. I have helped dozens of local students of all nationalities to gain admission to top grammar schools in Kent. Four of my 11+ students had gained admission to Oxbridge university. I teach students English according to their individual learning styles and interests with admirable results. I have a keen interest in foreign languages such as Japanese and Spanish and I encourage my students to cultivate an interest in foreign languages which will be beneficial for their careers and personal enjoyment.

Education: graduated from Sussex University with an honour’s degree in Economics.  For A level subjects, I got Economics, British Constitution, Geography and French. I used to work as an official Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin ) Interpreter for the different police forces in the UK and Courts.

Recent Work Experience: In the last 2 years, I have taught English to 2 students from mainland China enabling them to gain admission to local independent schools. Since I can communicate effectively with the Chinese parents in their own language, I can help resolve students’ numerous problems.


Dear Alvin,

Thanks for helping Alex over the years enabling him to obtain 12 A*( 11 of which are grade 9 ) in his last year’s GCSE examinations. He has now moved from Dartford Grammar School for boys to St Olave’s Grammar School last September studying Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Computing. In addition, he is also doing A level in Russian. Thanks for encouraging him to study Chinese, Japanese and French.  I hope that you will continue to keep an eye on him and help him with his personal statement and impending interview at Cambridge University this December as he has decided to follow Stephen’s footstep to study Medicine there. Thanks also for giving him the opportunity to get some job experience in teaching your young students’ English and Maths. Kind Regards, Marina L.