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Welcome to the Connexcel team

About Us

Connexcel is a company based in the UK with a focus exclusively on the British and Chinese education markets. Originally from China but now firmly rooted in the UK, founders John Zhang and Katie Nie pride themselves on their deep understanding of the cultures and education systems of both nations.

Guided by the principle of providing a professional, tailored service to schools and parents, Connexcel has continued to develop by extending its expertise into different sectors of the independent school market. As one of a limited number of companies to offer summer school, tuition, school placement and guardianship services without any third-party involvement, we provide a high-quality and trustworthy service to our customers.


Meet the Connexcel Team


John Zhang

Founder & Company Director

John Zhang has lived in the UK for 20 years. Graduating from the University of Leeds with a master’s degree in Finance, he was employed by two FTSE 100 international companies as a procurement director before starting his own business. Since establishing Connexcel, he has devoted himself to helping elite private schools in China and the UK form partnerships through sister schools and cultural exchanges. John has supported schools in China with setting up new curriculums in collaboration with UK partners and training senior education personnel. He also acts a consultant for UK schools seeking advice on expanding their brand within the China. Through his consultancy work, John has built an extensive network within the Chinese Education Bureau along with schools in the UK and China, always taking the needs of each school to best allocate resources to support them.


Katie Nie

Founder & Company Director

Katie Nie is the co-founder of Connexcel. A graduate from the University of Leeds with a master’s in International Marketing Management, she has been living in the UK for nearly 20 years. After graduating, Katie worked for three FTSE100 international companies, including the world’s second largest commercial credit company as the director for Northern Europe Marketing and Cooperation Relations. Katie has always had a strong interest in education and believes that Connexcel is a bridge to lead children to better opportunities. Over the years, she has conducted an in-depth study of the top 200 independent boarding schools in the UK. Alongside this, she has established a broad and reliable network within the UK and Chinese education system. With a 100% school placement success rate, each year Katie assists many students looking to start their educational journey in the UK.


Dr Steven Connors


Dr Steven Connors has enjoyed a successful career in education as Headmaster of Monmouth School, the Head of English at Sevenoaks School and, now, as a governor at Sherborne Girls School. During his tenure as Headmaster at Monmouth School, the school achieved outstanding examination results and in 2014 was awarded the grade of excellent in all categories of its inspection. Steven has sent countless students to some of the best universities in the world, including Oxford and Cambridge. He has also helped many overseas students secure places at some of the highest achieving independent schools in the UK. His time in private education has allowed him to gain a thorough knowledge of both co-educational and single sex education and form strong links with other top independent UK schools such as Eton and Harrow. Above all, Steven’s career has been defined by his principle of always making the individual needs of his students the central focus of his work.


Caroline Nixon


Caroline Nixon has a distinguished career in international school leadership. As a consultant, she has worked on many successful and diverse projects within the international school environment. These projects include helping UK schools establish new overseas branches, advising education groups on opening new senior schools in the UK and curriculum development for UK schools looking to accept international students. Prior to her consultancy work, Caroline spent over ten years as Principal of Taunton School International, a position which saw her manage all aspects of academic and pastoral provision for overseas students. Under her guidance, the school became a leader in the one year GCSE/pre-IB market. Caroline is currently serving as the General Secretary of BAISIS (British Association of Independent Schools with International Students) and a member of the advisory group to the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Education.

Caroline supports Connexcel in an advisory capacity, retaining her independence as director of Caroline Nixon Education Ltd.

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