The perceived fall-off of the institute's standing abroad was reinforced by new membership figures showing a drop-off of 17 per cent from members in Africa over the last four years and 13 per cent from Australasia over the same period.
The figures caused concern amongst councillors, and included a five per cent dip in the Americas, although this was offset by the headline figures of total membership numbers up by six per cent over the last four years to 33,235. The total was two per cent up over last year.
Immediate past president David Rock said: 'Overall the picture is a good one - remember we were losing 1.5 per cent regularly each year in the past. Young members are back joining in force.'
Yet other councillors wondered at a potential geographical bias with 17 per cent growth in London's corporate members and 16 per cent from Northern Ireland, while almost every other region was either static or had lost members. Elspeth Clements pointed out that this could be as a result of national employment patterns.