April 2013 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus
Market Analysis

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On the move

London School of English (LSE) in the UK is pleased to announce the appointment of Dirk Figueiredo as Market Manager for Brazil. Mr Figueiredo previously worked as Client Services Manager at LSE and will now apply his local knowledge of the Brazilian market in a UK context. Graduating in Media and Communications in Sao Paulo in 1999, Mr Figueiredo spent six years at United Airlines Sao Paulo running their VIP lounge and later in sales and marketing, travelling extensively in North America and Europe. In 2007 he moved to London and after a brief career in the arts joined LSE.

Twin Group in the UK has hired Bob Leach as a Strategic and Operational Advisor to the board. A high-profile figure in the welfare to work industry, he recently retired as Managing Director of Maximus UK. Prior to this Mr Leach was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers and Managing Director for UK and Europe at Resources Global Professionals. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Institute of Directors and the Institute of Employability Professionals. He said, “Naturally I am very pleased to be working with [management]... [to drive] the Twin business forward. Twin has great potential thanks to its combined business model of skills and welfare to work, and I will be working with the staff there to optimise the current business and develop plans for further expansion.”

Simon Turner has joined Alpha College of English in Ireland as the new Marketing Executive. Mr Turner did his teacher training with Alpha three years ago and after two years of teaching English in Mexico returned to Ireland. “It’s such an exciting time in my life to join the marketing team here at Alpha,” he said. “I feel privileged to be working with people with such a high level of experience and knowledge about this industry. What is more exciting is their willingness to push boundaries.”

Mark Jones has joined Excel English in London, UK as the new Sales & Marketing Manager. Mr Jones has many years’ experience of the English language industry and brings regional knowledge of South America, Europe and Asia. He said, “I’m delighted to join a highly professional school with such a strong reputation for high quality learning and student care – I look forward to supporting our partners worldwide and helping the school to ‘Excel’ further”.

Lorenzo Agati is the new President of the Italian Association of Language Consultants and Agents (Ialca). Mr Agati, Co-Founder and Director of WEP Italy, will serve as President for the next three years taking over from Pina Foti who has chaired Ialca for the past six years. Mr Agati said he we will serve as President for the next three years.

Q&A Educator association

In this issue, Sue Blundell, Executive Director of English Australia, shares the findings of their agent survey and talks about how the association will be focussing on government engagement over the next 12 months.

Full name: English Australia
Year established: 1983
Number of members: 103, colleges representing 127 accredited and registered centres
Type of members: Private and public English language colleges
Association’s main role: As the peak body of the international English language industry in Australia, English Australia provides leadership and influence as the voice of the industry, and offers support and benefits to members to help them achieve the highest educational and business standards
Government recognition:
Code of practice:
Complaints procedure:
Agent workshops/fam trips:
Contact details:

PO Box 1437, Darlinghurst NSW 1300, Australia
T: +61 2 9264 4700
E: easec@englishaustralia.com.au
W: www.englishaustralia.com.au

What has the association achieved within the last 12 months?

Membership numbers have remained stable, which is pleasing in a year where student numbers were in decline. We have been active and effective in engaging with government, representing our members’ (and their agents’) perspectives and ensuring the industry has a voice. The student visa programme has been an area where we have had great outcomes, such as the announcement of post-study work rights, but we have also had to work to mitigate some of the excesses on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s part in applying new Genuine Temporary Entrant criteria. The big event for us in 2012 was the launch of the new brand and website – this was a lot of work but very exciting! At the end of the year we hosted our first fam trip for a number of years.

Please tell us about recent trends within the Elicos sector.

The last three years have been tough for Australia’s ELT sector, with a range of factors driving a decline in student numbers. The latest statistics on student visa commencements, however, have given cause for cautious optimism that 2013 will prove a better year. With the release of the YTD November 2012 figures, we can see that the last five months of 2012 saw an increase in commencements, with the number of students in class on November 1 almost back to 2010 numbers, a distinct improvement over 2011. Peak body lobbying achieved some positive outcomes through the Knight Review, which is now starting to have an impact. The opportunity to access post-study work rights is driving growth in the academic preparation segment from countries like China.

You recently conducted a survey to gauge agent awareness and understanding of English Australia. Were there any significant findings?

Over 700 agents from 72 countries completed our survey. The findings were not surprising, but did give us some things to think about. When agents were asked if they had heard of English Australia, 63 per cent said they had, which is good although there is always room for improvement. However, when agents were asked more detailed questions about the association, e.g. “Do you know what English Australia does that is relevant to agents?” the results were somewhat surprising (only 20 per cent). As a result, we will be looking at ways to improve our communications with agents and their understanding of English Australia.

What does the association have planned this year?

An increased focus on government engagement – we have two new Ministers (for Immigration and Education) and a federal election in September that could potentially deliver a new government. Another key priority for us will be agent communication, support and engagement. We will focus on building our profile under our new brand..

Q&A Agent association

This month, Ryuki Hayashi, Executive Director and Secretary General of Japanese agency association Jaos, answers our questions.

What has been the main focus in the last year?

We worked with government bodies and embassies. We welcomed three official ‘partner’ members; two American Consulate Generals and the Australian Embassy Tokyo marketing office. We had two AGMs and supported the Alphe Japan Conference. We held the 15th joint annual meeting with FGER Group (Foreign Government Educational Representatives in Japan). We were invited to an advisory consultation for the Liberal Democratic Party on the policy planning for increasing the number of international students.

JAOS was instrumental in the implementation of the Japan Commission for the Regulation of Overseas Study Services (J-Cross) . How has it developed?

Main administration works at J-Cross are supported by Jaos staff. J-Cross now has 23 certified members and three applicants in process. We would like get 10 more certified members this year.

As an agency, what are the benefits of being a member of Jaos?

Because Jaos has a close relationship with government agencies, members can get information on government policy and might get the study abroad programme budgeted by government. Members can also show the Jaos Code of Conduct as a qualified agent.

There is a growing trend for ELT within Asia. How will this affect members?

Some members are still reluctant to send students to language providers in Asia while others like to do it because they have found there is a market for “less expensive” school seekers. Where there is a market, there are agencies, however. Agencies in Japan are afraid of getting less commission from sending students to schools in Asia.

Industry issues - agents speak out

Q. What are your feelings concerning agent training schemes?

Greg O’Neill, Insight Education Consulting, Thailand
“Because we have been solely focussed on the Australian market we chose only to undertake the Pier EATC programme. However, we are in the process of expanding into other markets and will look at training in specific market-related programmes. Pier EATC, while useful to some extent, did not really cover much that our staff were not already aware of. I think these types of programmes may be useful to new staff and if they were integrated into a licensing process for education agents – in the same way that real estate and travel agents are licensed. As study abroad becomes a more prestigious product I think student clients will become more discerning about who they work with. Smaller operators, sole traders etc. will find it harder to function as students and parents will look for greater security through larger agents. Social media now makes it easier for students to check on the reputation of agents. We value training if it leads to tangible outcomes. Sometimes our staff feel more informed of the government agencies who set out to run these training programmes. Ultimately the agency model needs to be more regulated and training or qualifications need to be tied to this.”

Audrey Jones Montali, Indirizzo Inghilterra,
“Although I haven’t taken a training course myself, I do think they are a marvellous idea, especially for those who come into the industry from the travel agency side and those just starting out. I underwent a slow metamorphosis from an EFL teacher into a language travel consultant. I have very little idea of what the syllabus of currently offered courses cover, but if I sent my assistant on a course I would like it to cover writing skills, phone skills, types of courses available and learning psychology and possibly basic computer programmes and accountancy. Consultancy means understanding client needs and how to provide the right advice in an acceptable way.” 

Anna Ryzhova, Interlogos,
“Ten or 20 years ago there were no courses offering such a specialisation and there was no institution where one could be taught to become an educational agent. But any growing industry requires a bigger number of specialists, and it goes without saying that the training courses offered for agents are of a high importance. It could save time and money for the agencies hiring new employees; the clients get better advice and the educational providers get proper students who know where and why they go to study. Such courses usually also involve ethic guidelines/code of practice for agents, and nowadays it is vital not just at an individual level, but at the industry level. As for me, I have recently taken the ICEF Agent Training Course, and despite my experience in the field of foreign education for more than 10 years, there was new and interesting information for me.”

Kamonruss Banleusombatkul, Born To Be Consultant,
“I am very interested in agency training as it [shows] you are professional. I joined the ICEF training scheme and passed. The New Zealand Specialist Agent Training scheme has a lot of requirements such as references from higher education educators and some agents, like me, specialise only in language courses so they won’t allow us to do it. I don’t care how much I have to pay for training but I need to improve my skills.”

Agency of the month

In a series appearing each month in Study Travel Magazine, we ask a different teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or advisor partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.

This month Lexis English in Australia nominates Nexsis in Japan. Kiyo Ono, Director – Junior Programmes at the school explains this decision.

“Nexsis Japan is a key agent for our junior programmes, and has been for more than a decade. The owner of Nexsis, Kenji Motooka, is our most regular visitor, with at least five or six trips to Australia each year. He also welcomes the contribution of our marketing team in visiting his key suppliers in Japan, building relationships throughout the supply chain in a way that ensures repeat business. It’s this level of close mutual support that has built such a successful partnership over the years. Kenji demands high standards of us, but he and his staff also maintain those standards themselves. Lexis has seen remarkable growth in our junior programmes and Kenji has been integral to this. It’s a pleasure to see Nexsis Japan growing with us.”

“We have developed a cohesive relationship with Lexis English who have earned trust and reliance. We believe Lexis continues to provide the kind of quality education junior students require, in order to become global citizens. We are very honoured to receive this nomination.”
Kenji Motooka, Nexsis, Japan

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The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.






Sara's New York Homestay LLC  

English Australia  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools)_  

Camosun College  
Campbell River School District #72  
Central Okanagan International Education Public  
College of New Caledonia  
COMOX valley - School District 71  
East Coast School of Languages (ECSL)  
University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres  
Ecole Quebec Monde  
Edmonton Public Schools  
Greater Victoria School District #61  
Hansa Language Centre of Toronto  
IH Pacific (Vancouver, Whistler, San Diego)  
Langley School District #35  
Peace Wapiti School Division  
Pembina Trails School Division  
St Giles Vancouver  
University of Victoria  
Waterloo Catholic District SB  
West Vancouver School District #45  

BLS English  
Berlitz Manchester  
Camp Beaumont  
Chichester College  
English Language Centre Brighton & Hove  
English 100  
English School (Northumbria) Ltd.  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
Inlingua Manchester  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Lexis London LTD  
Link School  
London School of Business & Finance  
Language Teaching Centres UK  
TUS Advertising  
St Giles International  
Trent College  
Waltham Forest College 

Cambridge Esol  
TOEFL Educational Testing Service  

Guard. Me  
Ingle International  

Centre of English Studies  
Travelling Languages - Think Ahead LTD  
Babylon Idiomas  

EF International Language Centers  

Malta Tourism Authority  

Besant Hill School  
California State University San Marcos  
ELS Language Centers  
FLS International  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Glenholme School  
Global Language Institute  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Intrax International Institute  
Saint John's University  
University of Delaware  
University of California San Diego  
University of West Florida  
Zoni Language Centers  

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