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April 2013 issue

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


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UK further education

Characterised by a wide range of vocational pre-university courses and relatively cheap tuition fees, the UK’s FE colleges offer many more benefits to international students. Claire Twyman reports.


The UK’s FE colleges, primarily focussed on teaching pre-university courses such as Business and Technology Education Council (Btec) qualifications, Higher National Diplomas (HND) and A-levels, offer international students a multitude of benefits. “Perhaps the biggest difference between FE colleges and other providers in the UK is the range of vocational provision on offer,” explains Steven Brown from Clydebank College in Glasgow, adding that subjects offered at the college vary from motor vehicle maintenance to social care. “Each course tends to focus heavily on developing employability and skills,” he says.

Meanwhile, Annette Farley from Bournemouth and Poole College notes that FE colleges are a good option for students from countries where their qualifications for UK university entrance are insufficient, and Sarah Digón from Sussex Downs College in East Sussex – where courses cover service and creative industries such as travel and tourism and art and design – says that students feel well supported at these institutions because class sizes are smaller. “As they receive funding from the UK government, course fees for international students tend to be significantly lower than at privately owned colleges and universities,” she adds. “The traditional assumption that low prices equal low quality does not apply – the British government pays for our facilities, teachers and materials so we do not need to charge premium prices to international students.”

Despite these benefits, a number of FE colleges have seen dwindling international student numbers in recent years, according to contributors. Brown explains, “The FE sector is currently being squeezed by visa regulation, HE institutions introducing their own international foundation programmes and by cuts forcing a reduction in potential capacity.”

Gloucestershire College, however – a large institution offering A-levels in a range of subjects such as archaeology, sociology and world development – has doubled its international student intake in recent years. Farman Kaveh at the college puts this down to increasingly pro-active recruitment methods and agent activities, adding that it has seen success in new markets such as Nigeria, Iran, Turkey and Kazakhstan. The college is also working to develop foundation programmes to attract more international students, and Kaveh says, “More than 30 different universities now accept our business-based foundation course, and we’re launching an engineering foundation course in September 2013. We’ve also launched courses for EU students whereby they can take government-funded courses with a small supplement to cover full English support and involvement with the wider international student body.”

John Leggott College (JLC) in Lincolnshire is also able to provide free tuition to students with EU passports, as Helen Lee from the International and Alumni department highlights. Non-EU students pay £7,500 (US$11,753) per year, Lee says, adding, “We are most popular with students from countries who know the British education system well – for example Hong Kong. Parents know that their children can get high-quality but affordable education at government colleges that they can’t get in their own country.” Most internationals at the college study A-level or Btec courses in subjects such as maths, science, economics or business, although “the A-level taster course that started in 2011 is growing in popularity. We are looking at other new courses to appeal to a wider range of students from overseas.” Students need an Ielts score of 5.0 or equivalent to study at JLC, although the college does offer English for Ielts lessons. Westminster Kingsway College in London also offers students British Council accredited ESL support. “Alternatively, some students choose to study English language with the college before enrolling on a curriculum specialism or by enrolling for one year on the college’s International Foundation Programme,” says Nicole Barber at the institution, “where English is a key development focus along with study skills and personal development.” Outside of ESL support, the college offers a range of programmes including the new International Culinary Diploma – a skills-based intensive programme “for students from all over the world who want to learn at the leading UK culinary arts establishment in the heart of London,” says Barber.

Just outside of London at Waltham Forest College, where internationals make up 10 per cent of the total full-time student body, Patrick Lawlor highlights that graduating Higher National Certificates (HNC) and HND students can complete their subject at degree level at a university in just one year. “Some include work placements to provide the student with a chance... to gain useful industry experience,” he adds, explaining, “Students from countries where English is a second language such as India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana have favoured FE in the past, but now we are seeing students from the Far East and South America studying longer courses at FE institutions.”

Walsall College in the West Midlands, meanwhile, has a strong international student intake on business courses, and Manjeet Kumari-Lal at the college puts this down to Asian students’ – making up a large proportion of overseas students at the institution – strong sense of entrepreneurialism. Working on projects in countries such as India, Brazil and Germany, college representatives recently attended a trade mission to Brazil with the Association of Colleges and the British Council. “As a result of the mission, Walsall College is one of the institutes working on development of the Science Without Borders initiative,” enthuses Kumari-Lal – a Brazilian government scholarship programme aiming to send 100,000 Brazilian students on science, technology, engineering, mathematical and creative courses around the world.


Recruitment strategies

A number of contributors report that UK FE colleges are increasingly use agents for student recruitment purposes. “Agents do play a big role,”says Farman Kaveh from Gloucestershire College, “A big change recently has been in relation to the importance of maintaining a good record with the UK Border Agency to protect our critically important highly trusted sponsor status... It’s important to work with people that you know understand both the college and the visa system well.” Meanwhile, Sarah Digón from Sussex Downs College in East Sussex says, “We attend workshops and exhibitions organised by the British Council, English UK and Alphe.”

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

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.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMMODATION
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  
Studyhouse  

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

CANADA
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  

ENGLAND
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  
PGL  
TUS Advertising  
St Giles International  
Trent College  
Waltham Forest College 

 
EXAM BOARDS
Cambridge Esol  
TOEFL Educational Testing Service  

INSURANCE
Guard. Me  
Ingle International  

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

SWITZERLAND
EF International Language Centers  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism Authority  

USA
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  
Rennert  
Saint John's University  
University of Delaware  
University of California San Diego  
University of West Florida  
Zoni Language Centers  
 
 




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