IAE Global expands into India
IAE Global, the Korea-based agency network that has offices across South Korea and in China, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA, has formed a partnership with PAC Asia to establish an IAE presence in India and Nepal.
PAC Asia, which has eight offices in India and one in Nepal, will now operate as part of the IAE Global Network. OJ Kim, Managing Director of IAE, said, "With over 10 years experience and a reputation for exceptional service and integrity in the industry, PAC Asia is the perfect regional partner for the growing IAE Global network."
IAE Global, established in 1992, claims to be the largest agent group in the industry and sent over 11,000 clients to study overseas in 2005. This latest development cements the agency network's position within the industry. Kim said, "The formalisation of this agreement with PAC Asia now means that the IAE Global Network has 45 offices in the major student source countries of Korea, China and India. These are supported by our growing network of 10 service offices [worldwide]."
Agencies in India and Nepal typically focus on counselling students for undergraduate and postgraduate placements overseas, and Mark Lucas at IAE Global underlined that these markets "also have a buoyant vocational sector as well". IAE India/PAC Asia will be running a series of World Education Fairs in the future and associated seminar events.
IAE Global has also announced plans to expand into the sizeable student markets of Japan and Taiwan in the future and open a service office in the UK.
Alphe workshops focus on quality
The Alphe Workshops visited Vancouver and Miami earlier this year and attendees reported high satisfaction with the quality of agents at the events and the usual trademark friendly atmosphere.
Jessica Booker from the Language Repair Shop in Vancouver said of the Canada event, "I appreciated the variety of countries the agents were from". She added, "The dinner after the first day of meetings was so effective for the next day of meetings and the overall atmosphere between agents and education providers was a highlight for me."
Svetlana Kusnetsova of Open World Education Group in Russia said that she felt the whole event was very good. "I had plenty of interesting meetings and liked the fact that every meeting was 30 minutes as it helps you to get more information without being in a rush," she commented.
In Miami, which welcomed agencies from 16 countries and a good range from Latin America, agencies were pleased that vocational colleges and schools were in attendance, such as a film school and a flight academy, reported Jessica Mathieu, Agent Organiser for Alphe Workshops.
Marianela Concha from Study Tours in Chile said, "I am sure the contacts I made will help me to develop new products." Virginie Coureau from French language school, Accent Francais, said, "This was our best and most productive workshop so far. You can feel that some business will come out of it, we are very pleased".
Next year, Alphe will host a workshop in the new venue of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
||English Australia workshop is well received
Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, played host to the 2006 English Australia (EA) workshop this year. The event, which is in a different city each year, was attended by agents from 27 countries, who met with over 80 EA-member institutions.
Sue Blundell, Chief Executive of the association, said that the workshop not only provided excellent networking opportunities but enabled agents to gain "a great understanding of Melbourne as a study destination". All participants were invited on a full orientation tour of the city.
Agent participant, Milovan Ristic of Kub Travel Enterprises in Serbia said that the EA partners he met "were ready to listen and accept agent';s suggestions". He commented, "I shall recommend [EA] to any of my colleagues as a good and reliable organisation for assistance and support."
Ristic added, "Pre- and post-event tours were also a very good source of getting proper images and information. This time I took part in a Queensland State Visit to Brisbane and Cairns as well as a Western Australia State Visit to Perth."
EA Member, Cam McConnell of Embassy CES Australia, said, "The actual organisation of the workshop was once again fantastic and allowed a good mix of time for individual consultations and social events."
Industry issues - agents speak out
Q. Do you think discounting among agencies will take off in your local market?
Marta Nazgaidze, Marta & Company, Georgia
"Not only will discounting take off in the local market, but the agencies could advance their activities, even with the existing prices, if they are strongly supported by the schools to guarantee their visa applications at the embassies. The newer agencies most frequently tend to discount since the older ones are experienced enough to have their established customers, while the [new companies] try to attract and involve students. Thus, they start breaking their way [into the market] through aggressive competition. Discounting should normally be agreed upon between the [agents and schools]."
Max Frydman, Profesores Asociados, Bolivia
"The Internet and publicity are wonderful instruments, but nothing could replace the know-how and wisdom imparted by qualified agents. Without a doubt, with the right form of publicity, discounting among agencies especially new ones which are trying to penetrate the market could take off, but temporarily! It is important to point out that many people prefer the traditional and already well-established agencies as a way to ensure integrity in the investment they are making. I believe that such an effort (discounting) would be destined for eventual failure as people are not naive and most understand the concept of ‘you get what you pay for';. Any attempt to begin a spiral of inter-agency discounts above those authorised by the institutions represented could bring serious credibility complications for both the agent and the represented institution abroad. It is extremely important that our partner institutions abroad understand that agents, in situ, are indispensable assets and nothing can replace the importance of working with and supporting scrupulous agents, who are focused on excellence in service and quality programmes abroad, by providing them with special discounts in accordance to any sudden changes in the local market trend."
Elizabet Guelmino, Egida International Language & Information Centre, Hungary
"Yes I think that discounting among [agencies] might take off in our local market too. Many students browse on the Internet and are always looking for the cheapest schools. If so how will it affect the market? It is difficult to forsee but generally greater competition may improve the quality [of agency service] and the clients may benefit more. Newer schools and lesser-known schools might try to attract clients with discounted prices too. There is a free market for everyone, but at the same time there are ethical codes one should stick too. I personally think that standard prices would suit everybody better, because then operators would have to attract clients by good service and rather than schools discounting their own products, they would have to offer even better quality of education and excellent services like good accommodation with host families, interesting out-of-school programmes, etc."
Dr J L Kettle-Williams, Polyglot Solutions, UK
"Discounting on a new product raises expectations in the market that the discount will be sustained, making it difficult for the supplier then to regain the high ground and return prices to their original pre-discount levels. Discounting by any provider new to the market can smack of over-pitching, an exploitative challenge, short-termism, spiteful undercutting or a similar attack on competitors, perhaps with a sacrifice of quality."
Agency of the month
In a series appearing each month in Language Travel Magazine, we ask a different language teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or agent partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.
This month, Wellington High School in Wellington, New Zealand, nominates BEX in Brazil. Prue Kelly at the school explains this decision:
"BEX is a group of agents in 16 Brazilian cities with their head office in Salvador. We have been working with BEX since the company began and with some of the personnel for longer. They have always been very professional and provide an excellent service for students and schools.
BEX are very thorough in the counselling they give potential students and match the students'; goals with an appropriate school very successfully. They base their advice on personal knowledge as many of them have visited New Zealand and most of the schools with whom they work. The BEX orientation programme for outbound students is thorough and appropriate and they follow up to ensure students are progressing well during their time at school.
The agency staff always communicate promptly and financial matters are dealt with efficiently. BEX always greet us with a smile when we visit and we enjoy working with them."
On the move
Will Kinsman has joined Bell International in the UK in the newly created role of Director of Sales & Marketing. With an extensive background in consumer marketing within a range of blue chip organisations, he will be responsible for driving forward a global growth strategy for the Bell International group.
Earlier this year, Tim Eckenfels (left) thanked International House Sydney for four enjoyable years as their Director of Marketing, and joined Study Group Australia as the Regional Sales Director, Australia and New Zealand. The position, new to the organisation, brings Australia and New Zealand into the Study Group fold as the eighth regional sales office. Mr Eckenfels brings nearly 15 years of experience in the international education industry to the role, and is thrilled to be part of such a global organisation. Meanwhile, Sales Manager, Gizelle Rezende (right) joined Study Group in Australia in April. Her role is to promote the Embassy CES courses to all agents in the onshore market.
Michelle Popper is the new Admissions Manager at Charles Sturt University in Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia, working for Study Group Australia. Originally from Washington DC, Ms Popper moved to Australia four years ago. Her experience includes working in international admissions at Victoria University in Melbourne and the University of New Orleans in the USA.
Natalia Konstantinova has taken over the management of Liden & Denz Language Centre in Moscow, Russia, from Elena Nikiforova who moved on to a job in the booming Moscow construction sector. Ms Konstantinova has been with the school almost since its opening in early 2004 and has been instrumental in meeting ambitious growth targets over the past two years. She grew up in Austria and after finishing law school in Moscow she worked as a lawyer, before moving on to mass media as the producer for the Moscow office of Swiss State Television SF DRS.
Kamal Shah is the newly appointed UK Business Development Manager at Services for International Travel and Education (Site), a global insurance company, in London, UK. His goals are to network with organisations and develop and enhance travel-related insurance products within the international educational sector. Previously, Mr Shah was with CIEE for nine years as the Finance Director of the UK office.
Warwick-based Ceran UK is pleased to welcome three new members of staff to its team. Nicola Thirtle-Watts de Rossier (left), Lorna Richter (centre) and freelance teacher Helen Small (right) will be teaching English for Ceran. The new employees bring experience of teaching English around the world to their jobs. Ms Small has spent six years teaching in Argentina, eight years in Madrid and four years in China. Siân Choma-Peters, Manager at Ceran UK, said "It';s fantastic to have such experienced teachers joining us at Ceran."
Mary Thoreau began her new role as Principal of the Salisbury School of English in the UK in July this year, taking over from Michael Wills who retires in August. For the past year, Ms Thoreau has been working as Director of Studies at International House in Valladolid, Spain. She speaks Spanish, French, some Mandarin and is of joint British and New Zealand nationality.
Jonathon Wyss is the new Marketing and International Relations Manager at La Trobe University Language Centre in Melbourne, Australia. He brings many years of globetrotting, a degree in psychology, and experience as Sales Manager at the Wall Street Institute in Switzerland to this new role. He said, "I am excited about our new city campus and about developing new markets to keep our language centre a culturally vibrant place to learn."
Alexis Lasheras is the new Vice-President for Outreach at AAIEP in the USA for 2006/2007. She is also director of the International Center for American English in La Jolla, California. "I would like to see AAIEP become recognised internationally as the foremost association of American IEPs," she said.
"It is with deep sorrow that Cactus announces the tragic death of Suzanne Furstner, who passed away in hospital on Tuesday 22nd May following a road traffic accident in Cordoba, Spain. Suzanne, who had been at Cactus for over four years, became Head of Cactus Tefl at the beginning of 2005. She was a much-loved friend and member of staff, and she will be greatly missed by her colleagues. Her hilarious sense of fun, her wit and humour, her vitality, perseverance, love and support were appreciated by the countless people whose lives she uplifted, in the UK, in the Spanish speaking countries she adored, and in her native Holland."
Acpet in Australia has a broad cross-sectoral base of members, almost half of which are active in the international market. Ruth Rosen, the association';s International Policy and Marketing Officer, answers our questions.
Australian Council for Private Education and Training
Year established: 1992
Number of members: 700
Type of members: Private providers of higher education, vocational education and training, English language and post-compulsory secondary education courses
Association';s main role:National industry association for private providers of education and training
Membership criteria: private education providers; companies/operations that are part of Acpet';s tuition assurance scheme
Government recognition: Yes
Code of practice: Yes
Complaints procedure: Yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: No
PO Box Q1076, QVB PO, NSW 1230, Australia.
Tel: +61 2 9264 4490 Fax: +61 2 9264 4550 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What has Acpet been up to in the last year?
Acpet has grown over the past year and now represents over 1,000 private providers of education, with around 450 delivering to international students across the sectors. The big-ticket activities of the past months for Acpet have been our Acpet private provider scholarship programme supporting students in tsunami and earthquake-ravaged areas of Indonesia; our participation and presentations in government-led international delegations; providing keynote speakers at international conferences; policy input into the government';s legislative reviews and revisions of the Esos Act; and organising the Acpet National Conference.
How is Acpet involved with the government in improving practice in Australia';s ELT industry?
The government has been reviewing and revising the Education Services for Overseas Students (Esos) legislation, including what is known as the National Code that sets out standards of practice for providers. It is a complex system of different roles and responsibilities for federal and state jurisdictions, and Acpet has provided ongoing feedback and responses from members to the proposed changes.
How does Acpet work with agents?
Acpet is keen to forge stronger ties with agents and an agent member-chapter being considered as an important conduit for quality agents to be part of the growing private provider network.
In your opinion, what is the outlook for the industry?
We envisage there will be a growth in interest to develop more transnational partnerships to build in-country English-language capacity and pathway programmes. We foresee more niche requirements and delivery for specific training for businesses, officials and teachers and the changes in the migration rules for short-term programmes/working holiday visas could have a very positive effect on English language training.
EduEspaña promotes Spanish language learning in Spain and jointly oversees the Ceele acreditation scheme. Pedro Carreras, Assistant Director of Eduespaña, answers our questions.
Full name: Eduespaña
Year established: 1996
Type of members: Spanish educational providers, language schools, universities, publishing houses, business schools and professional schools
Association';s main roles: to promote Spanish language learning as an export industry and enhance market potential
Government recognition: Yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: Yes
Contact details: Plaza Santa Bárbara, 8, 3º izq.
Madrid, 28004, Spain
Tel: + 913084096
Fax: + 913915324
How does EduEspaña promote learning Spanish in Spain?
Eduespaña undertakes several activities to promote learning Spanish in Spain. This is done both through its presence at workshops, fairs and conferences in international markets, as well as at a local level, through invitations to Spain for selected educational agents and consultants as well as educational institutions'; representatives (mainly from universities). The objective of these visits is for educational agents, consultants and representatives to get to know first-hand the Spanish educational market, through interviews and personal visits.
What activities is Eduspaña planning this year and beyond?
Eduespaña';s planning programme for this year can be downloaded by visiting www.eduespa.org/en/actividades.asp. There is a wide variety of activities programmed for this year, among them we can point out that we will have a big presence in global educational markets via attendance at workshops, fairs, conferences and periodical trade mission visits.
How is EduEspaña involved in the Ceele accreditation scheme?
Ceele stands for Calidad en la Enseñanza del Español como Lengua Extranjera or Quality in the Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language. The certificate is administered by Eduespaña and awarded by the Department of Modern Languages of the University of Alcalá.
What are EduEspaña';s hopes for the evolution of the Spanish language teaching market in Spain?
Eduespaña';s hopes are positive on this point. The Spanish language teaching market in Spain has increased during the last years and the forecast for 2006 may vary between a five and 10 per cent increase on 2004 data. (Data for 2005 is still not fully collated). Such an increase means two things: an increase in terms of quantity and, at the same time, an increase in demand for more than language courses. We are witnessing a demand for more elaborate products and services.
Pictured, left, at the Champions Racing Museum, Melbourne, during the EA workshop welcome reception (from l to r): Di Pilling, Australian Internships; Seamus Fagan, University of Newcastle Language Centre, Sergio Alfonso Gallego Galvis, Kiosk Estudios en el Exterior, Colombia; Alison Warburton, also Australian Internships. And right, Ngo Viet Thien (left) and Buy Le Thuy Chung, both of Hanoi Consulting Company in Vietnam.
All delegates pictured here at the MEI~Relsa workshop in Cork look happy, so it';s perhaps unsurprising that the event achieved a satisfaction rating of 100 per cent from educators and agents. Pictured, from left to right: Brendan Kelly, Morehampton Language Institute, Dublin; Gemma Domiguez, Anglojet, Spain; Davide Morelli, Luky Tour, Italy; Ms. Malgorzata Kusibab and Anna Mical, Cell, Poland; Aoife Mulvihill, Atlantic Language School, Galway; and Colm Maguire, Kenilworth Language School, Dublin.
Pictured on the golf course in Miami, after two busy days of workshopping at Alphe USA, is Patrick Finn
of St Timothy';s Schools in Stevenson, Maryland (left) and Agent, Emiliano Trujillo of Teducamos in Colombia. Meanwhile, snapped in the pool, who could these lovely ladies be?
Flavoured soy yogurt was a recipe for success for two Japanese students studying international trade at Vancouver Career College in Canada. Their business plan to export a Canadian soy yogurt product to South Korea recently beat 340 other submissions to win the Best International Marketing Plan award from Canada';s Forum for International Trade Training (Fitt). Vancouver Career College developed its international trade course in collaboration with Fitt, and promotes its programme in association with Worldwide Language Institute, also in Vancouver. "We spent a lot of time researching products and a lot of time eating," related Maki Sugimoyo (left). "The first months [of study] were tough," added Yumiko Kodera.
Spot the difference!
We thought we would craft a creative Spot the Difference competition to keep our readers entertained and offer workshop delegates in the UK the chance to win a bottle of champagne! If you are reading this en route to or during either the Alphe UK workshop in London or English UK in Brighton and have managed to find the seven differences between the two photos above, depicting a typical scene at last year';s Alphe UK evening event, please come along to the Hothouse Media/Language Travel Magazine stand and submit your entry. Six lucky winners will win a bottle of champagne drawn at random on the second day of each workshop. Good luck!
Contact any advertiser in the this issue now
The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.