||New brand for Australia’s education sector
Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, Justine Elliot, has announced ‘Future Unlimited’ as a new brand for the country’s international education sector, an initiative intended to refocus attention on the benefits of Australian qualifications and the potential they hold for international students.
“All available research tells us the desire for a better future is the key factor motivating students seeking an international education,” Elliot said. “Our new branding responds to this by repositioning Australia as a premium education destination, rather than simply a great place to live while you study,” she explained. “We want to make sure the world knows how much our institutions can do to help students build a better life, wherever they come from and whatever their aspirations.
The new branding and logo made its first international appearance at the Nafsa Conference and Expo, held in Vancouver, Canada, at the end of May. It forms the centrepiece of a global effort to market Australian education, coordinated by Austrade, the Federal Government’s trade and investment promotion agency, as part of the wider ‘Australia Unlimited’ campaign launched last year.
“Australia has traditionally relied on its affordability, spectacular natural environment and friendly lifestyle to attract overseas students,” Elliot said. “However, as competition from other providers intensifies, the time has come for a rethink.”
Stafford House opens new school in central London
Cambridge Education Group (CEG) has announced the scheduled opening of a new Stafford House School of English in London this month. The refurbished period building is located in the heart of the city, adjacent to the group’s CATS College London campus, and within walking distance of many of London’s top shopping areas and tourist attractions.
“We’re really excited about this new opening,” said Stephan Roussounis, Business Development Director at Stafford House. “We are offering some of the best facilities in London, giving good value for money and growing expectations of agents and representatives in the hope they demand more from their partner schools,” he added.
Stafford House’s Canterbury school underwent similar investment earlier in the year with students benefitting from the latest interactive classroom technology. “Too many schools are saying they have interactive whiteboards, and they really only have a few. This is great technology and our students in Canterbury are thrilled with our recent upgrade in January. Every teacher in every class can now take advantage of the Internet and social communication to support their lessons. This sets us apart,” said Roussounis.
QS enters student recruitment
Quacquarelli Symonds Consulting (QS), the UK-based education company known for its global university rankings, has announced that it will offer student recruitment services to its 1,000 client universities worldwide. The model will be to sign one trusted partner agency in each source country.
John Molony, QS Vice-President of Strategic Planning, said, “As a privately held company with over 20 years’ experience in the international higher education domain, QS is able to take a longer-term view of opportunities such as this.”
Advisor of the month
In a series appearing each month in Study 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, LILA* in the UK nominates Study Travel in Spain and The Netherlands. Leanne Linacre at the school explains this decision.
“It’s not easy to nominate just one agency as we work with many excellent agencies around the globe. We would like to nominate them all and tell them that we appreciate all their hard work and support with our recent move into our new school. However, this time we are pleased to nominate Study Travel as our agency of the month. We have developed a great relationship with Study Travel during the years we have worked together and effective regular communication enables us to build on this. The quality of their work is reflected by the students when they arrive at LILA*, they are always well prepared and well informed. Study Travel and LILA* share a genuine desire to ensure that students have a great experience and that is why we work so well together. The professional and approachable team at both offices, (Spain and the Netherlands) are well trained and are always keen to learn about our new products and services. We look forward to working together for many more years to come!”
Industry issues - agents speak out
Q.Have you seen an increase in demand for work & study/travel programmes?
Antonio Bacelar Junior, Via Mundo, Brazil
“At the present moment, about 30 per cent of my business is for clients requesting work and travel programmes. Our most popular destinations are Ireland and Canada. Ireland is still popular for our students seeking long-term language programmes, and the possibility of working in order to make some pocket money and keep studying for a longer period of time, extending their programmes. Nevertheless, with the recession in Ireland, as well as the growth of the Brazilian economy, we see a tendency for shorter-term programmes. This way, a student does not lose his or her job or studies back home in Brazil, once the job offer and opportunities for qualified workers is still on the rise in the country.”
Anna Moroz, Work and Travel LLC, Ukraine
“Judging from the experience of our company I can definitely say that the demand for work and study programmes has increased recently. Due to globalisation, people start realising the importance of practical usage of their skills. Unfortunately, in the Ukraine the infrastructure has not developed to the premium class yet, so going to a highly developed country gives them an opportunity to gain important knowledge and practical skills necessary for successful development of their careers. The economic situation in the Ukraine is quite fragile, the rate of income is low, that is why people started focusing more on programmes having a work placement. The opportunity to travel abroad to see other cultures has been opened for Ukrainians not very long ago. The number of applicants for Canada and UK is decreasing comparatively to that of the USA. That might be because of more strict demands of the embassies.”
Svetlana Pushkarskaya, Top Property Investments, Russia
“Study and work programmes were always popular among Russian clients. The opportunity not only to learn a language, but to practise it in real work conditions still seems to be very attractive. Mostly it is connected with the modern history of Russia, when to have an international experience became very prestigious and unusual as it started to be approachable only for the last several decades. During the last few years we have seen an increase in demand of this programmes from university students. They know that such addition to their CV will help them to be more competitive after graduation. The most popular destinations last year were: the USA, Italy, Spain, France and the UK. And it was over 20 per cent of clients who were interested in study and work programmes.”
Tânia M V Jorge, ICI Intercâmbio e Turismo, Brazil
“The number of Brazilian students who wish to have work experience overseas has increased a lot. Before, we used to have some difficulties in placing the students because of language fluency. Nowadays it seems that they have studied hard and a good number of them can speak the language of the country where they are applying for a work placement. We still face some difficulties with visas in some countries. I hope more and more countries can offer a work programme for international students. It helps the world to be a better place to live.”
On the move
Natalie Johnston has recently joined Global Village Perth in Australia as the new Campus Director. GV is Perth’s only beachside school and the newest acquisition for the group which now consists of five schools. Ms Johnston has worked in the Elicos sector both in Western Australia and Queensland for many years and will also assume responsibility for the group’s marketing activities in Latin America. “I’m excited about this opportunity to be back in Perth and to work with GV during a period of growth and the forthcoming re-brand as Lexis English,” she said.
Ed Wyllie (left) has recently been appointed Eaquals Development Director, and will be responsible for expanding Eaquals membership and further raising Eaquals’ profile both in the traditional language travel markets and in new markets where Eaquals so far has fewer members, such as the Middle East. Mr Wyllie comes to Eaquals from a senior post in the United Arab Emirates, and has many years of experience in UK education. He is looking forward to meeting school representatives and agents when he attends Alphe and ICEF for the first time. He will also be taking over Eaquals marketing and public relations activities from Richard Rossner (right), who is stepping down as Executive Director after more than five years in the role. Mr Rossner, who was one of the founders of Eaquals, will remain an Eaquals inspector and continue to work on various Eaquals projects.
Sarah Annoh has joined International House London in the UK in the newly created position of Sales & Marketing Executive Western Europe and The Americas. Ms Annoh brings with her many years of experience in marketing roles at VisitBritain, the French Tourist Board and Deloitte. She holds a Celta qualification as well as a CIM professional diploma.
Association of Colleges’ members have elected a new President Fiona McMillan, Principal of Bridgwater College in Somerset, UK. She will succeed the current AoC President, Chris Morecroft, this month. She said, “I see the AoC’s role as supporting and promoting a sector which is creative, responsive and very good value for money. It will be a great honour to represent colleges as AoC President. I’m thrilled to have been elected and look forward to building on the excellent work of my predecessors, Chris Morecroft, Pat Bacon and David Collins.”
Nido to open boutique Notting Hill residence
Nido Student Living has announced its new boutique student accommodation facility in London’s Notting Hill.
The six-storey, 277-bed accommodation is located in a quiet residential district, facing a park on the south side and a canal to the north, yet just a stone’s throw from Portobello Road and the famous Notting Hill area, and also within walking distance of Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park underground stations.
The accommodation offers a range of room options including single studios, accessible studios, twin studios and two bedroom studios. The building will be maintained by an on-site residence manager and offers electronic swipe entrance, 24-hour security staff, CCTV, laundry facilities, wireless Internet throughout, and cashless vending machines.
The residence will also include quirky places to hang out, movie screens, games spaces and a fitness centre. Pastoral care and communal events will be organised by Residence Assistants as part of the ‘Residence Life Programme’.
Mobile app for searching US colleges
ThinkEducATIONUSA, a print and online resource for helping US colleges and universities recruit international students, has launched a mobile web application that allows students and parents to easily search for information on more than 4,000 institutions. The app also includes videos from featured schools, as well as multiple social networking links to facilitate interaction between students and the schools they are interested in attending.
“We are very excited about the release of this Mobile Web Application,” said Greg Sandler, Publisher of ThinkEducationUSA. “We believe this is the first cross-browser-compatible mobile app to use HTML 5 to facilitate school searches from any browser on any smartphone.” The company had previously developed the ‘Find Colleges’ iPhone app.
Ielts online practice test launched
University of Cambridge Esol Examinations (Cambridge Esol) has announced the development of two new online practice tests to assist the language skills of international students preparing to take the Ielts exam.
The practice tests are designed for Ielts Academic, which is accepted by thousands of university programmes, and Ielts General Training, widely used for immigration tests of language ability. Candidates can practice in Test Mode, which gives controlled exam practice, or Learner Mode, where learners receive additional tips, answer checking and access to an online dictionary.
Sharon Harvey at Cambridge Esol, said, “There is a huge demand for Ielts preparation materials due to the international importance of the test. The Online Practice Tests provide a new way to help Ielts students prepare by offering them a full practice test online for reading, writing and listening. By giving detailed tips and feedback, students all over the world will know what to expect come exam day.”
LSE launches online course for international lawyers
London School of English (LSE) in the UK has launched a new online training programme designed to assist non-native English speakers with terminology utilised within the legal profession. ‘Word Mine Legal English’ is a six-month vocabulary learning system for lawyers and trainee lawyers, which uses interactive technology to guide language learners through 400 commonly used words and terms, with regular recycling of meaning, spelling and pronunciation.
The course complements more traditional English courses for lawyers run by LSE, and Director of Courses, Peter Thompson, explained that the programme combines online activity and mentor support. “Learning online is time-efficient and can be extremely effective; however, we are aware that participants will have questions while they are undertaking the course. We are offering weekly contact with a mentor to address this,” he said.
Meanwhile, the school is preparing for its 2012 centenary with a fresh brand identity. A new company logo will be rolled out across brochures and via online communication services over the next six months.
Marketing Director, Hauke Tallon, explained, “We have commissioned a fresh new identity which reflects the forward-looking nature of our business. We are innovators and we open new doors and career paths for our clients. A big part of our business is verbal communication so we are looking forward to making good use of the speech bubble element of the design.”
This month we talk to Tony Millns, Chief Executive Officer of language school association English UK, about the group’s latest activities.
Full name: English UK
Year established: 2004
Number of members: 454
Type of members: Private and state English language centres
Association’s main role: The advancement of English language teaching
Government recognition: yes
Code of practice: yes
Complaints procedure: yes, in relation to member centres
Agent workshops/fam trips: yes
219 St. John Street
T: +44 2076087960
F: +44 2076087961
What has your association been up to recently?
Our membership has hit an all-time high of 454, with 361 private sector schools and 93 state, and we also have a record number of corporate members covering a wide range of interests and specialities. Our newest two special interest groups are English UK London and English UK Scotland. We’ve launched our Partner Agency Scheme which is proving very popular, and in order to meet the demand we’ve created an online briefing course. This covers the kind of things our agents need to know in order to successfully promote the UK as an English language teaching destination, understand what it means to be an accredited centre, and to abide by our visa regulations. We are also helping to lead an industry-wide push for continuing professional development among English teachers in the UK. We have also increased our small overseas fairs to three a year, with four in 2012, as we’ve found that members and agents really like them. The next three English UK Fairs are Singapore in November, Athens in March and Panama in April. And while StudyWorld 2010 was great, and we had excellent feedback, we’re always seeking to improve so have tweaked the format a bit for this year.
What challenges are your members facing?
It has undoubtedly become a more challenging climate for our members to bring in visa students, particularly since the latest round of changes to the system began to take effect in April, and we are expecting the closure of many independent further and higher education colleges during the next few years. However, our members, as English language specialists, do have other options created by the Extended Student Visitor Visa and some of them are increasingly capitalising on that. We’ve found that English UK member centres are very resourceful about finding ways of operating in an increasingly tough market, and we are doing our best to support them by working with agents through the Partner Agency Scheme, StudyWorld London, and our fairs to keep on pushing the unique advantages of English in the UK and that there is this concession on visas of up to 11 months.
What is your stance on the new Tier 4 visa system and the new accreditation requirements?
We feel very strongly that it discriminates against our private sector members. We are also extremely unhappy about the limbo created by insistence that only certain bodies could perform accreditation inspections for Highly Trusted Sponsors, and have been involved in many discussions about how this might be resolved, including some exploratory legal action. Jeremy Oppenheim [UK Border Agency] publicly promised our members that this issue would be resolved within weeks when he spoke at our annual conference at the end of May.
• Air New Zealand is increasing its international capacity to China and Japan for is forthcoming winter schedule. Growth in capacity on the airline’s China routes will be 21.6 per cent, with increased frequency to Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. The Auckland to Beijing route will receive a third year-round service from early December, while Auckland-Shanghai capacity will be boosted by 22.7 per cent, with an additional service between December and March. The airline is also continuing with its plans to expand capacity on its routes from Auckland to Tokyo. Auckland to Osaka capacity will also be restored, after being reduced earlier in the year.
• The latest five-year forecast from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), suggests that passenger growth will average 5.8 per cent until 2014. The projection will mean that there will be 3.3 billion people using the air transport system by then, an increase of 800 million. Asia-Pacific is already the largest market and is expected to add half of the new passengers; China alone will have 181 million more domestic passengers and 33 million more international travellers. The Middle East is also seen as a huge growth area, with growth in international travel due to average more than 10 per cent per year. “The forecast indicates that the world will continue to become more mobile,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO.
• Lufthansa will operate a daily service on its Frankfurt to Singapore route from October, when its winter timetable comes into effect. The service will depart from the German city and have a capacity of 526 passengers.
• Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced plans to establish a new low-fare airline operating on medium to long-haul routes. According to SIA, the yet-to-be-named airline will “serve a largely untapped new market and cater to the growing demand among consumers for low-fare travel”. The budget airline is expected to concentrate on routes to Australia, New Zealand, China and India, thus creating a rival to established low-cost carriers, AirAsia X and Jetstar. Operations are expected to begin within a year, with further details about routes, products and services to be announced later this year.
• Analysis of summer seating capacity data from the USA by airline analysis website, anna.aero, indicates that the UK has overtaken Mexico as the second largest market, with South Korea and Spain also increasing their market share. Canada remains the largest market for outbound flights. The USA to South Korea market has increased 24 per cent year-on-year, with increases in frequency on various routes. Spain saw a 19 per cent increase thanks to new Iberia routes from Madrid to Los Angeles and from Miami to Barcelona, as well as a US Airways service between Charlotte and Madrid. The same data revealed that New York’s JFK airport is comfortably the leading international gateway to the US, with 170 international services to 103 different destinations.
• Etihad Airways are planning to transform its in-flight dining experience by introducing onboard chefs to serve their Diamond first class passengers. For the initiative the airline has already begun a recruitment drive for 100 chefs with experience in some of the world’s most exclusive hotels and restaurants, who will prepare five-star dining to passengers’ orders during flights. Diamond Class passengers will be able to sample the new chef service on selected routes from October and on all routes with first class by the end of the year.
• The Korean low-cost carrier, EastarJet, has launched a daily service from Seoul’s Incheon Airport to Tokyo Narita, becoming the seventh airline to service the route that has an estimated 1.7 million annual passengers and fourteen daily flights. Fellow Korean operators Asiana Airlines and Korean Air already offer four daily flights each, while Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines also connect the two Asian cities.
Please see the digital issue of Language Travel Magazine for the Grapevine section