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Contents - August 2011


Special Report
Testing for success
Ensuring that a student is placed in the correct class level is the concern of both schools and advisors alike. Jane Vernon Smith finds out more about pre-course language testing.


Direction
The LTM Star Awards shortlisters 2011
After eight weeks and 10’s of thousands of votes cast, the countdown to the sixth LTM Star Awards is well and truly on. Matthew Knott speaks to this year’s grateful shortlisters, as familiar faces and debutants alike describe the joy of being nominated and the secret of their success.



Destination
Mexican adventure
An explosion of colourful indigenous cultures, beautiful scenery and exquisitely preserved architecture, not to mention delicious and unusual food and friendly people make Mexico an ideal Spanish language destination. Gillian Evans reports.




Showing respect

Accreditation is the word of the moment in this issue of Study Travel Magazine with both the UK and Australian governments making announcements regarding this topic in the last few weeks (page 6). In the July issue of STM we reported extensively on the fact that the UK government’s policy for language schools in the UK to meet accreditation requirements that would enable them to enrol student visa holders had lapsed. We are pleased to report that this issue is currently in the process of being addressed by the UK Border Agency with the announcement that the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) will be developing a system of accreditation for language schools and private colleges in the near future.

While this is undoubtedly good news for language schools and private colleges worried about the future viability of their businesses, it begs the question why the UK government left this issue unanswered in the first place and perhaps reflects a lack of respect/interest for this sector by the powers in charge? The application deadline for language schools and colleges wanting to gain accreditation by ISI is in September, which doesn’t leave very much time for a new accreditation scheme to be up and running smoothly. The CEO of English UK has revealed that he is currently having discussions with ISI in order to develop the accreditation scheme and enable language schools and private colleges to become accredited by the 2012 deadline. It is to be hoped that future discussions between the two parties can reveal some workable solutions for everyone.

In Australia, new regulations have been introduced regarding the accreditation of language schools, which are now required to be recognised by the newly formed Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). In contrast with the situation in the UK, however, language schools currently accredited by the National ELT Accreditation Scheme (Neas) will not have to undergo any further accreditation procedures in order to be recognised by ASQA. Neas confirmed that this situation came about after a long period of discussion between ASQA and themselves and shows how the government and industry bodies can work together well to find agreeable solutions that will not hinder existing businesses and future opportunities. Hopefully the UK government can learn from Australia in any future developments in this area of the study abroad sector.


Opinion
Showing respect


News
Schools to be accredited by ISI
New language college in Brighton
Maltese schools see drop in Spanish students
ASQA assumes regulatory role for Elicos providers in Australia
Pine Manor and Kings Colleges offer US pathway for international students
UK to issue 260,000 fewer student visas by 2015
High Australian dollar attracts working holiday students

Business Focus
New brand for Australia’s education sector
Stafford House opens new school in central London
QS enters student recruitment

Advisor Survey
Spain’s turnaround
After a dire business year in 2010, the Spanish study abroad market is once again on an upward trend with the junior market in particular being singled out as a growth area in the future.

Feedback
South Africa
The nationalities of students going to South Africa to study were largely unchanged this year although there was a decline in the number of students from central and eastern Europe. Agent usage was also down this year.

Courseguide
EFL at UK tertiary institutions
English language training centres at UK universities are well placed to offer an array of ELS programmes, from Ielts preparation to academic pathway courses. Such specialised study programmes stand international students in good stead should they wish to enrol on a degree course at the same institution.

Spotlight
German plus culture
Offering a cultural component as part of a language programme makes for a more rounded learning experience, as Nicola Hancox finds out.

Status
USA 2010



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