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August 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

Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
Regional Focus
Market Analysis
Grapevine

Exclusive award supplement


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Japan's economy

A growing economy is having a positive effect on business among study travel agencies in Japan. Course demand is also diversifying.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the 11 agencies in our survey was 7,830

Individual agencies placed between 10 and 6,000 students on courses per year

Average business growth was 10 per cent

The average length of stay for CE European students was 19,6 weeks

Overall, 74 per cent of CE European students preferred host family accommodation when studying overseas

The largest percentage of Japanese students (28 per cent)were studying for the purpose of further studies overseas

Language study is the largest sector of the study abroad market for Japanese agencies (67 per cent)


Most popular course requests Average percentage of agency business by sector
1. General 24%
2. Summer vacation 23%
3. Intensive 21%
4. Academic prep/university foundation 12%
5. Business 6%
6. Junior 6%

7. Language plus work 3%
8. Other 5%
1. Language programmes 67%
2. Secondary
education abroad 11%
3. Higher education 10%
4. Internships 6%
5. Work and travel 6%

Reasons for studying overseas Top destinations

1. Further studies overseas 26%
2. Future work 21%
3. Pleasure 18%
4. Current work 17%
5. Further studies at home 17%
6. Other 1%

1. Canada 32.7%
2. USA 28%
3. Australia 13.5%
4. UK 12.5%
5. New Zealand 5.5%
6. France 1.8%
7. Ireland 1.3%
8. Germany 1.2%
9. Italy 0.9%
10. Spain 0.8%

11. Other 1.8%

How do agents recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1.Wesite 30.5%
2. Word-of-mouth 16.5%
3. Seminars to students 15%
4. E/online marketing 12%
5. Advertising in press 5%
6. Mail shots 4%
7. Other 17%
1. Internet 46%
2. b2b conferences 18%
3. Language fairs and student expos 11%
4. STM 6%
5.Other 19%



Market growth

The majority of the 11 Japanese agencies who took part in our survey recorded that business increased over the last 12 months, with just two posting a decline in student numbers. Growth rates ranged between 10 and 25 per cent and the overall average growth was 10 per cent.

This buoyancy largely reflects Japan's growing economy, which emerged from recession at the end of 2012 in response to aggressive measures introduced by new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Hideki Matsumaura from the Japan Research Institute said in a news report by the BBC, "The economy is expected to grow further for now, thanks to the impact of 'Abenomics'," referring to the Prime Minister's policy to introduce big government spending and getting the central bank to add trillions of yen into the money supply to push down the currency's value. This has curbed inflation and made Japanese firms more competitive in the overseas markets. Gross domestic product grew 0.9 per cent in the first three months of 2013, compared with the previous quarter, indicating an annualised rate of 3.5 per cent.

The boost to the economy has the effect of giving parents and students more confidence in booking study abroad courses, while increasing scholarship funding for Japanese students studying overseas has also boosted business for study travel agents in the country. The Japanese government spent ¥600 million (US$6m) in grants for overseas study in 2009, and increased this figure to ¥3.1 billion (US$31m) in 2012 with a further ¥3.5 billion (US$35m) budgeted for 2013.

Language and destination trends

Just over 92 per cent of Japanese students were interested in studying English overseas, with five agencies saying that they only dealt with English language programmes overseas. This figure is slightly less than last year's 94.5 per cent and perhaps reflects a growing interest in leisure courses where the experience of learning a language overseas is purely for pleasure. One agency had a fairly even spread of students requesting English, French, Italian, German and Spanish courses, while another recorded that 15 per cent of their clients requested Chinese study courses.

There were no surprises when it came to destination trends for Japanese students this year, with the English language destinations Canada, USA, Australia and the UK coming out on top. This ties in with a recent survey conducted by Ryugaku Journal — a large agency with five different offices in Japan — of their own student trends, along with the observation that Australia, as a destination, has declined in popularity with Japanese students in recent years. According to our agency survey, Australia attracted 17 per cent of the market share last year (13.5 per cent this year), while the Ryugaku Journal survey reveals that Australia dropped in popularity as a destination for their clients by 11 per cent in the past year. The reason for any decline is difficult to pinpoint, but perhaps relates to the greater spending power of students and parents who are able to consider other destinations that would have been deemed too expensive in the past.

Student and course trends

The types of courses chosen by students wanting to study overseas were a lot more evenly spread this year, compared with last year's results. Summer vacation programmes (23 per cent), business (six per cent) and academic prep/university foundation courses (12 per cent( had all increased their share, at the expense of general (24 per cent( and intensive language courses (21 per cent) compared with last year. Greater interest among Japanese students for less career focussed study programmes may be attributed to a growing economy. It could also account for the large percentage (18 per cent) of those undertaking courses for pleasure only. For individual agencies, the percentage of students studying overseas for pleasure only varied between 10 and 80 per cent, while last year this average across the agencies was only 10 per cent. One agency revealed that they would like to offer more vacation, volunteer and internships programmes in the future to meet client demand.

Agency business

Language programmes accounted for slightly less of the market share than in our previous year's survey (67 per cent compared with 78 per cent previously). Instead, higher education and high school programmes increased their share to 10 and 11 per cent respectively. The government's increased interest in encouraging more Japanese university students to study overseas may have affected this market split recently, although Megumi Makihara from Be Ryugaku says that she predicts this to have a greater effect in the future. "Not much [has affected] my business in the last few months," she says. "But the Japanese government has started focussing on global education and experiences which should affect my business for the next year."

Agencies in Japan worked with an average of 40 schools in nine different countries in the last 12 months and preferred to source new educator partners via the Internet, as 30.5 per cent of new business partners where made this way.

Looking ahead

While the outgoing study abroad industry is often dependent on economic conditions within a country at any time, Junji Kotani from Pure Canada points out that this is only part of the story. "It is the effort of each company that will attract the number of students," he says. "When the economy is bad, people will lose the opportunity to get jobs, so they tend to go abroad to gain personal growth or improvement. When the economy is good, people are more likely to have enough money to go abroad. But on the other hand, when the economy is bad people don't have enough money to go abroad, and when the economy is good people have lots to choose from the job market."

Overall, however, agencies in Japan are positive that business will continue to grow and diversify in the future. One agent who took part in our survey reveals, "I think the economy is picking up and I feel more people want to send their kids abroad. More university students also want to maybe take a year off and study abroad and we saw an increase in working holiday applications."


Japan Key Facts

Population: 127,253,075

Unemployment: 4.4%

GDP per capita: US$36,200

GDP growth rate in 2012: 0.2%

Inflation rate in 2012: 0.1%

Exports in 2012: US$792.9 billion

Export commodities: motor vehicles, semiconductors, iron and steel products, auto parts, plastic materials, power generating machinery.

Imports in 2012: US$856.9 billion

Import commodities: petroleum, liquid natural gas, clothing, semiconductors, coal, audio and visual apparatus.



Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey:
Be Ryugaku, Global Daigaku.com, Hokkaido Ryugaku Club, IC Travel, International Education Consultants (IEC), Little Europe, Network Communications, PURE Canada, Ryugaku Journal, WEC, WYS World Youth Service Society.
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
Generation Estates  

ASSOCIATION/GROUPS
ALTO  
CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International)  
Quality English  

BELGIUM
CERAN Lingua International  

BRAZIL
FAAP - Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado  
IH Sao Paulo  

CANADA
Abbotsford School District Business Company  
Algoma University  
Avon Maitland District School Board  
Bow Valley College   
Calgary Board of Education  
Camosun College  
CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International)  
Centennial College of Appplied Arts and Technology  
College of New Caledonia  
COMOX valley - School District 71  
Eastern Townships School Board  
Edmonton Public Schools  
English Montreal School Board  
Georgian College  
Grande Prairie Public School District  
Greater Victoria School District #61  
Halton Catholic District School Board  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Langley School District #35  
Louis Riel School Division  
Niagara Academy of Sports  
Nova Scotia International Student Program  
Peace Wapiti School Division  
Pembina Trails School Division  
Pickering College  
Qualicum School District #69  
St James - Assiniboia School Division  
Study Manitoba School Divisions  
Surrey School District  
Waterloo Catholic District SB  
West Vancouver School District #45  

ENGLAND
Churchill House/English Home Tuition Scheme  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
PGL  
Quality English  
Queen's College  
St Giles International  
University Campus Suffolk  

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  
SR Events  

EXAM BOARD
Cambridge Esol  

HONG KONG
English For Asia  

IRELAND
ISI Dublin  

ITALY
Comitato Linguistico  
IH Palermo  
Italian in Tuscany  
Studioitalia  

JAPAN
Akamonkai Japanese Language School  

SPAIN
International House Sevilla CLIC  

SWITZERLAND
EF International Language Centers  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism Authority  

USA
Besant Hill School  
Educatius  
ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Fork Union Military Academy  
Glenholme School  
IH Pacific (Vancouver, Whistler, San Diego)  
Meritas LLC  
Montverde Academy  
Rutgers Preparatory School  
Zoni Language Centers  

AGENTS
Boa Lingua  
ESL Ecole Suisse de Langues  
Idealist Education Consultancy  
Insight Lingua  
World Study Head Office  

AUSTRALIA
English Australia  

CANADA
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Sol Schools International  

ENGLAND
British Study Centres  
Cambridge Education Group  
Churchill House/English Home Tuition Scheme  
International House World Organisation  
InTuition Languages  
St Giles International  
Twin Group  
University Campus Suffolk  

FRANCE
Accent Francais  
France Langue  
French in Normandy  

GERMANY
BWS Germanlingua  
F+U Academy of Languages  
GLS Sprachenzentrum  

IRELAND
ISI Dublin  

INSURANCE
Dr. Walter GmbH  
Guard. Me  
International Student Insurance.com  

ITALY
Accademia Italiana  
Babilonia  
Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci  
Studioitalia  

JAPAN
Genki Japanese and Culture School  
Kai Japanese Language School  

NEW ZEALAND
Academic Colleges Group  
Languages International  
New Zealand Language Centres - Auckland  

PORTUGAL
CIAL - Centro de Linguas  

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies  

SPAIN
International House Sevilla CLIC  
Escuela de Idiomas Nerja  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  

USA
Rennert International  
TLA The Language Academy  

WORK EXPERIENCE
INTERNeX  
Tellus Group  




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