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Contents - December 2006


Special Report
Tracking progress in 2006
Work & travel programmes, new accommodation facilities, amended visa rules, takeovers and acquisitions... there was a lot going on in 2006, but strong business relationships between agencies and educators continued to underpin the industry, with many companies considering new business avenues. Amy Baker reports.


Direction
Student fairs
More and more agencies are becoming involved in the organisation of student fairs in their own countries ? to promote their own brand and help build interest in the study abroad market. Amy Baker reports.



Destination
USA's west coast states
The USA's west coast states of California, Oregon and Washington are big on everything ? cities, scenery, beachlife, sports and having a good time. Gillian Evans takes a look.



Opinion

Ongoing evolution

Looking back at the business year in this issue, there is a sense of optimism and opportunity, as many agencies speak of a heightened sense of competition but one which they feel confident facing. A lot of study destinations report that student numbers were up this year and diversification seems to have been the name of the game for providers, with new programmes and accommodation facilities all under scrutiny.

Work & Travel has once again been a dynamic business sector with more companies moving into this domain and agencies reporting strong appeal for studying and working overseas. University partnerships continue to be important for the language teaching industry and Asia is increasingly positioning itself as a competitor in providing tertiary education services for the international market. Takeovers, mergers and acquisitions were also a feature of the year (pages 22-26).

In newer agency industries, such as in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, we talk to agencies about the market for student fairs and how agencies have been crucial in developing this business angle and thus helping build the study abroad travel sector (pages 28-29). We also find out about the ongoing involvement of agencies in organising student fairs - a different and innovative business angle.

As our industry matures, it is inevitable that takeovers happen and smaller players are bought out by larger more homogenous rivals. It is likely that bigger companies will continue to emerge owning a number of organisations in the travel and education sectors, and large companies will include international education and adventure programmes in their wider remit. One achievement of the Aspect/Kaplan merger is a wider product range for their clients, from test preparation and language training to higher education (page 6).

Nevertheless, in a market that focuses on youth and student travel, no company can afford to rely on its strong brand name(s) without re-assessing services - whatever the size. In Germany, innovation continues in the well established executive training sector (page 33).

Strategic partnerships - from agencies working together to organise student fairs to two big companies pooling expertise and resources - are indicative of the evolutionary process and the competitive playing field.


Opinion
Ongoing evolution

News
Focus on language abilities of migrants
Fedele showcases Andalucia in Spain
Call for Scottish work rights to be extended
Kaplan acquires Aspect education
UK government frets over language rule
Victoria in Australia enjoys population boom

Travel News
Plans to reduce aviation emissions
New airport for Thailand
No way for US to track exit visitors


Agency News
ITwo German agencies sell out to Holidaybreak
AEI Vietnam awards local agencies

Agency Survey
Germany on top
The German economy experienced an upturn in 2006, resulting in a more confident language travel market, according to the results of this year's Agency Survey on Germany.

Feedback
Canada
Chinese numbers were down this year at Canadian English language schools, while increasing numbers of Western Europeans are travelling to the country to learn English, according to the results of this year's Student Feedback survey on Canada.

Course Guide
UK summer schools
Offering a different experience to the summer language programmes offered at language schools throughout the UK, many independent high schools now open their doors to international students during the summer months.

Spotlight
Executive courses in Germany
Germany's reputation for international business has meant a longstanding history of specialist executive language training programmes in the country. One new development is the blending of language training and relaxation activities.

City Focus
Appealing Edinburgh
Host to a world famous festival and brimming with history and impressive architecture, Edinburgh has much to offer. Friendly locals and a surprising array of natural attractions top off the experience, says Bethan Norris.

Status
New Zealand 2005
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine, which gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. For the first time, it is possible to compare world market statistics.