December 2008 issue

Agency News
Agency Survey
Market Report
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus

Contact Point:
Request information from our advertisers

pdf version
To view this page as a pdf file click on this button.

If you do not have Acrobat, you can download it from Adobe for free

Back issues

Status Survey

Link to our site

Get a Free Copy

What are agents?

Calendar of events
Useful links
Language Travel Magazine
11-15 Emerald Street
London, England
T: +44 (0)20 7440 4020
F: +44 (0)20 7440 4033
Pacific Office
T/F: +61 (0)8 9341 1820

Other products

Thailand persistent

Political uncertainty and an unstable economy have affected the outgoing student market in Thailand negatively. The majority of agents in our Agency survey on Thailand reported a drop in demand for overseas programmes while China is gaining stature as a study destination.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by the nine agencies in our survey was 1,080

• Individual agencies placed between 35 and 310 students on courses each year

• Average business growth was -1 per cent

• The average length of stay for Thai students was 15 weeks

• Overall, 54 per cent of Thai students stayed with host families when studying overseas

• Higher education was a significant sector, accounting for 41.5 per cent of agencies’ business

• In the last 12 months, agencies worked with an average of 26 different providers

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. Australia 32.5%
2. UK 25%
3. China 20%
4. USA 17%
5. New Zealand 3%
6. Canada 2%
7. Ireland 0.5%
1. General 26.5%
1. Intensive 26.5%
3. Acad/exam prep 24%
4. University found. 7%
4. Summer vacation 7%
6. Business 5%
7. Language & work experience 2%
7. Junior 2%

Top languages Average percentage agency business
1. English 80%
2. Chinese 18%
3. French 0.5%
3. Japanese 0.5%
5. Spanish 0.2%
5. German 0.2%
1. Language learning 48.5%
2. Higher ed. 41.5%
3. Work & travel 6%
4. Internships 1%
Other 3%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Word-of-mouth 47%
2. Website 27%
3. Advertising in press 11%
4. Seminars to students 6%
5. Mail shots 2%
6. TV/radio 1%
Other 6%
1. Workshops 27%
2. Fairs & expos 26%
3. Internet 19%
4. LTM/ETM 6%
5. Other press 4%
Other 18%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 43%
English Australia 71%

Capls 0%
CLC 29%
Languages Canada 14%

Souffle 0%
FLE.fr 0%
L'Office 0%
Unosel 0%

MEI~Relsa 43%

Asils 0%
Italian in Italy 0%

Feltom 0%

New Zealand
Ed. NZ 14%
English NZ 43%

Aeple 0%

South Africa
Eltasa 0%
English SA 0%

Fedele 0%

English UK 71%
British Council 86%

Eaquals 0%

Accet 43%
CEA 29%

Ialc 14%
Quality English 14%
Tandem 0%

Market growth
Business among the nine agencies that took part in this year’s Agency Survey on Thailand actually decreased this year by just over one per cent. Three agencies recorded negative growth in their business over the last 12 months, while two recorded an increase and one said that business had remained the same. One agency declined to give us a figure. The unstable economy was blamed by one agent for their decline in business, a factor that was cited in last year’s survey to explain the meagre four per cent growth in business at that time (see LTM, November 2007, page 14).

Language and destination trends
Australia is a firm favourite among Thai students as a destination for overseas education and this country remained in top position this year. The trend for studying in China, meanwhile, increased dramatically, with 20 per cent of overall students choosing to study there, compared with one per cent previously. This change from last year can, however, largely be attributed to the inclusion of an agency who only sent students to China or Korea. As such, Chinese was the second most popular language requested by students wanting to study overseas and this shows the importance of this language and destination in Asian student markets.

Student and course trends
The average length of stay for Thai students decreased slightly this year to 15 weeks – down from 17 weeks previously. This slight decline may be attributed to the fact that fewer students (17.5 per cent) were learning a language for future studies overseas – in direct contrast with the results of last year’s survey when 71 per cent of Thai students were intending to pursue their studies overseas. Instead, either future or current work provided the motivation for the majority of language learning trips abroad, with each of these indicated by 37.5 per cent of students. It is possible that in the face of continued economic uncertainty, Thai students are instead opting for shorter, less expensive courses as they cannot afford to embark on a three- or four-year degree programme.

Agency business
Despite the decline in students seeking to learn a language for further study opportunities overseas, outside of this sector, 41.5 per cent of overall agency business was spent dealing with higher education programmes, a similar percentage to last year. Language programmes were the most popular with Thai students while volunteer programmes notably declined in popularity – agencies did not deal with this sector of the market at all, despite it making up seven per cent of business last year. A greater percentage of schools were found through fairs and expos this year, while the Internet was less popular as a means to find new business partners, falling from 25 per cent last year to 19 per cent this year.

Looking ahead
Few of the agencies in our survey had anything positive to say about the immediate future of the study abroad industry in Thailand with common reasons for a potential decline cited as the declining economy, increased competition among agents in Thailand and an unstable political situation. However, some agencies were upbeat with one saying that they had opened more offices in Thailand recently and were expecting an increase in business as a result.

Economic overview

• In the first quarter of 2008, the Thai economy grew by six per cent year-on-year, which was higher than the annual average for 2007 of 4.8 per cent. Heightened political uncertainty and a deteriorating consumer and business confidence had a negative effect on the economy in May and June.

• Inflation rose significantly in the second quarter of 2008 to 2.8 per cent due to higher domestic retail oil prices on the back of continued increases in world oil prices.

• Exports have continued to expand by more than expected since the global economy has not slowed down by as much as the Monetary Policy Committee previously projected.

Source: The Bank of Thailand

Thai agents named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Archer College, Adelaide, SA; Australian College of English, Sydney, NSW; Australian School of Business and Technology, Sydney, NSW; English Language School in Sydney, NSW; Geos, Sydney, NSW; Global Village, Brisbane, QLD; Holmes College, Sydney, NSW; International House, various; Perth International College of English, Perth, WA; Sydney College of English, NSW; The Education Group, Sydney, NSW. In China: Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian. In New Zealand: Languages International, Auckland and Christchurch; Seafield School of English, Christchurch; Southern Lakes English College, Queenstown. In the UK: Golders Green College, London; Language Specialists International, Portsmouth; Newcastle College, Newcastle upon Tyne; Oxford House College, Oxford. In the USA: Geos, Boston, MA. International: ELS, Kaplan Aspect, Study Group.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: Aimhigh Centre, Centory Co, Dominic and Chang Corporation Co., Learn More International Education, NZ Study Thailand, Professional InterEducation Co, S7K International Education Co., Trendsetter Education, Union Plus Co.

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.





English Australia  
MEI~Relsa Ireland  
Perth Education

Your World on

Malta Tourism

Alphe Conferences  
MEI~Relsa Ireland  

English Australia  
Navitas (Australia, Canada, UK) 
Perth Education

Ceran Lingua
      (Belgium, France,
      Spain, UK)

College Platon  
National School of
Richmond School
      District #38  

Bell International 
      (Malta, UK)
Hampstead School
      of English  
Kaplan Aspect 
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South Africa,
      UK, USA)
LAL Language and
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
Malvern House
      College London  
Queen Ethelburga's
RLI Language
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

ISI - International
      Study Institute
Language College
MEI~Relsa Ireland  

Comitato Linguistico

Kai Japanese
      Language School  

Malta Tourism

CIS Centro  

Leisure Learn

Cape Studies  

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd 
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain, USA)
ALCC - American
      Language &
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)