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Contents - December 2010

Special report
2010: A year in review
Following the malaise of 2009, this year did not start much better, with school closures early in the year followed by tough new immigration rules in major markets such as the UK and Australia. Nevertheless, outside of Australia, it appears that numbers rallied, and big business consolidated its position in the market, underlining the potential that the corporate world sees in building profits within international education. Elsewhere, agency recognition schemes were adopted by a wider array of organisations. Amy Baker looks back at 2010.

Market Report
Ireland’s initiative
After a hugely disappointing 2009, surviving 2010 was always going to be a challenge. However, by identifiying some new source markets, Irish providers have managed to gain back some of the ground lost. Jane Vernon Smith reports.

Japan’s attractions
Many students decide to go to Japan to learn Japanese after becoming interested in manga comics and anime art but the country has lots more to offer, as Matthew Knott finds out.

Know your market

In the language travel industry it is not enough to provide an array of different language courses and hope that students will flock through your doors. Competition among colleagues in your own country as well as in different language destinations overseas mean that targeted marketing can make the difference between success and failure. And to effectively target marketing efforts, knowledge is key.

The recent survey of education agents in Australia conducted by language school association English Australia has been invaluable at providing important business information to EA members and this is one way that collaboration really pays dividends. The survey of over 900 agents who sent students to study all over the world revealed some interesting facts regarding international student recruitment to Australia and other countries (page 8).

One factor that was particularly surprising to me was the fact that streamlined education pathways came at number 10 when agents were asked why their students chose to study in Australia. This is despite the fact that Australia has deliberately marketed pathway programmes for migration for a number of years. The Australian lifestyle was also surprisingly low down the list at number nine, while the weather was number five and the ability to work was at number four.

However, what wasn’t surprising about the study is that students viewed a quality education as their top reason to study in Australia, above cost (third place) and safety (seventh place). The information gained from this survey gives language schools the opportunity to capitalise on this intelligence and focus on marketing the quality angle of their school and the industry in general.

Even in times of economic hardship, students are still on the look out for quality and may be prepared to pay extra if they feel that they are getting proper value for money. In our Industry Issues section this month we asked agents about discounting during hard times and some agents point out in their replies that quality and value for money are still the watchwords of many students, rather than complete discount pricing (page 9). When every penny counts, it seems that it becomes even more important for students to get the most from their money and this is something that schools should consider when deciding whether to undercut competitors in tough times. Quality comes at a price and schools need to be confident that serious students understand this.

Know your market

Ireland launches international education strategy
Number of second language learners varies in Europe
New IH affiliate school in Scotland
School closures in Queensland
Absolutely English to separate from Ceran Lingua International
US expansion plans for St Giles
New ELS Centre in Fort Smith

Agency News
English Australia releases results of agents’ survey
Record numbers at ICEF HE workshop
Vietnamese agency signs scholarship agreements

Agency Survey
Italy improves
On the back of Italy’s improving economy, Italian language travel agencies have enjoyed some success, but they remain cautious of what the coming year may hold for them.

The US language teaching market continues to attract volumes of Asian students, however, the Middle East is proving to be an alternative and lucrative source. Once again tuition and living expenses were a concern for students.

Study by the beach

Family courses in Malta
Family learning opportunities, whereby parent and child learn together, are a small but significant part of the language teaching market. Several language schools in Malta offer specifically designed family programmes while others offer separate junior/adult components with the option to live together in host family or residential accommodation.

Italy 2009

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