On the move
David Anthonisz has moved on from Embassy English to take on a new challenge at Isis Education. Celebrating his 25th year in the industry, Mr Anthonisz will help develop the new higher education division, ISIS Pathways, running from July 2014. Also the current Chairman of Alto, he said, “Pathways is a tremendously exciting project and it is such a delight to be working with like-minded individuals who share with me the same passion for the industry.”
Maria Ordovas has joined IP International Projects as Business Development Manager for Europe and Latin America. Originally from Spain and with more than nine years’ experience in the industry, Ms Ordovas will support agents and actively promote the IP schools: junior summer schools in the UK, Germany, France and Spain; parent & child language programmes in the UK and the adult school in Bournemouth.
International House Malta-Gozo is delighted to announce the appointment of Steve Compagno as Director of Studies. Starting in the industry as an EFL Teacher, Mr Compagno progressed to Assistant Director of Studies of Sprachcaffe in Malta before joining the IHWO family. In addition to overseeing all educational activities at the school, he also has ideas for the EFL industry as a whole. “We are more than convinced that he will be an asset to our team,” said Costantino Misfud, Managing Director at the school.
John Haagensen has been appointed Quality Manager for Eurocentres. Mr Haagensen will develop new approaches to Eurocentres’ quality assurance drawing on his 35 years of experience, and will establish/audit quality standards for Eurocentres and Eaquals (as inspector and accreditation panel member). His role will also include coordination of academic information and overseeing the operational quality calendar for the Eurocentres network, to further reinforce the high standard of service offered.
Centre of English Studies (CES) in Ireland is pleased to welcome Erandhi Murphy to its sales and marketing team. Ms Murphy graduated in 2011 with a degree from University College Dublin, and also has two years’ marketing experience at a global retail company. She said, “I am delighted to be joining CES and working with this wonderful team in this exciting new role.” She will be based in the Dublin office on Dame Street.
Q&A Educator association
This month, Carolyn Blackmore, Chief Executive of Quality English, fills us in on what the brand has been up to over the past 12 months, including the development of Quality Education.
Full name: Quality English/Quality Education
Year established: 2003
Number of licensees (members): 58 in Quality English and three in Quality Education
Main role: Brand marketing
Government recognition: All schools and colleges have accreditation applicable to their country
Code of practice: yes
Complaints procedure: yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: yes
Quality English recently announced new mission locations for 2014 in Brazil, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Why were these destinations chosen?
We particularly have to bear in mind that we represent schools and colleges in eight different countries, and each one has a unique set of needs relating to their economies, regulatory environment and immigration control. For 2014, we hope that we have chosen a range of destinations where there is something for everyone. We have been to Almaty before and wanted to follow this up knowing that the strong agent body in Kazakhstan seeks a good range of course types in most of the countries we represent. Baku in Azerbaijan is new to us by going there we help schools to learn about a new market and to make contacts that will stand them in good stead for the future. In Brazil, we will be running an exciting ‘agents day’ in São Paulo, where we have ran workshops on two occasions to date, and then we will be holding regular workshops in two other Brazilian cities. We are all too aware of the overwhelming demand nowadays of events, workshops and fairs all competing for institutions’ time and resources. So we are taking longer than usual to set dates while we research the competition. Otherwise, we are devoting time to building solid pre-departure briefing materials and developing more varied programmes in every destination.
How has the Quality Education brand developed since its inception last year?
We are very encouraged by the amount of interest in Quality Education, and the only brake on its rapid development is the time it takes (quite properly, in my opinion) to get to know the licensees, their standards, their potential compliance to the brand and to process the applications and so on. At the time of writing, we had recently welcomed three colleges and have launched the website. The colleges value the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and to benefit from marketing opportunities that exist, particularly because of our existing track record with Quality English.
What else has Quality English been up to over the past 12 months?
Our Agent Relations and Missions Manager has been with us for one year and has made quite a difference. Frances Pottschulte devotes her time to the organisation of the missions, and at the same time encourages the growth of our quality agent network. All the recent feedback from the schools has been very positive. Also worth a mention is the new Quality Visit scheme which she is behind it is designed to encourage serious agent visits to schools and colleges.
What else is in store for Quality English in 2014?
We have come of age, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year. We will probably continue holding more local in-country gatherings as we have recently in New Zealand and Canada, and have plans for a winter UK/Ireland get together. We will invite the Maltese schools if they can stand the weather!
Q&A Agent association
This month we interview Hannah Dao from Vieca in Vietnam.
Full name: Vietnam International Education Consultants Association
Year established: 2001
Number of members: 19
Association’s main role: To promote cooperation, quality assurance
Code of practice: in line with Felca
Complaints procedure: in line with Felca
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
What has been the main focus of Vieca in the last 12 months?
We had an AGM in May and have new leaders. The new Chairman is a former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Education & Training (MOET). We have an office provided by the MOET which is a government organisation governing education and training in the country, and is also responsible for the regulation of educational institutions and associated organisations, such as agent businesses.
For an agency, what are the benefits of being a member of Vieca?
In Vietnam, almost every trade has its own association. So while Vieca is obviously the organisation for those who work in the field of sending students overseas to study, we aim to provide quality assurance which will ultimately benefit member business.
How do you ensure standards are maintained among member agencies?
We aim to solve every difficulty that member agencies come across. The government also has regular meetings with our agents to check regulations.
What are the market conditions currently like in the Vietnamese study abroad market?
Because the economy is down, the number of Vietnamese students studying abroad is also down. There are also more places at domestic universities, so more students study in their home country. To counter this, we engage in regular marketing activities including bringing overseas institutions to Vietnam as part of a joint venture recruitment drive. We also hold a bi-annual Education Fair, which aims to connect members with prospective student and reputable institutions from all around the world.
Industry issues - agents speak out
Q. How do you cater for clients with unusual needs and/or course requests?
Diana Martinez, Languagebookings.com, Spain
“One student from Venezuela contacted us asking for German classes together with Tai Chi lessons in Caracas. It was already difficult to find German courses in Venezuela, but the combination with Tai Chi was very unique and hard to make possible. We do not collaborate with German language schools in that country, but what I did was look up German courses on the internet and told him that a good idea would be to find a language school first, and then find a gym that offered Tai Chi nearby. This client gave me insight that learning should be a fun and relaxing activity this is the reason why language plus courses are a great idea.”
Daniela pariolska, Educatius International, USA
“One of the most unusual requests I received was for ‘Elvish’ classes the artificial language invented by J.R.R. Tolkien, Author of Lord of the Rings. I found that Elvish classes are offered in some colleges in the USA, but not in high schools. I was able to find a few alternatives for the student the first was to join the American Tolkien Society, which strives to bring together the followers and connoisseurs of Tolkien’s work with meetings and events throughout the country. Another option I provided was for him to join The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship an international organisation devoted to the scholarly study of the invented languages of Tolkien. Hopefully this will be enough to convince the student to come study in America and continue his hobby of the Elvish language! Although I’ve been doing this for a while, I still get some requests that surprise me. Some requests are hard to accommodate at a typical US high school, but we always strive to meet the students’ needs and give them an experience of a lifetime.”
Lars Zimmerman, Academic Embassy, Germany
“A few months ago we helped a student enrolled on a landscape architecture programme at her Austrian home university, who realised that due to health issues she would have challenges working in this field. Looking for an alternative study programme that would give her the chance to transfer a big portion of her credits, she fell in love with Horticultural Therapy. Through consulting the American Horticultural Therapy Association and our university partners, we were able to identify Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, as a perfect fit for our student, regarding the curriculum, timing, and of course her budget. She has now been officially accepted, and starts as an international transfer student with the January 2014 intake. Being a higher education adviser makes these particularly unique enquiries so interesting as you learn so much, digging into a whole new academic field that you never dreamed of getting involved with before.”
Agency of the month
In a series appearing each month in Study Travel Magazine, we ask a different teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or advisor partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.
This month, Southern Lakes English College (SLEC) in New Zealand nominates Harbin Pota Information Consulting Co in China. Blaise Barham at the school explains this decision.
“At SLEC, we have worked hard since 1993 on making strong relationships with excellent quality agents from all over the world. One agent that particularly stands out is Judy Pang from Harbin Pota Information Consulting Co., who has been particularly supportive of her students and our college. Judy’s team is particularly effective at pre- and post-arrival support. She makes sure that all her Chinese students do our pre-test before studying with us so that we can have the student’s study plan organised before they arrive. She also carries out a full orientation with SLEC prior to the student’s departure, and is also supportive while students are studying, and is quick at liaising with our college concerning any worries or difficulties the student may be having. Many of her students will also study with our pathway tertiary colleges. These students have been successful and one student won the international student of the year! Therefore, quality education with a quality agent has resulted in excellent outcomes for those students.”
““It’s our honour to be nominated as Agency of the Month. We have worked with SLEC for four years they offer excellent programmes meeting the students’ differing needs. Blaise and his staff are very professional and care about our students they feel like part a big family in the school. I am very glad to see that all of our students have successfully enrolled at colleges or universities after they completed their studies at SLEC throughout the years.”
Judy pang, Harbin Pota Information Consulting Co., china
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