February 2006 issue

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Enforex buys Don Quijote

In big news for the Spanish language teaching industry, Enforex has announced that it has taken over rival language school chain, Don Quijote, to create the biggest Spanish language teaching company in the world and to rival other international language school chains in the global arena in terms of size and scale.

The news, announced just before Christmas, will mean no change to the current operations of both school groups, said Antonio Anadon, President of Enforex Group. He told Language Travel Magazine, "We want to keep the two schools separate. We won';t close any of the schools and we are going to invest in and promote every single school."

Don Quijote, which has seven schools in Spain and one in Mexico, three associate schools and offices in the UK and Netherlands, was owned by René de Jong and his sister, Marianne de Jong. Ms de Jong will stay on as Manager of the Don Quijote schools. Mr de Jong will help oversee the transition for some months and then concentrate on his business, Internet Advantage, and other Internet interests – a business sector he said he was passionate about. He told Language Travel Magazine that it was with mixed feelings that he sold the company he set up 19 years ago. But he added, "Don Quijote is now in the hands of Enforex which has a much larger capital base than we did. They can do things I would have loved to have done but lacked the means. The potential of Don Quijote is better used in this situation." He acknowledged that Anadon – only 35 years old – was very entrepreneurial "which is a very nice added benefit".

Enforex, with the purchase of Don Quijote, now has 28 teaching centres in Spain and Latin America and an estimated turnover of e40 million (US$47 million), teaching more than 35,000 students annually. Enforex already had a strong presence in Latin America, with schools in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru. Anadon was keen to emphasise that the company would remain focused on its agent partners. "Ninety-five per cent of our business has been with agencies and it will stay that way," he said, underlining that the newly enlarged group would be able to help and support agencies more than ever and produce new tools for them. He said the response from current agent partners to news of the deal had been very positive. "People look at our [track record] and they are confident," he said.

Anadon promised expansion in the near future, with the Don Quijote brand set to expand in Latin America.

Open Doors reveals static student numbers in the USA

The annual "Open Doors" survey of international students studying on mainstream programmes in the USA, published by the Institute for International Education (IIE), reveals that in 2004/2005, numbers were one per cent lower than in the previous year.

Commentators in the USA are seizing on the figures as testament to the fact that the industry is rallying after some challenging years, and a separate online survey conducted by IIE indicated that more institutional respondents in autumn 2005 reported a rise in international enrolments rather than a drop, year on year.

Nevertheless, the 565,039 students in the sample, studying in the country in 2004/2005, denote a static performance at best last year. However, it was a drop in numbers from doctoral degree and research universities that affected the numbers negatively. Other institution types and sectors, including English language training and practical training, saw rises in numbers, according to IIE.

In terms of student provider countries most important to the USA, India remained in prime position, followed by China, Korea, Japan and Canada. All these countries saw numbers to the USA rise, albeit slowly. Student numbers from Taiwan and Mexico (positions six and seven) declined, as did those from Thailand and Indonesia.

Allan Goodman, President of IIE, said, "Strong recruitment, combined with more efficient and transparent student visa processes, have begun to stem the tide of decreasing international student enrolment. We need to continue these concerted efforts to get the word out that our doors are open to international students."

The specific data for English language teaching (ELT) institutions was unavailable at the time of going to press. However, anecdotal reports indicate that 2005 was a good year for the ELT industry.

IIE noted that according to Nafsa, Association of International Educators, international students contributed US$13.3 billion dollars to the US economy in the last academic year, in terms of money spent on tuition, living expenses and related costs. The Department of Commerce in the USA rates international education as among the five largest service-sector export industries in the country.

Visa shake-up in Australia

Students from Chile, Slovenia, Estonia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE are among those to benefit from a visa rule change in Australia that came into effect in November. Amendments to the visa system were ushered in to make it easier for eligible passport holders to meet the requirements of a student visa, while those now in assessment level 1 can use the online eVisa application system.

Those nationals listed above have seen their requirements for English language courses drop from assessment level 2 to level 1, which also means that financial requirements are not quite as rigorous and there is no need to provide evidence of previous schooling. Other changes introduced include a ruling that students can apply for an Occupational Trainee Visa on completion of their studies, to receive practical on-the-job training in their area of expertise for up to 12 months. And a new Trade Skills Training Visa has been introduced in regional areas, which allows students to combine an apprenticeship with classroom-based learning for certain professions. "This gives [students] the chance to get a trade qualification that will equip them with skills in demand by employers who cannot find skilled staff locally," said Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone.

Changes have also been made to the Professional Development Visa so that employers in Australia, rather than those overseas, can provide funding assistance and applicants themselves can fund all costs associated with the visa application, other than tuition costs.

The changes in the system have been fuelled by a need to address issues in the labour market in Australia and also because compliance to visa regulations has improved. Vanstone said, "Approval rates have continued to rise while non-compliance levels have generally fallen. As a result, the [continued changes] provide for more streamlined visa processing."

At English Australia, Sue Blundell, said the changes were welcomed, noting that the ability for some students to gain practical work experience after their studies, through the occupational trainee visa, would make Australia more competitive in a number of markets.

At the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (Acpet), Ruth Rosen added, "We believe that there will be a positive effect on the number of student visas issued as pathways and choices for students will improve."

Tellus takeover in Plymouth

Tellus Group, an organisation based in the UK which organises language training, work experience and employment opportunities in the country, has taken over the Plymouth English Centre, which has been rebranded Tellus Plymouth English Centre.

Nick Roadnight, Group Chief Executive, explained that the school will operate as part of the Tellus International Language Training (Tilt) subsidiary. "This means that Tellus will be able to directly deliver and control its own English language training provision in the Plymouth area," he said, "although we will of course continue to maintain our relationships with other local providers."

Principal of Plymouth English Centre, Kimmo Kosonen, has agreed to remain at the school and help develop the business.

Study Group working with University of Sussex in the UK

Global education company, Study Group, is working in partnership with the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK, to consolidate its position in the UK academic preparation sector.

The company is establishing an on-campus International Study Centre (ISC) at the university that will offer international students specialist preparation for degree-level study in a wide range of areas, providing English language training, targeted study skills and student support services.

Alasdair Smith, Vice Chancellor at the university, said, "Working in partnership with Study Group allows us to open up exciting opportunities for our student community. This is an important step in the development of the university';s international strategy."

The ISC will be linked to Study Group';s global network of 40 regional offices and partner counselling agencies, and enable students who previously might not have been accepted at the university to be able to consider a pre-university foundation course first.

Andrew Thick, Managing Director of Study Group, said, "International students will find [the ISC] an unmatched opportunity to undertake their study at one of the UK';s leading international universities." The company, which has its own academic training colleges in Australia, New Zealand and the UK as well as language schools, plans to embark on other similar ventures in the future.

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.




Education New
      Zealand Trust
English Australia

Malta Tourism

Alphe Agent

Language Travel

English Australia

Cultura Wien

Académie des
      langues de Trois
Algonquin and
      Lakeshore Catholic
      District School Board
Bodwell College
Bow Valley College
      Student Services
Cowichan Valley
      School District # 79
Delta School District
Fraser Cascade -
      School District # 78
Ottawa International
      Student Programmes
Richmond School
      District # 38
University of Calgary
West Vancouver
      School District # 45

Aspect (Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, Scotland,
      South Africa, Spain,
Bell International
Eastbourne School
      of English
LAL Language and
      Leisure (England,
      Malta, South Africa,
Langbourne College
Leeds English
      Language School
Malvern House
Oxford Brookes
Queen Ethelburga's
Salisbury School of
St Giles Colleges
      (UK, USA)
St John's Wood
      School of English
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
University of

Centre d'Etudes des
      Langues de Saint-
Institut Français Riéra
IS Aix-en-Provence
SILC - Séjours
      (England, France,
Université de

F+U Academy
      (Austria, Germany,
Lichtenberg Kolleg
Prolog- International
      House Berlin

High Schools
      International (HSI)
      (England, Australia,
      Canada, Ireland,

Est Ovest
Istituto Linguistico

EC English
      Language Centre
      (England, Malta)
inlingua Malta
Malta Tourism

Education New
      Zealand Trust

Liden & Denz
      Language Centre

Cape Studies -
      Pacific Gateway
      Study Group
Eurocentres Cape
Geos Cape Town
      Language  Centre
Good Hope Studies 
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town
Interlink School of
International House -
Jeffrey's Bay
      Language Centre
LAL Cape Town
LAL Durban
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town

Estudio Sampere
      (Ecuador, Spain)
Kings College
      (England, Spain)

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Japan, New Zealand,
      Russia, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)

American Language
Kaplan Educational
      Centers (Canada,
      England, USA)
Zoni Language

CELTiC (Schools)