February 2008 issue

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

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Russia’s ascent

Russia’s outgoing student market continues to grow and develop as students explore different locations and undertake a wider range of courses.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by the 14 agencies in our survey was 2,410

• Individual agencies placed between nine and 1,200 students on courses per year

• Average business growth was 31 per cent in the last 12 months

• The average length of stay for Russian students was eight weeks

• Overall, 53 per cent of Russian students stayed with host families when studying overseas

• Nine agencies charged their students a handling fee of between US$72 and US$435

• On average, every agency worked with 30 schools in the last 12 months

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 38%
2. Canada 11%
3. Malta 10%
4. France 8%
5. Australia 7%
6. USA 6%
7. New Zealand 4%
7. Ireland 4%
9. Germany 2%
Other 10%
1. General 24%
2. Junior 20%
3. Intensive 16%
4. Summer vacation 12%
5. Lang. + work 9%
6. Business 6%
7. Acad./exam. prep. 4%
8. University found. 2%
Other 7%

Reasons for language travel
Average percentage agency business
1. Future work 35%
2. Studies at home 25%
3. Studies overseas 17%
3. Current work 17%
5. Pleasure 6%
1. Lang. programme 59%
2. Work & travel 14%
3. Higher education 12%
4. Internships 12%
5. Volunteering 3%
Other 6%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Word of mouth 47%
2. Website 24%
3. Adv. in press 9%
3. Seminars to students 9%
5. Mailshots 2%
Other 9%
1. Workshops 48%
2. Fairs & expos 21%
3. Internet 17%
4. LTM/ETM 7%
5. Other press 2%
Other 5%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 23%
English Australia 69%

Capls 46%
CLC 31%

Souffle 38%
L'Office 46%
Unosel 23%
FLE 46%

MEI~Relsa 69%
IEAI 15%

Asils 31%
Italian in Italy 23%

Feltom 69%

New Zealand
Ed. NZ 23%
English NZ 8%

Aeple 0%

South Africa
Eltasa 7%
English SA 7%

Fedele 77%

ABLS 23%
English UK 77%
British Council 92%

Eaquals 46%

Accet 31%
CEA 15%

Ialc 62%
Quality English 62%
Tandem 31%

Market growth
The Russian student market is an important one for many language travel destinations – particularly the UK and Malta – and, judging by the results of this year’s survey, this trend looks likely to continue. The market across all our agent respondents grew by 31 per cent with all agencies experiencing growth in the last 12 months, apart from one who reported that business had stayed the same as the previous year. Individual business growth was recorded as being between 10 and 146 per cent. A few agencies reported that the average length of stay among their students was increasing, which had affected their statistics, while another agency pointed to an increase in marketing efforts as having a positive effect on their business.

Language and destination trends
One noticeable change when comparing the results of this year’s survey with our previous survey, conducted two years ago, is the fact that Russian students are becoming increasingly adventurous as to where they study. Previously, 62 per cent of agency clients chose to study in the UK, whereas this year the figure was down to 38 per cent (see LTM March 2006, pages 16-17). This year, other destinations such as Canada (up from two per cent to 11 per cent) and France (up from three per cent to eight per cent) gained ground among Russian students. This possibly reflects the maturing of the Russian outgoing market as well as the increasing ability of Russian students to get visas to study in different study destinations. French was the second most requested language after English by Russian students, chosen by 16 per cent (up from six per cent previously).

Student and course trends
The percentage of agency clients choosing to study on junior programmes decreased compared with our 2005 results (down from 32 per cent to 20 per cent) and this may help to explain the trend towards longer study packages noted by some agencies. General language courses were favoured by a higher percentage of clients (up from 14 per cent to 24 per cent) and language and work placement programmes also increased (up from three per cent to nine per cent). The growth of language and work programmes among Russian clients is an exciting trend as it perhaps opens up overseas study and travel options for students who have not been able to afford such activities in the past.

Agency business
Agents report that students are increasingly reliant on the advice of friends and relatives with word-of-mouth recommendations accounting for 47 per cent of total agency business this year, compared with 32 per cent in 2006. In contrast, advertising in the press only attracted nine per cent of business, compared with 18 per cent previously. In total, our agent respondents worked with an average of 96 schools in 16 countries last year, an increase on the 62 schools worked with in our previous survey.

Looking ahead
The future looks bright according to the views of the agents who took part in this survey. The majority predicted that business would continue to grow with academic and special interest programmes on the rise. The growth in the economy appears to be supporting business growth as more students have the finances to study overseas.

Economic overview

• Consumer price growth continued to slow down in the first half of 2007. In January-to-June, inflation stood at 5.7 per cent, compared with 6.2 per cent in the first half of 2006.

• The slowing of growth in food prices, excluding fruit and vegetables, made the biggest contribution to the reduction of inflation. These prices rose 2.7 per cent in the first half of 2007, compared with 4.5 per cent during the same period in 2006.

• The number of people employed in the economy increased by 1.9 per cent in the first half of 2007, compared with a 0.7 per cent increase the previous year. As a result, labour productivity increased by an estimated 5.6 per cent.

Source: The Central Bank of the Russian Federation

Russian agents named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Canada: Ilac, various. In Ireland: CES Swandean, Dublin; Emerald Cultural Institute, Dublin; IH Dublin, Dublin. In France: Ecole France Langue, various; Silc, Montpellier. In Germany: Eurasia Institute, Berlin; GLS Sprachenzentrum, Berlin. In Malta: Clubclass Residential Language School, Swieqi; EC, St Julians; European School of English, St Julians. In the UK: Bell, various; Colchester English Study Centre, Colchester; Excel English, London; Hampstead School of English, London; Inlingua, various; Into University Partnerships, various; Isca School, Exeter; Language Specialists International, Portsmouth; London School of English, London; Malvern House, London; OISE, Oxford; Severnvale Academy, Shrewsbury; Sussex Summer School, Guestling; Twin Group, various; Tasis, Surrey; Victoria School of English, London. In Spain: Malaca Instituto, Malaga; Worldwide: Eurocentres; Geos; Insearch; Kaplan Aspect; Regent; Study Group.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: Auditoria-tour, Association des Enseignants de Francais, Interlogos, Language Studio, Litera Scripta Manet, Magister, Masterclass, Optima Study, Petro-Lingua, Students International, Study IN, Svetlana-S, Tourclub Mr English, Uros.

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Your World on

Malta Tourism

Alphe Conferences
Quoc Anh IEC

Beijing Easyou
      Language School
Mandarin House

      de Idiomas (CPI)

Bell International
English Studio
inlingua Vacation
Kaplan Aspect 
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and
      (England, Malta, South
      Africa, USA)
Malvern House
Rose of York
St Giles Colleges
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
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      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Queen Ethelburga’s

Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France
SILC - Séjours
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Carl Duisberg
      (England, Germany)
International House
      Berlin - Prolog
Lichtenberg Kolleg

Prime Speech
      Power Language

ISI - International
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Kai Japanese
      Language School

EC - English
      Language Centres
      (England, Malta, South
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Malta Tourism

Language Link

EAC Language Centres
     and Activity Camps
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      Scotland, Wales)
University of
University of Stirling

Cape Studies

Idiomas ¡Sí!
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute

Swedish Learning
      and Living

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

ALCC - American
      Language &
California State
      University Long
Kaplan Aspect
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
Rennert Bilingual
University of
      California Riverside
University of
      California San Diego
University of
      California Santa
Zoni Language
      Canada, USA

Quoc Anh IEC