Contents - February 2008

Special Report
Language plus
Demand for language courses that combine language learning with a sport, hobby or interest is still small but growing, but the importance of these programmes lies not so much in their uptake as in their ability to attract students to the schools and agencies that offer them. Gillian Evans reports.

English and sports in Australia
Professional sports training for novices or experts in their field teamed with high quality language lessons. This combination is becoming popular in Australia with clients who can afford to pay for English tuition with a twist.

Scotland’s highlights
With its mountains, famous lochs and vibrant cities, Scotland is an idyllic destination for language students keen to explore a different area of the UK. Bethan Norris asks those who work in the industry what they think is special about their local area.


All aboard

There is certainly an upbeat feeling about the industry based on reports in this month’s Language Travel Magazine. We hear that Mandarin is taking off as the latest language to be studied overseas (pages 20-21), particularly among the British and North Americans who have the advantage of not needing to learn English too.

In Russia, we find out that the market is buoyant and a good economic background is fuelling business expansion among agencies (pages 14-15). Work placement providers in the UK point to strong demand for their products, notwithstanding government intervention into payment policy for placing candidates into positions (pages 45 and 48).

The latest Icef Berlin workshop was a record size as more companies realise the benefits of working with agencies to recruit international students (page 8). And the Spanish government looks likely to channel a substantial amount of money into the marketplace again by announcing more grants for English language study for the second year in a row – boosting the agency industry there (page 6).

In Germany, it is hard to draw definite conclusions as to the market direction because no nationwide statistics are collected to paint a picture of the market at large, although German schools are also upbeat on the whole (page 23). Here, visa problems are reported but with no national body to speak on behalf of all, unilateral concessions from visa issuing authorities will be hard to achieve.

Getting the government on board is essential at some point in the evolution of all international education industries, given that immigration is part of the package of selling a language training product or educational experience in-country. The USA’s international student numbers are finally back on an upward trend (page 7) after a subtle shift in aproach in terms of immigration regulations for international students, post-9/11, from the powers that be.

In the UK, the nascent work and travel industry will have to be as coordinated as members of Nafsa, AAIEP and UCIEP have been in the USA to win concessions to help their sector. At present, the government’s attentions to a thriving industry are alarming and threaten to thwart progress made so far (page 48).

Certainly, the end-client’s appetite for international education shows no sign of dimming overall. The latest product incarnation, learning while cruising, is testament to this indeed (page 7).

All aboard

Spain’s grants for English study
CCEL expands into USA
EF chosen for Beijing 2008
Open Doors shows USA back on track
New look for BAC
Scholar Ship launches ESL programme
Kaplan Aspect expands in Australia

Agency News
Icef Berlin is record size
Bank loans under scrutiny in Vietnam

Agency Survey
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.

According to this month’s Feedback survey on Italy, agent usage dipped a little in 2007 with more students opting to use the Internet when sourcing a new school. Meanwhile, the nationality mix remains interestingly varied.

Mandarin in China
Schools in China and agencies around the world testify to the growth in demand for Mandarin programmes. As Jane Vernon Smith discovers, the market, although young, is developing quickly.

Course Guide
Summer in the USA
Summer programmes are perenially popular with international students the world over. There is lots of choice in the USA, with city, town and country-based language learning programmes available, most of which also offer extra-curricular activities.

Some of the programmes listed are all-inclusive whereas others charge extra for accommodation. Most offer agencies a commission payment.

South Africa 2006
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.