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).