February 2008 issue

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Spain’s grants for English study

For the second year in a row, the Spanish government is expected to commit significant funds into providing grants for Spanish students to study English overseas. As last year, the announcement is set to make a serious impact on the agency industry in Spain as eligible students find out about their study options.

Last year, language schools in Malta, the UK and Ireland particularly benefited from the increase in money – millions of euros – coming out of the Spanish market. Juan Manuel Elizalde of Kells College in Spain told Language Travel Magazine that he estimated 45,000 students received grants last year.

However, problems were reported in the height of the high season with so many extra Spanish students in some schools and destinations, and because the grants were made available fairly late in the year. David Leonida, Director of Estudia Fuera in Spain, said that his schools assured him nationality quotas were maintained. But he acknowledged that “many schools did not have places for the students and accommodation was a huge problem in terms of availability”.

In Malta, one of the destinations most affected, Lisa Audino at Linguatime School of English said, “It seemed like there were more Spanish than Maltese on our little island [last summer]. I feel that the biggest problem was timing since the bookings started coming in around the end of May when usually by this time most schools are already pretty full.” John Dimech of Maltese school association, Feltom, stressed that, with the prospect of grants for 2008 likely, Feltom was in discussions with the authorities to avoid hotel over-crowding this year, and the Employment and Training Corporation, regarding widening the pool of potential part-time teachers. “The enormous extra influx of Spanish students had taken us by surprise and overwhelmed us all,” he said. “We are gearing up for this year.”

Agencies will also be putting strategies into place to cope this year. Leonida related that last year, “the phones were running off the hook. We were run off our feet.” This year, he said “we will automise the booking process as much as possible through our website and internal IT system”.

Meanwhile, a fund of e11,400,000 (US$16,964,280) is being made available by Spain’s Ministry of Education and Science for 12,500 students to take language courses in Spain this year, via the Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo (UIMP). General Secretary of Education, Alejandro Tiana, said, “This programme is framed within the set of initiatives to reinforce the learning of the English language.” The grants are for university students under 30 years of age who are already receiving a scholarship for their studies in Spain. Tiana observed that the grants would help students who did not have the opportunity to take a longer trip overseas.

CCEL expands into USA

The Canadian College of English Language (CCEL) which also has a sister school in New Zealand, now has another US sibling in the shape of Spokane College of English Language, which is based on the campus of Spokane Community College in Spokane, WA in the USA.

Jim Clark, President of the three schools, explained that the new US school is essentially taking over the English language unit that was previously run by the community college itself. He said that further expansion of his group of schools could be on the cards in the future.

EF chosen for Beijing 2008

EF has been chosen as the official supplier of language training services for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The company is actively training Chinese judges, translators, interpreters and Olympic Committee staff using its Englishtown online learning service and face-to-face instruction.

Heading up the language provision is EF’s Olympic Ambassador, Cristina Teuscher, part of EF’s London team and two-times Olympic swimming medallist. She helped launch an education exhibition held in Hong Kong to celebrate EF’s coup last year.

Yuan Bin, Director of Marketing for the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games of the 29th Olympiad, commented, “The important support from the EF professional training team will contribute to the successful staging of this world-focused event, where we shall welcome guests from all over the world.”

Open Doors shows USA back on track

The latest survey of the international education sector in the USA reveals that international student numbers in the USA have increased for the first time since 2002/2003. Open Doors, which surveys all colleges and universities accepting international students, produces year-on-year data from a similar sample of institutions. In 2006/2007, a total of 582,984 students was reported, a three per cent increase on the previous year’s figures.

These results reflect the upturn in the English language teaching market that was reported last year (see LTM, September 2007, page 53). In addition, the Institute for International Education (IIE), which produces the Open Doors report, said a separate online survey in October 2007 backed up the assertion that enrolments are picking up again on campus.

India continued to be the strongest provider of students for mainstream study, followed by China and Korea. Results relating to the English language teaching market were not available at the time of going to press.

Meanwhile, the Open Doors survey of Americans studying abroad reflects another upturn – 223,534 students went overseas for their studies in the same calendar year, an 8.5 per cent increase year on year. Just over half of those studying abroad did so for a short-term programme (summer, January term or for less than eight weeks) and the most popular destination was the UK, followed by Italy and Spain. However, “non-traditional” destinations were reported to be rising in popularity, with student travel to Asia up by 21 per cent and to the Middle East up by 31 per cent.

New look for BAC

The British Accreditation Council (BAC), one of the accreditation bodies approved by the UK government to verify schools accepting international students, has revamped its look, updated its website and unveiled a new logo.

Stephen Vickers at the BAC commented, “The new logo reflects a fresh, modern and approachable BAC, oriented towards the needs of both colleges and students, while mindful of our responsibilities to the government, the education sector and the public at large.”

The British Accreditation Council has accredited independent further and higher education programmes since 1984.

Scholar Ship launches ESL programme

A unique international education product – the Scholar Ship, a floating ship offering degree-level education that tours the world as it teaches – is now offering English language tuition from September onwards.

Agents with clients they believe may be interested in the “oceangoing campus” can book eight- or 16-week programmes. However, only students with an intermediate level of English are accepted for the high-end English language programmes; three distinct courses are offered via the Scholar Ship’s collaboration with the London School of English.

Peter Gainey, Regional Director Asia-Pacific for the Scholar Ship, said, “The ESL programme naturally taps into the increasing demand for unique add-ons to the basic ESL model, as well as new destinations for ESL study. We have set minimum English proficiency requirements to ensure students are able to benefit fully from non-classroom activities on the ship and in ports.”

The ship, which attracted 35 different nationalities for the September 2007 intake, travels on two distinct voyages, starting September or January. The September voyage departs from Amsterdam and ends in Hong Kong via Portugal, Panama, Ecuador, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, China and Macau. The January voyage starts in Hong Kong and visits China, Thailand, India, the Seychelles, South Africa, Cape Verde Islands, Spain, Turkey and Portugal before arriving back where it started in the Netherlands.

Gainey reported that response had been overwhelmingly positive from agencies interested in promoting the Scholar Ship to their clients. “The partnership with the London School of English to deliver the academic programme has of course been a huge advantage,” he said.

Kaplan Aspect expands in Australia

kaplan aspect has acquired two new language schools in Australia, purchasing IH Cairns and IH Brisbane in November last year.

The schools are currrently maintaining operations on a “business as usual” basis said David Jones, Chief Executive of the group. This acquisition means that Kaplan Aspect has significantly enhanced its presence in Australia and Jones hinted that further activity is likely in the country. “Melbourne is next on the list,” he said.

David Will, the main shareholder of the two schools, will assist with business development and the two school principals remain in their positions. Jones noted that this news follows the acquisition of Bradford College (providing academic pathways) and Grange Business School in Adelaide in August.

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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,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Queen Ethelburga’s

Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France
SILC - Séjours
      (France, Spain, UK)

Carl Duisberg
      (England, Germany)
International House
      Berlin - Prolog
Lichtenberg Kolleg

Prime Speech
      Power Language

ISI - International
      Study Institute

Kai Japanese
      Language School

EC - English
      Language Centres
      (England, Malta, South
      Africa, USA)
Malta Tourism

Language Link

EAC Language Centres
     and Activity Camps
      (England, Ireland,
      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