February 2009 issue

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

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China’s tertiary aim

Growth in China’s outgoing student travel industry slowed this year, reflecting worldwide economic concerns. Students were also studying overseas for a shorter length of time, although mainstream education remained the focus of most agency business.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by the 10 agencies in our survey was 3,375

• Individual agencies placed between 50 and 1,043 students on courses each year

• Average business growth was four per cent

• The average length of stay for Chinese students was 11 weeks

• Overall, 45 per cent of Chinese students stayed with host families when studying overseas

Further studies overseas was the most popular reason for Chinese students to study a language

• In the last 12 months, agencies worked with an average of 38 different providers

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. USA 30%
2. UK 21%
3. Canada 19%
4. Australia 17%
5. Ireland 7%
6. Japan 1%
1. Foundation 33%
1. Intensive 22%
3. General 18%
4. Academic/ exam prep. 13%
5. Junior 5%
6. Summer vacation 4%
7. Business 1%
Other 4%

Top languages Average percentage agency business
1. English 92%
2. French 1%
3. German 1%
4. Japanese 1%
1. Higher education 52%
2. Language programmes 30%
3. Work & travel 12.5%
4. Internships 0.5%
Other 5%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new business partners?
1. Word-of-mouth 47%
2. Website 14%
3. Seminars to students 13%
4. Advertising in press 12%
5. Mail shots 5%
Other 9%
1. Workshops 46%
2. Fairs & expos 30%
3. Internet 8%
4. LTM/ETM 6%
Other press 10%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 20%
English Australia 40%

Languages Canada 20%

Souffle 20%
FLE.fr 10%
L'Office 0%
Unosel 0%

MEI~Relsa 30%

Asils 0%
Italian in Italy 20%

Feltom 0%

New Zealand
English NZ 0%

Aeple 0%

South Africa
Eltasa 0%
English SA 0%

Fedele 20%

ABLS 50%
English UK 70%
British Council 90%

Accet 30%
CEA 30%

Eaquals 40%
Ialc 20%
Quality English 10%
Tandem 0%

Market growth
Market growth was a lot slower among the agencies that took part in this year’s Agency Survey on China, averaging out at four per cent across the board compared with 58 per cent in our previous survey (see LTM, September 2007, page 16-17). Only one agency recorded a decrease in business of 10 per cent while another three said that business had remained static in the last 12 months and five had experienced growth of between two and 25 per cent. One agency declined to give a figure. Two agencies said that business had grown because of their own growth within the market while one agency pointed to visa changes in certain destinations as having a detrimental effect on business.

Language and destination trends
Compared with our last survey, agents report that English is the most popular language learnt abroad by Chinese students by a much higher margin – 92 per cent were learning English this year compared with 75 per cent last year. Other languages such as Italian, Spanish and Korean, which were all mentioned last year, were nowhere to be seen in this year’s list of top languages for students. Instead, French, German and Japanese were other languages requested by students in China. The USA again came out on top as the most popular destination this year, gaining market share from 25 per cent to 30 per cent, while the UK had increased from 14 per cent to 21 per cent and Australia was down from 23 per cent to 17 per cent. One noticeable trend among Chinese students was a very small portion of students (0.2%) choosing to study in New Zealand, compared with four per cent in our previous survey.

Student and course trends
As many students have a variety of reasons for studying overseas, agencies were reluctant to give percentage figures when asked why their clients were applying for a study abroad programme. The top reasons were for further studies overseas and future work purposes, which were indicated by nine and seven of the 10 agencies respectively. The largest group of students (47 per cent) found their agency through word of mouth recommendation, a similar figure to last year’s 41 per cent.

Agency business
The Chinese student market has traditionally been one that is very much geared towards higher education and the agents who took part in our survey confirmed this when they said that 52 per cent of their business was spent dealing with this sector. Even among students wanting to study on a language programme overseas, 33 per cent chose to study on a foundation programme while a further 13 per cent were studying on academic or exam preparation courses. However, while the average length of stay per student was quite lengthy at 11 weeks, compared with some other student markets, this figure was a lot less than last year’s 23 weeks. This may be due to an increasingly difficult economic climate, which is affecting how long students can afford to study overseas.

Looking ahead
One agency said that “the recession is biting hard” and another pointed out that foreign universities moving into China meant fewer students wanting to study overseas. Another was more upbeat, pointing out that studying in the USA was becoming less expensive due to the falling value of the US dollar.

Economic overview

• China’s economy grew by a rate of nine per cent in the three months leading up to September 2008, down from 10.1 per cent in the previous quarter.

• Chinese factories have reported that export orders have decreased sharply and the Chinese government announced in October that half the country’s toy makers had gone out of business.

• The People’s Bank of China has cut interest rates twice and a third cut was expected at the end of 2008. In February 2008, inflation hit a 12-year peak of 8.7 per cent.

Source: National Bureau of Statistics

Chinese agents named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Carrick Institute of Education, Melbourne, VIC; St Paul’s School, Brisbane, QLD; West Moreton Anglican College, Brisbane, QLD. In Canada: Canadian College of English Language, Vancouver, BC; Fanshawe College ESL Centre, London, ONT. In Japan: East West Global Education Group, Tokyo. In Korea: Seoul Christian University, Seoul. In Russia: St Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance, St Petersburg. In the UK: British Study Centres, Oxford; ETC, Bournemouth; Edinburgh School of English, Edinburgh; Frances King, London; London School of English, London; Malvern House, London; University of the Arts ELT Unit, London. In the USA: LAL Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: Asiaquest, Beijing FESCO Overseas Study Service, Beijing Global Education Centre, China Scholarship Council Dongfang Centre – Canadian Division, Dipont Education Management Group, Henan Tengda Consulting Service Company, Intrinsic – for students and youth, Jilin International Talents & Technology Cooperation Co., Jinan Overseas Chinese Study Abroad Service Centre, OPDS.

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.





English Australia  
Perth Education


Your World on

Malta Tourism
Office de

English Australia  

Bond University
Curtin University
La Trobe University
Language Studies
Pacific Gateway
      University of
University of
Wollongong College

Berlitz Canada  
Bodwell College  
Camber College  
English Bay
Global Village 
      (Australia, Canada,
Richmond School
      District #38  
Vancouver English

      Language Training

Ardmore Language
      (UK, USA)  
Bell International
      (Malta, UK)
Camp Beaumont  
      (Australia, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, South America,
      Spain, UK, USA)
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language
      and Leisure  
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
Malvern House
      College London  
Northumbria School
       of English  
      (Ireland, Italy,
      UK, USA)
Queen Ethelburga's
RLI Language
St Giles Colleges  
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Twin Group  
      (Ireland, UK)
University of
      Essex - International
Wimbledon School
      of English  

      Université de
Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France  
French in
Langues Sans
Universite d'Avignon
      et des Pays du

Carl Duisberg
      Medien GmbH  
      (England, Germany)
F+U Academy  
       (Germany, Spain)
International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

Centre of English

Kai Japanese
      Language School  

      Language School  
EC English
      Language Centre  
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
inlingua Malta  

EAC Language
      Centres and Activity
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)

Cape Studies  
EC Cape Town  
      Cape Town  
Good Hope
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town  
Interlink School
      of Languages  
International House
      Cape Town  
LAL Cape Town  
      Teaching Centre  
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town  
South African
      School of English 

¡Idiomas Si!  
International House
      Sevilla - Clic  

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

Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)