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February 2012 issue

Contents
News
News Round Up
Inside the industry
Advisor Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Direction
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
Regional Focus
Market Analysis
Grapevine

Contact Point:
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On the move

Christopher Thebing, Director of Thebing Travel Group (TTG) in Germany (top), has been appointed president of German agency association FDSV. Mr Thebing, who is the Owner and Managing Director of TTG – which comprises Kolumbus Sprachreisen, Flamenco and Speak & Fun, as well as the Academia Columbus schools in Costa Rica, Mexico and Ecuador – aims to further develop the international recognition of FDSV as a quality association and promote the interests of the language travel industry as a whole. Meanwhile, Alberto Sarno, CEO of Sprachcaffe (middle) and Constanze Baarlage, Product Director at Carpe Diem / Travelplus Group in Germany (bottom) have joined the new FDSV board. Mr Sarno sat on the board for around 10 years in the nineties and is excited to have reprised his role. He will be looking to strengthen FDSV´s relationship with international bodies like Alto and Felca. Meanwhile, Ms Baarlage hopes to strengthen FDSV’s high profile as well as explore new opportunities for collaboration with other organisations in the industry.

Esmee Quinton has joined Quality English (QE) as Office Executive. Having graduated with a degree in Business and Marketing, Ms Quinton went on to work in retail administration before teaching English in Italy for three years. “QE is an excellent company to work for and highly regarded in the industry. I hope to build on its success by continuing to offer agents a great selection of schools that excel in everything they do.”

Kathy Kohut has been appointed Central Office Director for AAIEP. Ms Kohut has been strongly committed to the field of English language learning for more than fourteen years. She has a wide range of experience teaching and leading ESL programmes, with past Director positions in school management, operations, and academics. She has also spent time teaching in Japan and studying in Russia. Ms Kohut said she was very excited to take on the role and is looking forward to helping the organisation increase its visibility and access for members and associates alike.

Lila*’s former Director of Studies, Dave Fox, has been promoted to Principal of their Liverpool-based school. Mr Fox brings with him many years of experience in teaching, teacher training and academic management and is looking to help drive Lila*’s expansion forward while still keeping its young and lively feel.



Q&A Educator association

This month, Anne Holmes, Executive Director of Neas, talks about recent developments including a new contract with government regulator, ASQA.

Full name: National ELT Accreditation Scheme (Neas)
Year established: 1990
Number of accredited centres: 261
Type of providers: Accredited English language teaching (ELT) centres, including centres located in universities and Vocational Education Training (VET) colleges
Organisation’s main role: Quality assurance monitoring of the delivery of English language programmes
Code of practice: yes
Complaints procedure: yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: n/a
Contact details:
E: admin@neas.org.au
Tel: +61 299546077
W: www.neas.org.au

What has Neas been up to recently?
A stakeholder survey was carried out in 2010 and Neas was delighted with the level of response, the endorsement of Neas’ current services and the emerging opportunities for additional ones. Last year, Neas submitted a paper during the ESOS review and was involved in discussion of issues around student visa issuance. In 2010, all providers delivering courses to international students were required to re-register on the Cricos register. Neas was heavily involved in this process in respect of ELT. Following a national tender process, the Department of Immigration (DIAC) awarded Neas a new contract to quality assure the provision of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). Included in the contract is the management of the Assessment Task Bank (ATB) - a unique, secure, online resource of assessment tasks available to most AMEP providers. The 15th Annual Neas ELT Management Conference was held mid May in Sydney, and attracted 218 participants. The workshop addressed specific areas of compliance within accreditation. In light of the magnitude of changes pending in the new educational environment, Neas conducted professional development sessions for its assessment panellists (inspectors) early July, focusing on the assessment of compliance with Neas standards and the changing regulatory environment. There was increased activity for Neas International, with successful applications from centres in Vietnam and Dubai.

Please explain more about the quality assurance symposium you were involved in.
The one-day symposium was attended by representatives of 16 key global language accrediting bodies. Neas presented sessions on two-tier accreditation, different approaches to gathering and evaluating evidence, and inspector recruitment and training. Accreditation UK and Eaquals presented the other five sessions. Neas’ prime motivation for jointly organising the conference was the sharing of best practice worldwide and jointly reaching solutions to issues common to all quality assurance bodies. It was the first symposium of its kind, produced innovative proposals and there are plans for a second symposium in 2013. The first project underway is a database of teacher qualifications based on quality criteria.
 
Please explain your new contract under the national regulatory body, ASQA.
The Minister for Education determined by legislative instrument in May that ASQA be the designated authority under the ESOS Act for Elicos and Foundation programmes in NSW, VIC, WA, ACT and NT. Neas is delighted that ASQA has decided to contract Neas as a specialist provider of audit services to monitor compliance against the National Elicos and Foundation standards in these states. These are new auditing roles for Neas in addition to Neas accreditation. Neas accreditation has also been officially accepted for registration on Cricos. The Australian government made the changes in response to a range of factors affecting Australia’s international education sector and throughout the process NEAS has maintained close consultation and a strong working relationship with ASQA.


Q&A Advisor association

This month, Sylviane Halphen from Unosel - the association of French language schools and agencies - talks about its activities.

Full name: Union Nationale des Organisations de Séjours Educatifs, Linguistiques et des Ecoles de Langues (Unosel)
Year established: 1978
Number of members: 70
E: info@unosel.com
W: www.unosel.com

What has been your main focus in the last 12 months?
During 2010 and the beginning of 2011 we worked to heighten the quality standards of Unosel members. We added 10 new points to membership criteria. All members have to respect it whatever their business. We also wrote a code of practice for every member. This means that for language providers for example, members have to respect the label, the European standard and a code of practice for young language study holidays and another one for adults. Internal regulations were also revised and we strengthened the principles of ethics between members and suppliers. The application procedure also has new obligations. Besides the inspection of the head office and the on site inspection by independent auditors, members have to submit brochures to be checked. The website is also examined. In spite of these lengthened procedures we have admitted two new members but refused three. We are now working on the promotion of these new processes and we will soon launch a new website and a new logo. Naturally, we are worried that the economic recession could decrease the request for stays abroad, as well as [herald] price increases. Unosel has taken part in a think tank organised by the Minister of Education on the question of the supervision/coordination of stays which could also provoke a sharp rise in costs/prices.

Where do you stand on accreditation?
We have strengthened our quality standards considerably and members will see a difference. One of our members is a vice-president of Felca and the first president of Felca was the president of Unosel, this explains that we are following the evolution of our federation very closely and that the Felca code of conduct is also a part of our daily concern.

What are your feelings concerning agent training schemes?
As in any job it is extremely important to train. At every Unosel congress we gather to discuss and work on technical themes often with the contribution of independent experts.


Agency of the month

In a series appearing each month in Study Travel Magazine, we ask a different language teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or agent partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.

This month London School of English (LSE) in the UK nominates EDM in Korea. Timothy Blake, at the school, explains this decision.


“LSE works with many excellent agents around the world, so it’s hard to choose a favourite, but on the basis of their consistent performance we have selected EDM in South Korea. When it started, this agency focused on English in the UK; in time it added other destinations and other courses and it increasingly covers universities too. It’s bigger now but it retains a personal dedication to quality and to the welfare of its students. Of course, being Korean the staff are highly efficient, working long hours under pressure, yet always remain a pleasure to work with. Brian Seo combines great strategic vision with personal charm, but I would also like to pay tribute to June Lee, the Admissions Manager, and her hard working team – Neville and Syan. In agencies, the front desk counsellors often have the highest profile, but I think we must never forget the back office staff whose dedication and accuracy underpin relations with the schools and services to clients.”

“It has been such a pleasure to work with the LSE for the last 10 years. I would like to express special thanks to Timothy and his professional team who always spare no pains to help EDM whenever there are problems to be solved.”
Brian Seo, Managing Director, EDM, Korea



Industry issues - advisors speak out

Q. What would your top five business tips be to anyone looking to set up a new agency?

Declan Millar, High Schools International, UK & Ireland
“We recruit two distinct types of high school student – exchange students (one year or less) and study abroad students (multi-year, usually leading to university). High school programmes are consistently popular, although destinations tend to come and go in popularity. Study abroad students generally enrol in boarding schools – and school ranking or statistics on university enrolment are the most common deciding factors. The biggest increase in this category of student for us over recent years has been in US boarding schools. While they have always been popular in Asian markets, they have become increasingly popular in all European markets. Australian state schools attract most of their international students from Asia, while Canada attracts a very significant South and Central American clientele. Unlike the UK, USA or Ireland, both Canada and Australia attract larger numbers of students into state schools. One recent trend, especially out of Europe, is that while numbers have been growing, students are now looking for the most cost-effective option – and this is usually public or state schools with host family accommodation.”
 
Irina Sledyeva, AcademConsult, Russia
“The interest in secondary/high school education has increased in the last two years. [This sector accounts] for 10 per cent of the total number of students that we send, which is not as high as it used to be in the 90s. I have been working with schools, both independent and public, for 16 years. During this time destinations have changed. Nowadays the countries in demand are: UK (33 per cent of our students), USA (25 per cent), Canada (17 per cent) and Switzerland (17 per cent). We work closely with schools in Spain, France, Ireland and Scandinavia. The academic level of the schools required by families is much higher now than it used to be. Parents are more willing to spend a lot of time and money to prepare their child for a better school abroad, and to send their children at a younger age than they previously did. The average age is 14, but we have placed students aged nine or 10.”

Christine Top, Top School, Spain
“Around eight per cent of our student placements are in boarding schools, mainly in the UK and Ireland, though this is growing. We have been sending students to the UK for three years and have been visiting school districts in Canada to open up and offer that market. Children are being sent abroad for a longer time and at a younger age. It’s common now for a child to stay for two or even three years. Parents are more aware that English is important for their children and are increasingly unhappy with the Spanish school system. Instead of sending them to learn English for three weeks in the summer they invest in a term or a full year at a boarding school as it is better value.”

Paloma González de Castejón, English Language Institute, Spain
“Seventy per cent of our students are aged between 11 and 14 and are looking for a British boarding school. The main aim is to improve English and for this reason Spanish families prefer to send their children abroad when they are very young: they will learn faster, their accent will improve and they will encounter less difficulties when returning to their schools in Spain. Students over 15 prefer to study in Ireland, Switzerland or the USA owing to validation problems between here and the UK.”


Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMODATION
Britannia Student Services  
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  

ASSOCIATIONS/GROUPS
English Australia  
International House World Organisation  
Study Gold Coast  
FELCA)
English in Chester  

AUSTRALIA
Access Macquarie Limited  
Bond University  
Impact English College  
ILSC Australia  
International House Sydney Teacher Training & Prof  
Language Studies International  
University of New South Wales  
University of Newcastle Language Centre  

CANADA
Banff Education Centre  
Brentwood College School  
College of New Caledonia  
Greater Victoria School District  
ITTTI Vancouver  
Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District #68 
St George's School  
Thompson Rivers University  

CHINA
iMandarin Language Training Institute  

CYPRUS
Language Conquests

ENGLAND
Camp Beaumont  
International House London  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Liverpool International Language Academy  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of English  
Malvern House London  
PGL  
Prime Education  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
St Giles International  
University of Essex - International Academy  

EXAM BOARDS
Cambridge Esol  
City and Guilds Branch Office in Europe  

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  
British Boarding Schools Workshop 
IEFT 
STM Star Awards  

INSURANCE
Dr. Walter GmbH  

IRELAND
International House Dublin  

ITALY
Dialogo Language Services  

MALAYSIA
Limkokwing Institute of Creative Technology  

MALTA
EC English Language Centre  

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape English Language School  
EC Cape Town  
EF  
Eurocentres Cape Town- One World Language School 
Good Hope Studies  
inlingua Language Training Centre Cape Town  
International House Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
Jeffrey's Bay Language School  
Kurus English  
LAL Cape Town  

SPAIN
Xul Comunicación Social  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  

TOURIST BOARDS
Cyprus Tourist Board  
Malta Tourism Authority  

SWITZERLAND
EF  

USA
Open Hearts International College  
Brown University  
Global Language Institute  
Hawaii Tokai International College 
LAL USA  
Rennert  
UC Berkeley Extension  
Zoni Language Centers  

WALES
City School of Languages  





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