Contents - January 2007

Special Report
Global connections
Marketing is an essential function for all international education providers, and those that ignore this need and rely only on word-of-mouth recommendation to recruit students risk losing out on extra business revenue and a diverse nationality profile. Marketing requires commitment, local understanding and unique perception about client needs, however, whether targeting professional agencies or the student directly. Jane Vernon Smith reports.

Junior courses in demand
Organising language courses for under-16 year olds is certainly not child's play for schools and agents. Courses must provide language learning that engages students with fun activities in a safe environment. Gillian Evans reports.

Northern attraction
Cities that are large student hubs yet next door to wide areas of open countryside characterise the north of England and make it an ideal destination for language students. Bethan Norris visits some of the region's highlights.


Active industry

We hear about the importance of marketing in this month's issue – which holds true for agencies just as it does language schools – and the question of what to market to prospective clients. For language schools, details such as class size, school location and extra-curricular activities are important, but there is one critical factor that some educators would do well to promote, and that is their price advantage when compared with other destinations.

While many students, or their parents, have decided where they will be studying and this sort of information may not sway them – junior clients for example, always tend to stick close to home (pages 20-22) – other students may be encouraged to study in Wales, for example, instead of England, if they realise that they will save over US$5,700 per year on university tuition fees (page 50). Or in Scandinavia, perhaps, once they realise there are currently no tuition fees for international students and many degree programmes at universities are taught in English (page 51).

It is easy to focus on the big-hitting study destinations, such as Canada, Australia, the UK and the USA, but many other countries are out there marketing hard and winning market share as a result. One good example is France, which has increased its share of international students from China from "a few hundred" in 1998 to 6,300, according to the local EduFrance office in Beijing (page 7). In fact, a recent report on trends in international recruitment showed that France, along with Japan, is exhibiting the strongest global growth rate (page 7).

Another factor that should be considered when marketing to students is the extra-curricular activities on offer. Agencies report that there is, in many markets, a trend towards active language learning (page 11), and schools similarly attest that clients expect more in terms of free time activities. In South Africa, for example, juniors want whale watching or safaris now, and one school in Canada ties overnight zoo visits into lessons (page 22).

Schools are responding well to a demand for course innovation. In Spain, institutions are developing programmes such as weekend courses, Spanish and salsa or work experience (page 36). Agencies similarly need to try and stay focused on client needs, and their profile. In Italy, where the market is picking up, agencies point to increased marketing as the root of their confidence for 2007.

Active industry

WYSTC goes down under
EdNZ assumes overseas responsibility
Schools likely to pay for new UK visa system
UK and NZ are top destinations for Chinese
American Council on Education forecasts US slide but global growth
Students in Germany under tighter scrutiny

Travel News
Ryanair bids for Aer Lingus, Lufthansa expansion plans, New low cost carrier from HK to London, Flybe takes over BA routes

Agency News
IAlphe Russia cements its reputation
Alto survey reveals focus on partnerships

Agency Survey
Italy changes gear
After slow momentum in the Italian marketplace, the last business year has been more dynamic, with agencies pointing to a more diverse portfolio and a stronger economy as factors that helped build business.

This year's Feedback survey on France showed greater interest among students for short-term French language courses geared towards those learning the language for pleasure only. Significant changes among the top nationalities were also in evidence.

Course Guide
High school year courses in Canada
With its reputation for safety and a healthy outdoor lifestyle, Canada is an attractive proposition for school-age children and their parents when it comes to studying in a high school overseas.

Summer in Germany
A summer vacation course in Germany promises sightseeing, sports activities and attention to teaching instruction. We find out more about the sector and profile a variety of programmes available.

Regional Focus
HIllinois awaits
Amish villages, the Great River Road, the city mecca of Chicago, and regional wine trails; these can all be explored by students studying in Illinois. Amy Baker also finds out more about the legendary US Midwestern hospitality.

Malta 2005
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine, which gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. For the first time, it is possible to compare world market statistics.