January 2008 issue

Agency News
Agency Survey
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New global player reveals its ambitions

A new company has been launched in the industry with ambitions to become a major global player, offering customised education packages in up to 10 destinations around the world.

Prime Education is a new venture from experienced professionals from within the study abroad industry. Andrew Hutchinson, Nigel Pamplin and Andrew Green are all ex-Study Group employees, while Jose Flores was previously Vice President of International Sales for Kaplan Aspect.

“We are looking to create a new force in international education,” stated Director of Prime Education, Andrew Hutchinson. “Having worked for many years in the industry, we can see the need for a new kind of educational provider.” He said that technology and innovation would be key features of the educational products delivered by Prime Education, and agent relationships would be pivotal to the success of the brand.

“We aim to build a world-class, medium-sized education business through active engagement with expert partner agents in our industry,” said Hutchinson, adding, “Partnership is the key word that defines our vision for Prime.” He said further details and more staff news would be unveiled in due course.

Koreans look to Asian destinations

As well as the number of Korean children studying English overseas rising (see Language Travel Magazine, December 2007, page 6), those looking to travel to Asian study destinations is also on the increase, according to the Korean Educational Development Institute (Kedi). Asian countries such as China, Singapore and the Philippines are all noted as being popular with Korean students, with China the second favourite overseas destination after the USA.

The third most popular study region is termed as “East Asia” – which has overtaken Canada in the top three destinations. The Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore represent 75 per cent of this market and 6,624 children went to study in this region in 2006. “More people migrate to East Asia as one can learn other foreign languages as well as English at a much lower cost,” said experts quoted in the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper.

Overall, 45,431 Korean children studied abroad in 2006, according to Kedi, and 14,474 chose to study in programmes in the USA.

Taiwan relaxes rules for study abroad loan

The Taiwanese government has eased access to low-interest loans for study abroad purposes. It announced in October that all students whose annual family income is lower than NT1.45 million (US$44,650) can now apply for the long-term, low-rate loans, raising the bar from the previous threshold was NT1.2 million (US$36,957).

The interest payments are now completely subsidised by the government for the grace period of a loan for the poorest applicants – those with incomes of less than NT1.14 million (US$35,104). And from now on, as reported in the China Post newspaper, interest payments will be halved for those declaring incomes of between NT1.14 million (US$35,104). and NT1.2 million (US$36,957).

Ireland shocked by girl’s murder in Galway

A Swiss language travel student was murdered earlier this year just three days after arriving in Galway in Ireland to undertake a two-week English language course. While police acted swiftly and charged a man with the murder, the industry rallied around to support the family of the girl, Manuela Riedo, who was just 17.

Ireland was shocked at the murder in a city that has the lowest per-capita crime rate in the country, with just two murders committed in 2006. Riedo was one of a group of students from Fribourg in Switzerland undertaking a course at the Galway Language Centre and staying with a host family. Police reported that she had been strangled while taking a short-cut into the city centre to meet friends.

Representatives from three of the city’s language schools attended Ms Riedo’s funeral near Bern in Switzerland and Director of Galway Language Centre, Beverly Bazler, took books of condolence signed by people in Galway. The Irish Ambassador to Switzerland also attended the funeral as did the mayor of Galway.

Patrick Creed, Director of Studies at the school, said, “Manuela Riedo had just started her studies with us when her life was so tragically cut short. We can’t imagine how painful this must have been and continues to be for her family and friends and we wish to express our deepest condolences to them.” He thanked the local people of Galway and the school’s students and staff for their support.

During Riedo’s funeral service, local mayor, Christian Muller, said that Ireland was not to blame and he praised the highly professional efforts of the police there. “Ireland is not responsible for this tragedy,” he said. “It was the act of a single perpetrator.” More than 1,000 people attended a memorial service for Riedo, an only child, in Galway on the eve of her funeral.

Icef China grows in size

The recent Icef China Workshop in Beijing, held in October, saw a marked increase in participation and the event is now established as the largest of Icef’s workshops after the flagship Berlin show. Of the 135 education institutions attending this year, 42 were universities from China, and Markus Badde, Chief Executive of Icef, pointed out this was a crucial factor in ensuring the success of the event.

“The workshop has adapted to the evolving market conditions in China in two important ways,” he said, explaining that, as well as focusing on Chinese students going abroad to study, the workshop addresses students wanting to go to China to study. “China is not only the world’s largest supplier of international students but also a major study destination as well,” said Badde.

In addition, “we feature not only education provider-agent appointments but also one-to-one meetings between education providers interested in Sino-foreign joint ventures,” he added.

Over 300 agents attended the Icef China Workshop from over 40 countries, with China, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Kazakhstan best represented. Tiffany Egler at Icef said enhanced screening and orientation of agents was employed this year, which resulted in better feedback from educators.

Work rules relaxed in NZ

More English language students in New Zealand will now have the chance to find part-time work while studying, since a change in regulations has meant that students are able to prove they meet the required English language level to have work rights once they are in the country.
Previously, students were only given the right to work if they could prove an English language level of Ielts 5 upon entering the country. Rob McKay from English New Zealand said the new rule was hopefully the first in a range of amendments to enhance New Zealand’s appeal to English language students. “English New Zealand has long campaigned for greater flexibility in these areas and sees the changes as acceptance by the government of its requirement to be responsive to changing industry needs,” he said. “Our discussions with government are continuing, and we expect further positive work-right adjustments for our students.”
The NZ government has also relaxed rules regarding visiting visas for family members of migrants to New Zealand, offering multiple-visit visas valid for three years. Graduating international students will also be able to stay longer in the country while looking for employment (see Education Travel Magazine, page 50).

Alphe Russia cements its reputation

The Alphe Russia workshop, held in St Petersburg in October last year, cemented its reputation as a “must-do” workshop on the circuit, according to Jessica Mathieu, Agent Organiser at Alphe. Over 100 agents from eastern European countries attended the event and Mathieu pointed out that no “no shows” meant that a serious business focus was shared by all invited participants.

Forty-nine educators travelled to Russia to do business with agencies from eight different countries in the region. Tatiana Evkina from Global Link in Russia commended the “opportunity to meet many education providers in Russia and spend a good time with them.” She mentioned new business avenues with universities and private schools as well as language schools.   

Educators represented a range of sectors. Prue Robertson of Harrogate Ladies’ College in the UK commented, “The agents that came to see me were genuinely interested in what we have to offer. The targeting really worked.”

The famous Winter Garden Hall was the venue for an evening dinner during the workshop and a trip to a Stroganoff restaurant was also arranged. “The social activities and the hotel, too, were great,” said Andrew Edwards of The English Language Centre Bristol in the UK. “It’s been a fantastic experience from a business perspective but also socially.”

Intuition buys out AEP in UK

Academic English Programmes (AEP), a home tuition company based in London, UK, has been purchased by InTuition Languages, also based in London. George Martin, who set up AEP in 1989, has retired from the industry.  

Norman Renshaw, Managing Director of InTuition Languages, said the acquisition of the 60-centre operation, which offered training in a teacher’s home, was “a valuable asset” that fitted perfectly into the Intuition portfolio. “We worked closely with AEP for many years, so it made a lot of sense when [Martin] retired to continue working with the host tutors and agents,” he said.

Intuition has 260 teacher centres nationwide and has been shortlisted for two years running for an LTM Star Award for English language provision.

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.





Ialc International  
Perth Education City
Quality English 

Bright World

Your World on Monday

Malta Tourism

Ibero Spanish School  

Ability Education 
English Language
Perth Education City 
Sydney English
Tafe NSW English
      Language Centres 
Universal English
      (Global Village

CERAN Lingua
      (Belgium, France,
      Ireland, Japan,
      Netherlands, Spain,

Bodwell College
Canadian &
      Student Services
      (Canada, Ireland)  
College Platon     
Maple Ridge / Pitt
      Meadows School
      District #42 
Nacel Canada
National School of
Richmond School
      District #38
School District #8
      Kootenay Lake
Stewart College of

Ardmore Language
      Schools (UK, US)
Bell International 
      (Malta, UK)
Bright World Summer
Camp Beaumont
English Studio
Heart of England
      Language School
Ialc International
Kaplan Aspect
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South Africa,
      UK, US)
LAL Language and
      Leisure (England,
      Malta, South Africa,
Liverpool International
      Language Academy
Malvern House College
Mountlands Language
Prime Education
Rose of York Language
St Giles Colleges
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Italy, New
      Zealand, South Africa,
      Spain, UK, USA)
Twin Group
      (Ireland, UK)

Alliance Française
Ecole L'Etoile
Institut de Touraine
Langues Sans
Silc - Séjours
      (France, Spain, UK)

Carl Duisberg Centren
      (Germany, UK)
International House
      Berlin - Prolog

Centre of English
      Studies (Ireland, UK)
English Language
Galway Cultural
ISI- International Study
      Institute Ireland
Swan Training Institute
University College


Kai Japanese
      Language School

EC Language Schools
      (Malta, South Africa,
      UK, USA)
Malta Tourism

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

Carmen Cuevas
Idiomas ¡Sí!
International House
      Sevilla - Clic
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispánico SL

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Italy, Malta,
      New Zealand, Russia,
      Spain, UK, USA)
      (Australia, Canada,
      France, Germany,
      Italy, Japan, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Spain, Switzerland,
      UK, USA)

Academia Language
ALCC - American
      Language &
      Communication Center 
Kaplan Aspect
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South Africa,
      UK, USA)
Seattle Language
Target International
      Student Center
University of California
      San Diego
Zoni Language Centers
      (Canada, USA)