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January 2009 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Market Report
Direction
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
Regional Focus
Status

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UK cautious


The UK study abroad industry is cautious, but agencies are thinking outside the box and relying on strong branding to see them through a recession.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by the six agencies in our survey was 3,113

• Three of the agencies surveyed dealt with placements in English-speaking countries too

• Average business growth was 10 per cent

Spain was the most popular destination for British students, followed by France

• The average length of stay for outbound British students was four weeks

Language learning was the mainstay of agency business, followed by higher education

No agency charged clients a handling fee


Top destinations Most popular courses
1. Spain 23%
2. France 20%
3. UK 11.5%
4. USA 10%
5. Cuba 8%
6. Germany 7%
7. Italy 6%
8. China 2%
Other 12.5%
1. General 37%
1. Intensive 26.5%
3. Summer vacation 8%
4. Language & work experience 6%
5. Academic / exam preparation 5%
6. University foundation 3.5%%
7. Business 3%
8. Junior 2%
Other 9%

Top languages Average percentage agency business
1. Spanish 38%
2. French 25%
3. English 13%
4. German 9%
4. Italian 9%
6. Chinese 2%
7. Japanese 1%
Other 3%
1. Language learning 78%
2. Higher ed. 10%
3. Internships 4%
4. Work & travel 3%
5. Volunteer 2%
Other 3%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new business partners?
1. Word-of-mouth 30%
2. Website 27%
3. Advertising in press 11%
4. Mail shots 4%
5. Seminars to students 2%
6. Advertising on TV/radio 1%
Other 25%
1. Workshops 48%
2. Fairs & expos 22%
3. Internet 18%
4. LTM/ETM 10%
5. Other press 2%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Australia
Acpet 60%
English Australia 40%

Canada
Languages Canada 40%

France
Souffle 60%
FLE.fr 60%
L'Office 60%
Unosel 60%

Ireland
MEI~Relsa 60%

Italy
Asils 80%
Italian in Italy 20%

Malta
Feltom 40%

New Zealand
Ed. NZ 20%
English NZ 20%

Portugal
Aeple 40%

South Africa
Eltasa 0%
English SA 20%

Spain
Fedele 80%

UK
ABLS 60%
English UK 80%
British Council 100%

USA
AAIEP 40%
Accet 20%
CEA 0%
UCIEP 20%

International
Eaquals 80%
Ialc 80%
Quality English 60%
Tandem 60%


Market growth
Of the six agencies that took part in this month’s Agency Survey on the UK, two posted a negative growth in 2008, while growth across other agencies ranged from six to 35 per cent (average 10 per cent). Those three agencies with the best growth figures all worked with English language learning destinations too, however, illustrating that there is possibly more buoyancy in this particular language learning market. These companies have spread their wings to become a global agency working with clients in more than one country, it seems. Regarding UK clients travelling, the prognosis for the future is cautious – agencies generally indicated that slow growth was possible, but much depends on the economy. One agency predicted that clients would remain loyal to companies with strong brands and a good name.

Language and destination trends
Spanish remains the most popular language to study abroad, as it was in our last survey of the UK market (see LTM, February 2006, pages 14-15), and Latin America and Cuba were cited as popular destinations, as well as Spain itself (in number-one position). French remains high up on the list but German and Italian were trailing English as a requested language. Indeed, one agency said that its English placements worldwide would expand much more rapidly than other languages. China made its first appearance in the league table, accounting for an average of two per cent of business.

Student and course trends
In our last survey, 36 per cent of clients were said to be studying for pleasure only, but there seems to have been a slight change here in terms of motivations to go abroad. While most agencies only indicated general reasons for travel without percentage statistics, it seemed that work or study were the two chief explanations for a study trip. One agency told us that “life enhancing reasons” were predominant, although another indicated that language and activity holidays were also popular. Just looking at outbound British students, the average length of stay was four weeks, up slightly from the 2.8 weeks recorded previously, although this rose to 11 weeks if UK-bound business was included.

Agency business
Although there was interest in work-oriented language learning, work and travel programmes did not represent a significant business sector overall among UK businesses. Language learning programmes (including language and activity holidays) represented 78 per cent of overall business, while higher education placements accounted for a further 13 per cent of business. Agencies relied on word-of-mouth primarily to recruit clients, followed closely by their website and “other” mediums which included online marketing and email promotions. Agencies represented, on average, 79 schools in 21 countries, and worked with a good number of these partners in the last 12 months – typically, 60.

Looking ahead
Agencies are cognisant of the fact that it is a difficult operating environment, and one agency drew attention to the relatively high value of the pound sterling as a negative pressure in 2008. All agencies said slow growth would be the best possible outcome, although there was confidence that such an outcome can be obtained in 2009.


Economic overview

• The UK economy is in recession and expected to contract by one per cent in 2009, the first year of negative growth since 1992.

• The UK government nationalised two banks and bailed out three others with UK£37 billion (US$59.3 billion) of taxpayers’ money last year.

• House prices are expected to fall 10 per cent in 2009, deepening losses seen in 2008, and unemployment is expected to rise. And the value of the pound against the euro hit an all-time low last year.
However, inflation is expected to fall, which will mean a drop in interest rates, leading economists to predict a short-lived recession may be likely.

Source: Reuters/Guardian.


UK agencies named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Chile: Latin Immersion, Santiago. In China: JBC Centre (Tongji University International School), Shanghai. In Cuba: Caledonia Languages, Santiago de Cuba; Sprachcaffe, Havana. In France: Accord, Paris; Alpha B, Nice; BLS, various. In Spain: Escuela de Idiomas Nerja, Nerja; Estudio Sampere, various; Iria Flavia, Santiago de Compostela; Malaca Instituto, Malaga.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in our survey: Cactus Language, Caledonia Languages Abroad, CESA Languages Abroad, Global Training, Education & Consultancy Ltd., Lanacos UK; Red Dragon Languages Consultancy.


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.

Name

Company
Country

Telephone

Email


 ACCOMMODATION
Britannia Student
      Services  

AGENTS / CONSULTANTS
Bridge Agency
      Overseas
      Education
      Centre  
Intellect Agency  

ASSOCIATIONS / GROUPS
English Australia  
English UK  
MEI-Relsa Ireland  
Perth Education
      City 

SERVICES
Internet Advantage
InTouch  
Your World on
      Monday  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

WORKSHOP / EXPOS
Alphe Conferences 
English Australia  
English UK  
MEI-Relsa Ireland 

AUSTRALIA
Ability Education  
Australia4U  
English Australia  
Geos International
      Schools
      (Australia, Canada,
      Costa Rica,
      England, France,
      Ireland, Japan,
      Korea, Malta,
      New Zealand,
      Singapore, South
      Africa, Spain,
      Thailand, USA)
Perth Education
      City  

BELGIUM
Ceran Lingua
      International 
      (Belgium, France,
      Spain, UK)
 
CANADA
Hansa Language
      Centre of Toronto  
Saint Charles
      Garnier College  
Stewart College
      of Languages  

ENGLAND
Ardmore Language
      Schools (UK, USA)
Bell International 
      (Malta, UK) 
Camp Beaumont  
Hampstead School
      of English  
Homelingua  
IP International
      Projects GmbH  
      (England, France,
      Germany, Spain)
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)
Millfield School  
Plus 
      (Ireland, Italy,
      UK, USA)  
Prime Education  
Queen Ethelburga's
      College  
Reaseheath
      College  
RLI Language
      Services  
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
      Academy  
Wimbledon School
      of English  

FRANCE
Langues Sans
      Frontieres  

GERMANY
Carl Duisberg
      Centren 
      (England, Germany) 
F+U Academy  
      (Germany, Spain)
inlingua Berlin  
International
      House Berlin -
      Prolog  

JAPAN
Kai Japanese
      Language School  
Tamagawa
      International
      Language School  

MALTA
Clubclass
      Residential
      Language School  
Iels - Institute of
      English Language
      Studies  
inlingua Malta  

MEXICO
Centro Marista de
      Idiomas - Cemadi  

NEW ZEALAND
Fern English  
Languages
      International 
Leisure Learn
      English  
Seafield School
      of English  
Unique New
      Zealand Education

NORTHERN IRELAND
North West
      Academy of
      English  

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Active English  
Clare Language
      Centre  
ISI - International
      Study Institute
      Ireland  
Language College
      Ireland  
MEI-Relsa Ireland  

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and
      Activity Camps.  
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)
Glasgow School
      of English  
University of
      Glasgow  

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies  

SPAIN
Castila - Centro de
      Estudios
      Hispánicos  
International House
      Sevilla - Clic  
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      USA)
Eurocentres
      International  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Japan, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)

THAILAND
Prem Tinsulanonda
      Center for
      International
      Education  

USA
Boston Academy
      of English  
EF International
      Language Schools  
ELS Language
      Centers  
Global Language
      Institute  
University of
      Delaware  
University of
      Nevada Reno  
University of
      South Carolina  
Zoni Language
      Centers  
      (Canada, USA)