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Contents - January 2010

Special report
Visa equity
Visa regulations are all about finding the right balance between enforcing national security and allowing citizens from other countries, with genuine motives, to enter a country to work or study. The ultimate aim is equity in the visa process – systems that deter fraudsters and welcome revenue-building migrants. Gillian Evans explores the latest visa developments.

Market Report
Bullish Spain
Activity-led programming is helping to attract new students from different markets. Meanwhile, changes in visa regulations for certain nationalities are also having a positive effect on business in Spain. Nicola Hancox reports.

Regional Focus
Having it all in New South Wales
As the most populous state in Australia, New South Wales is certainly not averse to people and international students are sure to feel right at home among the wider community. With world renowned beaches, bushland, mountains and landmarks it’s certainly one of Australia’s most popular states too. Jane Vernon Smith reports.

New directions

I was speaking recently to an Acting Director of Studies for a well known British language school chain, who was telling me about the company’s slight reorientation to fit in with the academic demands of its students (more Ielts courses on offer; university preparation programmes, etc). Indeed, as the world continues to become a “global village” in the eyes of its inhabitants, the slow progression of the study abroad market towards longer-term and career-led education choices continues. A foreign country now offers so much more than just a language study holiday; it yields new possibilities for long-term study and career options.

This issue testifies not only to the appeal of higher education as a study abroad motivator (24 per cent of all Russian students, for example, study English as a prelude to further studies abroad – pages 22-23), but it nods to the role of vocational training as a reason to study a language. MEGT, a vocational training provider in Australia, has recently announced its acquisition of Ability Education, which enables it to offer a “seamless service” of English language and vocational training to its clients, and, as Robert Parsonson, MEGT’s General Manager recently told me, allows MEGT to move into new, relatively untapped markets (page 6).

Meanwhile, we report on a new deal signed by TVET UK – representing technical and vocational training providers in the UK – which also highlights the nascent opportunities for vocational training organisations or colleges to move cross-border and deliver educational packages overseas (page 6). Six contracts have been awarded to UK colleges to provide vocational training in areas such as teacher training and engineering in Kazakhstan, training local college staff how to deliver particular courses.

What is it about a country that appeals to people to enrol in university there, move there or endorse its education system? Reputation is hard to pin down, but certainly the UK has a strong reputation for quality, as a reader in Oman acknowledges (page 9). The director of TVET UK said that Kazakhstan “aspired to the British model of creating a workforce”.

A recent survey undertaken by IDP casts more light on issues of reputation – its survey of 6,000 students revealed that, in fact, 58 per cent of those polled believe the USA to be the top destination for a quality education (page 6). These results might disappoint its competitors, notably Australia, which has strong and coordinated marketing campaigns, the latest of which kicks off this year. Yet TVET UK’s deal offers a glimpse of what coordinated action can yield.

New directions

IDP survey reveals USA rated top study destination,
Ability Education in Australia merges with MEGT
TVET in UK pulls off big Kazakhstani deal
Two more schools join the IH fold
Man-U offer launched in UK
New centres for ILSC and ELS
Drug testing for foreign students in Philippines
Review of student visa system in UK

Agency News
CEC Network re-emerges to controversy in Brazil
Vieca in Vietnam holds training conference
Autumn event roundup

Agency Survey
Russia challenged
In general, business for outbound education agencies was bleak in Russia in 2009 and only agents with pro-active business plans for 2010 are optimistic.

France Feedback
Western Europeans continue to monopolise the international student market in France, but North Americans are proving ever more prevalent. Meanwhile, more students are brushing up on their language skills for travel purposes.

Executive training in the USA
Current and topical course content, interaction with other business professionals and a focus on cultural familiarity and presentation skills; these aspects are typical of professional executive language training in the USA. Amy Baker reports.

Course Guide
High school prep in New Zealand
For those wanting to study at a high school in New Zealand, getting a place on a preparation programme is often the first step. Aside from providing the means for young students to acclimatise to their new education destination, preparation programmes also provide academic and language tuition that can help future high school students hit the ground running.

Malta 2008
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.

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