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Contents - January 2011


Special report
Junior courses
The market for junior programmes is still strong despite the difficult economic climate, and demand for programmes for younger aged children and more adventurous activities is on the up. Jane Vernon Smith talks to some key providers in this sector and finds out the latest regulatory challenges and trends.


Market Report
Demanding Spain
If anything, difficult market conditions in 2009 made Spanish educators more determined than ever to have a prosperous 2010. However, more support from the government and school associations is needed in the future, say providers. Nicola Hancox reports.




Destination
Scotland’s dramatic scenery
A warm and friendly people and magnificent unspoilt scenery await students interested in studying English in Scotland. With an excellent reputation for education it gives neighbouring England a run for its money. Jane Vernon Smith reports.



Resolving problems

As in any other international business sector, working with a number of different competitors and contacts in various countries and cultures worldwide can throw up difficulties that need to be overcome. On our news pages readers can find out about an online marketing tactic called ‘passing off’ whereby online advertisers can divert search engine users to their own websites when searchers were intending to find a competitor’s website (page 7). The legal implications of this – particularly involving companies that are situated in different countries – are somewhat hazy but the moral implications are clear, as most business people would not accept this as a fair practice if it happened to them.

The work of school and agency associations are vital in resolving differences between working cultures and instituting fair and reputable businesses practices for all to adhere to, and in cases such as the above a firm policy should be adopted by them. In most cases the dissemination of clear guidance and information is enough to head off problems before they become a major issue. Associations also need to be vigilant as to the activities of their members and offer practical advice to complainants when situations do arise.

As a whole, however, the language and education travel industry is a remarkably friendly one highlighted by the good times experienced by many at the wealth of education related conferences and events that took place at the end of last year. Our Grapevine section (pages 10-12) shows a selection of pictures taken at just some of these events depicting the lively social scene – involving plenty of eating, drinking and talking – that takes place. Indeed for many, agent conferences and annual association meetings provide a highlight in a busy working year.

The friendly atmosphere generated at such events provides a good backdrop for some of the more serious work that takes place between individuals and industry groups – including, recently, the signing of an agreement between the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism and Brazilian agency association Belta to more forcefully promote the incoming education sector (page 10). In an industry where colleagues are separated for much of the year by vast continents, it is events like these that ensure that misunderstandings don’t take place and can be resolved if they do. Best business practices should be the concern of everyone in the industry as ultimately everyone with a long-term goal in the industry gains from them.


Opinion
Resolving problems

News
Australian government releases international student strategy
Kaplan opens foundation college in UAE
ECI Dublin joins Ialc
ILSC expands in USA and Australia
Internet marketing practices challenged
UK schools announced merger
ICEF partnership with Languages Canada

Agency News
Chinese agents branded NZ ‘specialists’
Focused workshops for ICEF and Alphe

Agency Survey
China hots up
With demand for higher education overseas remaining consistently high, Chinese agencies report that the number of students looking to learn a language for future or current work purposes is on the rise.

Feedback
Australia
A greater spread of nationalities took part in this year’s Feedback survey on Australia, and agent usage was slightly down on last year’s results.

Courseguide
Junior programmes in Canada

Spotlight
English in Singapore
For students wanting to learn English in Singapore, there are a range of providers to choose from. Those choosing to study in this country often have an eye on further academic or business goals.

Status
Malta 2009



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