2012 is shaping up to be a celebratory year in the industry, with the London School of English, Columbia University’s American Language Program and Carl Duisberg all enjoying landmark anniversaries.
The London School of English reaches its centenary this year. The school, which specialises in short intensive training aimed at business professionals, will commemorate the anniversary by working with Oxford University Press on a project tracking changing trends in Business English over 100 years. A high-profile party is also planned for the autumn. “It is a great honour to be presiding over the school for this remarkable anniversary,” said Chief Executive, Timothy Blake. “Throughout our history we have offered top-quality, personal service and this core aim remains the same. I am well aware that to keep our place at the high end of this competitive field, we need to keep evolving and looking forwards.”
In 1912 the American Language Program (ALP) was launched at Columbia University. David H Quinn, Senior Lecturer, said, the ALP was founded in response to New York’s increasing internationalisation. Since then students from over 100 countries have been educated at a centre that promises “intensive English in New York City at an Ivy League University”. ALP students enrol for undergraduate and postgraduate preparation, or to enhance skills in specialised fields such as business, law and engineering. “We have a method to take students to an extremely high level: that of a well-educated native speaker of English,” said Quinn. “We help international students think critically, creatively and effectively and do it in accurate, sophisticated English.”
Carl Duisberg Centren is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. “One of the company’s core competencies continues to be providing German language courses to international individuals, corporations and institutions,” said Anja Thiede. CDC has four centres across Germany.
Meanwhile, The English Language Consultancy Service (ELCS) of the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy celebrated its 25th anniversary recently with a reception on the terrace of the British Consulate in Milan.
Online language test goes global
LanguageMAP, a new online English language test for use by education advisors, has been launched by researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) and International Education Services (IES), Australia.
Developed by Dr Michael Harrington from UQ’s School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies, LanguageMAP is a programme that enables advisors to reliably assess clients’ English skills in only 15 minutes.
The tool has been developed over four years, including three research trials involving over 1,200 English learners. “Until now, our agents could only answer questions about a clients’ language proficiency following a traditional English skills test, such as Ielts or Toefl, which can be expensive. With LanguageMAP, an agent will have an indication of their clients’ proficiency within 15 minutes and without having to leave their desk,” said IES Managing Director, Chris Evason.
Accessing a network of global agents via its PIER brand IES has given approximately 2,100 advisors free access to LanguageMAP for the next 12 months.
Move towards Asian Erasmus scheme
Major universities in Japan, Korea and China will launch joint degree programmes from this year as part of the Campus Asia programme. The project has been modelled on Europe’s Erasmus scheme and is designed to foster academic exchanges between the three countries and reverse the trend of East Asian students looking to the West for higher education.
Campus Asia has formed 10 consortia, each consisting of three members one university from each country. Seoul National University, Peking University and the University of Tokyo have formed a consortium offering Master’s degrees in Public Policy and International Relations, and are working on ways to issue multiple degrees for the completion of one year at each school.
Dongseo University, Korea, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China, and Ritsumeikan University, Japan, meanwhile, will be providing joint undergraduate courses with internship opportunities.
A total of 300 students are expected to participate in the inaugural year. Students will only pay for tuition in their home countries and will receive return flight tickets and monthly living expenses for one-year stays abroad. A project development fund will also provide institutions with assistance for hiring teaching assistants and offering language programmes.
LAL opens new look Cape Town centre
Following a ZAR3million (US$376,000) refurbishment project, LAL South Africa has relaunched its Cape Town language centre.
The school, located 200 metres from the Atlantic Ocean in the trendy suburb of Sea Point, now has a capacity of 280 students at one time. The academic area has been relocated to the ground floor of the main building with a courtyard space and new classrooms. Single and twin accommodation on the first floor has been upgraded, while former classrooms in the San Building opposite have been converted into dormitory style accommodation.
Shaun Fitzhenry, General Manager, said, “Students enrolling at language schools have become more discerning than ever before and are demanding the best possible value for their money. At LAL Cape Town this is the message we’re paying heed to, and this is why we have refurbished our school to make it the best-equipped language school in the country.”
French wine course gets English spirit
Students at the Bordeaux International Wine Institute (BIWI) will from this year be able to take part of their specialised MBA in Wine Marketing and Management in London to learn about the spirits industry.
The eight-week session will be delivered in English and led by experts in the wine and spirit trade, covering topics such as branding, development of international markets and consumer behaviour. London was selected because of its strategic position and expertise in the spirits industry, with several gin distilleries in the city.
“The leadership of the specialised Wine Marketing and Management programme will only be strengthened by our presence in London,” said Laurent Bergeruc, BIWI Programme Director. BIWI is part of the Inseec Group, which has a business school campus in London’s Marylebone area.
Canada to take PhD students as residents
The Canadian government has announced that it intends to accept up to 1,000 international PhD students per year as permanent residents through the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
Minister of State, Gary Goodyear, said, “Doctoral graduates play a unique role in the economy. They drive research, encourage innovation and pass on their knowledge through teaching. And quite simply, Canada needs more of them.”
International PhD students are now eligible to submit applications as federal skilled workers. To be eligible, applicants must have completed at least two years of study towards the attainment of a PhD and remain in good academic standing at a provincially recognised postsecondary educational institution in Canada. Those that have already completed studies are also eligible to apply within 12 months of their graduation.
UK schools come together as ELC
Four UK-based language schools English Language Centre York, Hampstead School of English, Manchester Academy of English and EAC Edinburgh have merged and will now operate under the ELC (English Language Centres) umbrella.
The four had been acquired by TUI Education Division over the past three years, and the company found itself in a position to offer a joined up product, said Paul Hawkes, Managing Director, adding that it would be a selection of schools rather than a group. Academic programming will be consistent across all centres, allowing students to transfer between them to complete courses. ELC will focus on adult provision while the company’s EAC brand will concentrate on junior courses.
“This new initiative enables us to offer four unique schools with a common set of courses which will provide the students with a simplified choice when they are deciding where they wish to attend,” Hawkes added. “The value of having four unique geographical locations with boutique schools allows the students to access the courses they want for their language level whilst delivering student-centred learning.”
Japanese loyal to Christchurch
A group visit of nearly 200 Japanese students to Christchurch College of English (CCEL) is being hailed as a turning point for the city’s language teaching sector.
The 187 students and seven teachers from Yokohama Jogakuin Junior High School represented comfortably the largest group visit to the city since the devastating earthquake in February 2011. The visit was monitored by the influential Japan Travel Bureau, which was expected to prepare a report on safety in Christchurch and how the city is recovering from the disaster.
“The visit by this large group of high school girls from Yokohama, Japan, reflects the very strong bond between Japan and New Zealand. Both countries have faced tragedies recently and our school in Christchurch has gained great strength from our long-standing partnerships in Japan,” said Rob McKay, Managing Director at CCEL. “This is not a time to be retreating into a shell and the Yokohama programme is a wonderful demonstration of loyalty and moving forward,” McKay added.
Cambridge Esol at Navitas & CLCI, A-levels at IH Dublin
Navitas English has recently been accredited by the University of Cambridge Esol as a Cambridge test centre authorised to deliver the paper-based tests at its centres in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Cairns.
“I am very pleased that Navitas English has been accredited as a Cambridge test centre for both paper and computer based tests this is a great vote of confidence in the work we do,” said Helen Zimmerman, Navitas English Executive General Manager. “The fact that Cambridge Esol paper based exams can now be conducted on our own campuses will enable Navitas English to enhance the range of services we offer to clients.”
In 2012 paper tests will be available in a range of exams, including the Cambridge Advanced Exam (CAE), which has recently been approved by the Department of Immigration for student visa applications.
Meanwhile, Cork Language Centre International (CLCI), Ireland, has become the authorised open Cambridge Esol examination centre for the city, meaning students can sit the exam without taking part in preparation courses there. CLCI is already the only school in Ireland authorised to hold both the Toeic Listening & Reading and the Toeic Speaking & Writing examination.
Odile Migieu, Managing Director at CLCI, said, “Not only does this allow us to further develop our strong reputation as a school, but it also allows us to provide a valuable service to learners of English as a second language in Cork. ”
Elsewhere, International Academy, Dublin, in association with International House Dublin, has been awarded international centre status by University of Cambridge Intenational Examinations, and will now offer a range of internationally recognised qualifications including Cambridge AS and A-level.
News in brief
Malaysian college eyes international students
SEGi International College plans to increase its ratio of international students from 10 per cent to 35 per cent over the next three years, according to an announcement by CEO, Lee Kok Cheng.
The college, which has six campuses across the country, offers a range of programmes in fields such as health, law, travel and tourism, business management and social sciences. “International intake this year has increased from less than 10 per cent to 10 per cent plus as we have been very aggressive this year,” said Lee. Between 20 and 30 programmes are added each year to increase its student population, both domestic and international, which currently stands at a combined total of 26,000. Around 40 per cent of international students currently studying at SEGi are from China.
Concord College to build more rooms
Concord College, a co-ed international boarding school in Acton Burnell, Shropshire, UK, has announced plans for a new two-storey student accommodation block. The building will feature 39 rooms with en suite facilities, a recreation area with kitchenette and an elevator for disabled access. The college has applied to Shropshire Council for the development and said this will rebalance the number of student bedrooms across the site. Concord has around 320 students from more than 40 countries, with 90 per cent of them boarding.
Go Study Australia opens Rome office
The education agency, Go Study Australia, has opened its fourth European office in Rome, Italy, catering to increasing demand in its largest market. The agency was established in 2007 and recruits European and South American students for all types of study in Australia and sold over 1,800 courses to European students during 2011. The company estimates that 90 per cent of its students come from Spain and Italy. It is hoped the Rome office will consolidate market share in Italy and facilitate more recruitment from the capital and south of the country.
Commenting on the growth, Gavin Dowling, Managing Director, said, “There are certainly some push factors with the economic crisis in Europe, but that is not the whole story. Australia is a wonderful destination for young Europeans, whether they want just to learn English and travel or if they are looking for a more complete tertiary education and possible migration pathways.” Dowling added, “We expect to see continued growth in both Spain and Italy as the power of word-of-mouth is fuelling our growth.”
Two of Europe’s biggest low-cost carriers have announced new bases. easyJet will open two new French bases in Nice and Toulouse from the summer to broaden its French domestic and pan-European network. Customer and Revenue Director, Catherine Lynn, said, “France is a strategic market for easyJet. Low cost penetration is only 24 per cent half the European average. The strategic investment will allow us to strengthen our position in one of Europe’s key markets.” Additionally, the airline is launching a three-times weekly flight from Bristol to Naples from May, and has also added a sixth daily flight from London Gatwick to Barcelona. Meanwhile, rival carrier Ryanair is to open a base at Wroclaw Airport in Poland from the spring. The airline will operate to 21 destinations from the base, including London Stansted, Bristol, Glasgow and Liverpool.
Air Berlin will become the only carrier to offer non-stop flights between Berlin and Los Angeles, commencing a three-times weekly service from May. It will also increase its flights from New York to Berlin to four times per week. Additionally, services to the Polish city of Gdansk will commence at the same time, and the Krakow-Berlin route will increase from four times a week to 12. Capacity to Moscow and St. Petersburg is also being increased. Air Berlin CEO, Hartmut Mehdorn, said, “With our new non-stop services to America and Poland and the increase in frequencies we are ensuring sustainable strength in our position in Berlin.”
Meanwhile, compatriot airline, Lufthansa will fly six-times weekly between Dusseldorf and Tokyo Narita from June, the company’s first direct connection between the two cities and adding to its routes from Frankfurt and Munich to the Japanese capital.
Weary travellers at Dubai International can take advantage of the airport’s new modular sleeping pods. The SnoozeCube units each contain a full-sized bed, a touch screen television and high-speed Internet access. Importantly, the units are connected to the airport’s flight information system to ensure that passengers can keep a check on their flight. The creator of SnoozeCube, Larry Swann, said, “Adopting innovative ideas has helped keep Dubai at the forefront of the travel and tourism industries. And the SnoozeCube is the perfect fit. Having researched airports around the world I realised that the travel experience can be enhanced by providing passengers a place to rest that is convenient, affordable, comfortable and safe.”
From April, Korean Air will become the latest carrier to operate long-haul services into London Gatwick, with a three-times weekly flight from Seoul Incheon, Korea. The carrier already operates a daily connection between Seoul and London Heathrow. Recently long-haul flights from Gatwick to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia by Air Asia X, and to the Vietnamese cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi by Vietnam Airlines have been announced.
UK based low-fare carrier, Jet2, will increase its portfolio of flights into Turkey with a twice-weekly service to Istanbul from its base in Manchester, adding to existing routes into Bodrum and Dalaman. Steve Heapy, Managing Director of Jet2, said, “Istanbul is the latest addition to the fantastic city and sun holiday destinations we offer direct from Manchester Airport. It is becoming an increasingly popular destination, so we’re really excited to be able to give travellers in the North West the chance to soak up the many delights on offer.”
Qatar Airways has added another Northern European gateway with the commencement of three-times weekly flights to the Norwegian capital of Oslo, adding to its presence in Stockholm in Sweden and Copenhagen in Denmark. Oslo becomes the 27th European city served by the airline, and the continent now accounts for a quarter of its global routes. With the connection from Doha, Qatar will now be offering the fastest journey from Oslo to Melbourne. “Qatar Airways has reached yet another milestone in Europe, with Oslo becoming the seventh European destination launched so far this year,” said Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker. “We are delighted to add this vibrant, scenic city of Oslo to our global route network, further strengthening our operations in Scandinavia and clearly proving how important this dynamic travel market is for Qatar Airways. We now operate 19 flights a week across three Scandinavian cities.”