|The total number of students placed by the 8 agencies in our survey was 3.466
Individual agencies placed between 35 and 2.570 students on courses per year
Average business growth was 12.1 per cent in the last 12 months
The average length of stay for Czech students was four weeks
Overall, 62 per cent of Czech students preferred host family accommodation when studying overseas
A higher proportion of agency clients were studying abroad for future work purposes, namely 36 per cent
Language learning is the most lucrative sector of the study abroad market for Czech agents
|Most popular course requests
||Average percentage of agency business by sector
|1. Intensive 38%
2. General language 36%
3. Junior 19%
4. Business 3%
5. Summer vacation 3%
6. Academic/exam prep 1%
||1. Language programmes 98.5%
2. Higher education 1%
3. Secondary education abroad 0.5%
|Reasons for studying overseas
|1. Future work 36%
2. Current work 30%
3. Further work 18%
4. Further studies overseas 16%
5. Further studies at home 11%
6. Pleasure 7%
||1. UK 48%
2. Malta 17%
3. Australia 6%
4. Germany 6%
5. USA 5%
6. France 5%
7. Spain 4%
8. Canada 3%
9. Ireland 2%
10. Italy 1%
11. New Zealand 1%
|How do agents recruit students?
||How do agents find new schools to represent?
|1. Word-of-mouth 59%
2. Website 21.5%
3. Mail shots 8%
3. E/online marketing 4.5%
4. Seminars to students 2%
5. Advertising in press 1%
||1. Internet 24%
2. B2B conferences
3. Language fairs and student expos 16%
4. STM 7.5%
|Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
English Australia 57%
Languages Canada 57%
Groupement FLE 14%
Italian in Italy 14%
Eng NZ 57%
British Council 100%
English UK 100%
World Organisation 86%
Quality English 71%
Agency business increased over the last 12 months, a notable improvement on the negative business growth documented in out last analysis of this outbound student market (see LTM, pages 26-27). Individual reports did vary however with two agencies documenting a business increase, one noting a decrease and four reporting that bookings had remained stable. Average business growth came in at a healthy 12.1 per cent, compared with -15.3 per cent in our previous report. One agency had only reported on eight months worth of business, having only opened its doors at the beginning of 2012.
Language and destination trends
English continues to be the most popular language choice among Czech student clients (80 per cent). The next most requested language behind English was German with eight per cent. Given that a majority of student clients wished to study English, it is hardly surprising that seven out of the 11 destinations selected were English-speaking. Topping the poll was the UK with a 48 per cent slice of the pie, mirroring previous years’ findings. The USA appeared to lose market share, with just five per cent of all agency clients requesting this study destination, compared with 19 per cent previously.
Student and course trends
Motivation for study abroad was largely in keeping with our 2010 survey, with students learning abroad with future or current work purposes in mind (66 per cent, compared with 56 per cent). One agency said 100 per cent of clients were motivated by current work committments. Approximately 16 per cent of agency clientele intended to continue into further education when abroad, up 12 percentage points on 2010. All courses booked were language oriented, with intensive (38 per cent) and general (36 per cent) the two most requested language products. Czech agents also proved to be extremely active in sending younger learners overseas for language acquisition, with junior programmes accounting for 19 per cent of all courses booked, up five percentage points.
In 2010 there was much more variation in terms of business portfolios, with individual agencies specialising in sectors other than just language learning. This year however, agency business was almost solely geared towards the language learning sector, with 98.5 per cent of all business received routed to this sector of the market. If looking for new partners to work with, Czech agents relied on contacts found via the Internet (24 per cent) or b2b conferences (20 per cent). Recommendations from previous student clients helped establish agency credibility (59 per cent). The agency website also proved a valuable marketing tool (21.5 per cent).
General consensus among Czech agencies is that the outbound student market is plateauing. A majority of agents canvassed for this report said business over the next 12 months would emulate the previous year. One agent predicted that demand for intensive courses would increase, as would demand for family vacation courses.
• The number of dollar millionaires in the Czech Republic grew by more than five per cent to 17,100 in 2011, while worldwide the growth did not exceed one per cent, according to a report produced by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.
• The increase in the number of rich people was influenced by the growth of GDP, relatively low inflation, positive export balance and the position of the Czech crown currency. In contrast, a drop in real estate prices and a decrease in market capitalisation had a negative impact.
• The Czech Finance Ministry will cut its outlook of GDP growth for 2013 to 0.7 per cent from the current one per cent, Deputy Finance Minister Ladislav Mincic told Czech television.
• Finance Minister, Miroslav Kalousek, said that the performance of the Czech economy will be worse in 2013 than the Finance Ministry had expected. However, the economy will not plunge into recession, but grow by several tens of per cent.
Source: Prague Daily Monitor
Czech agents named a range of programmes they work with, including in Austria: Cultura Wein, Vienna. In Germany: ADK Augsburger Deutschkurse, Augsburg. In Ireland: International House Dublin, Dublin; Language in Dublin, Dublin. In Malta: Gateway School of English (GSE), St Julian’s. In Spain: Ya Hablas Idiomas, Alicante. In the UK: Churchill House School of English, Ramsgate; ECS Scotland, Edinburgh; ELC York; ELC Hampstead School of English, London; inlingua Cheltenham, Cheltenham; International House Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne; LTC Brighton; Sidmouth International School, Sidmouth; United International College, London; Winchester School of English, Winchester. International: LAL Group; St Giles International.
Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey:
Jazyky v Zahranici; Australia Expert; INTACT; English Language Consultancy; Kvalitni Skola; Channel Crossings; Horizonty; Eufrat Courses Abroad.