Australia to fund study in Asia
The Australian government is to provide grants for 10,000 students to undertake studies in Asia, as part of a drive to increase engagement with the region.
The AUS$37 million (US$38.6 million) AsiaBound programme will offer grants of between AUS$2,000 (US$2,086) and AUS$5,000 (US$5,215) to students who want to do short or semester-long study exchanges, while AUS$1,000 (US$1,043) grants will also be available for preparatory language study.
Additionally, the government’s OS-HELP loan scheme will be broadened, with the maximum available for study in Asia increasing from AUS$1,250 (US$1,303) to AUS$7,500 (US$7,822) in 2014 and eligibility extended to postgraduate students. Loans of AUS$1,000 (US$1,043) will also be available to pay for intensive Asian language training prior to study abroad.
Announcing the initiative, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said, “This is a programme to give Australian students the opportunity to build lifelong professional networks and friendships.” He added, “For a long time, Asian students have enjoyed educational opportunities here in Australia, but student mobility must go both ways.”
The AsiaBound initiative complements the release of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, which aims to increase engagement with the Asian region. Studies of Asia will become a core part of the high school curriculum under the plans.
Atlantic Language to open Dublin school
Atlantic Language is set to open a new school in the heart of Dublin, adding to its original centre in Galway that has been operating for 19 years.
Due to open on February 4, the new Dublin school is located in a modern, architect-designed building at Magennis Place, beside Trinity College and near other key attractions of the city. The school will feature 16 classrooms, with facilities including smart boards, free Wi-Fi access, student computers, a caféteria and student lounge.
“In Dublin, Atlantic Language will continue its tradition of delivering high-quality language programmes in a friendly, personal atmosphere,” related John Daly, Managing Director at the school, adding, “Ireland’s historic capital offers students a dynamic and creative environment for learning and discovery.”
In addition to General English, the Dublin school will offer the Undergraduate Foundation Programme to international third-level students preparing for study at the National University of Ireland, Galway, as well as Ielts and Cambridge examination preparation classes.
Lines expands into USA
Lines, a provider of intensive academic language courses for teenagers, has announced that it will open a new centre in Philadelphia, USA, for 2013, adding to its two centres in the UK and one in France.
Philadelphia courses will be offered at Haverford College, a private co-ed college established in 1833. Tailor-made programmes will feature 24 lessons per week, with an average class size of six to seven students from the same age and level. Creative and academic workshops including Performing Arts, Film Production, Journal Production, Exam Preparation, Business English and Academic English are offered on top of the English language curriculum.
The all-inclusive programmes include accommodation in single rooms, meals, laundry, Internet access, all educational materials, excursions and sports activities. During evenings and excursions, students will mix with domestic students pursuing Julian Krinsky Camps & Programmes (JKCP) at Haverford, ensuring full immersion across the course.
Dirk van Nieuwenborgh, General Manager at Lines, said agents had prompted the expansion into the USA. “A great majority of our students come to the UK to learn English, but after a few years, they are looking for quality programmes in the USA. Our agents have pushed us to move and to open a similar high-profile school in the USA.”
Exportise announces fourth summer venue
Exportise has announced Charterhouse School as the fourth UK venue for its summer sports and music camps.
Based in Goldalming, Surrey, Charterhouse School is renowned as the birthplace of the modern rules of association football, and one of the sports courses offered by Exportise will be football in partnership with Arsenal Soccer Schools.
Other programmes at Charterhouse will be dance, hockey and tennis, all offered in combination with English language lessons or as an academy programme consisting of six hours of professional coaching per day. Accommodation at Charterhouse will be in primarily single rooms, differing from Exportise’s other centres.
Remco Weeda, Commercial Manager at Exportise, said the need for a July centre was behind the expansion, as well as the desire for a quality sports centre near London. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to be partnering a top UK boarding school. We take our partnerships very seriously and we are proud to be partnering Charterhouse. When this opportunity presented itself, we did not have to think long about it.”
Courses at Charterhouse in 2013 will commence from July 7 and continue until August 3, although other centres will run later into the summer.
NSW offers travel discounts for students
International students in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, will benefit from a 35 per cent discount on public transport, the government has announced.
Andrew Stoner, Acting NSW Premier, announced the initiative as the first stage of the government’s response to the International Education and Research Taskforce report. Safety concerns for students saving money by walking home late at night were highlighted. “Safety is the number one concern for parents… and it’s important we address the total package for life as an international student,” said Stoner.
The move could be worth potential savings of AUS$800 (US$834), and Stoner said it bought NSW into line with most other states in Australia. Victoria is now the only state with no overseas student public transport concessions.
However, student groups highlighted remaining disparities. Domestic students receive 50 per cent discounts on most ticket types in NSW, while the international concessions relate to quarterly and annual tickets. Global education provider Navitas called for the government to go further. “While welcoming this move, we will continue to encourage the NSW Government to move to parity between concessions for domestic students and discounts for international students,” said Rod Jones, Navitas CEO.
London Met loses a third of non-EU students
London Metropolitan University (LMU) has lost over a third of its non-EU students since being stripped of its Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status, despite a high court ruling that all existing students would be allowed to continue their studies.
Around 1,000 of the students affected have now graduated or completed their courses. Of the remaining 1,385 students affected by the ruling, just over 800 have chosen to stay at LMU to continue their studies, according to figures confirmed by LMU’s press office.
As previously reported (see STM, October 2012, page 8), LMU’s HTS status was removed in late August by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) after an investigation.
The government initiated a UK£2 million (US$3.2 million) support fund for students that were left out of pocket, and this reportedly received around 150 applications for assistance with visa reapplication, tuition fees and additional expenses.
Government funding for associations in Canada
The Canadian government will continue to support international education through the Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) funding programme, the Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast, recently announced at Eurocentres Vancouver, a member of the language school association Languages Canada.
Sharon Curl, Languages Canada President and owner of Eurocentres Canada, and Andrew Scales, Academic Director of the University of British Columbia’s English Language Institute, welcomed the minister and represented the association, which received CAN$80,000 (US$80,480) for 2013/14. The GOA grant for Languages Canada is designated to fund two projects: to promote Canadian French language education through recruitment fairs and events in Brazil, Mexico and the USA, and to further develop markets in Brazil and Saudi Arabia by organising missions to attract international students.
In addition to Languages Canada, other recipients of awards within Canada’s international education sector included the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Canadian Association of Public Schools International, the Canadian Bureau for International Education and the National Association of Career Colleges.
Ireland signs deal to attract Brazilian students
A new education and research agreement will see up to 4,000 Brazilian undergraduate students study in Ireland over the next four years, it has been announced.
The deal was signed during Enterprise Ireland’s trade mission to Brazil and forms part of Brazil’s Science Without Borders programme, which aims to send 100,000 students to study at university level overseas. The arrangement is in addition to 1,500 postgraduate study places in Ireland that the Brazilian government had previously announced funding for.
Marina Donohoe, Head of Education at Enterprise Ireland, the government organisation responsible for the global development of Irish business, said the deal would help to drive collaboration and growth in research and academic exchange between the two countries, and could deliver €15 million (US$19.2 million) in fee income and an additional €19 million (US$24.3 million) in spending to the Irish economy.
Ireland’s Trade and Development Minister, Joe Costello, who signed the agreement in Brazil, said, “This is a major boost for the international third-level education sector in Ireland, which currently hosts just over 100 third-level Brazilian students per year, so this will be a truly substantial increase.”
The agreement confirms Ireland’s growing attraction as a study destination for Brazilian students. Study Travel Magazine’s Market Analysis of the English language school sector in Ireland (see STM, July 2012, pages 59-62) showed that Brazil had grown substantially to become the second largest market during 2011 in terms of student weeks.
News in brief
Overseas students decline in Singapore
Following a decline in private institution numbers, international student enrolments in Singapore have dropped by around 11 per cent since 2009, according to a recent written parliamentary reply by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang. In 2009 the Private Education Act was introduced, requiring all institutes to be registered. As of July 2012, there were 84,000 international students enrolled at private and state-run schools, universities and polytechnics.
Loyalist Group announces more Canada acquisitions
The Loyalist Group Limited has acquired two Languages Canada member schools: Cornerstone Academic College of ESL, Toronto, and Victoria International Academy. Listed on the Canadian TSX Venture Exchange since January 2011, the company previously acquired Pacific Group International College and West Town College.
New base for Living Learning English
Living Learning English (LLE), an English language homestay organisation based in Bristol, UK, has moved to larger premises to accommodate its growth in staff and activities. Housed in a five-storey Georgian building, the new location has a new library and study areas. LLE was established in 1994 and now employs seven-full time and two part-time administrative staff.
New website for Study-Globe
Netherlands-based agency Study-Globe has rebranded and launched a new website. Initially available only in Dutch with further languages to follow, the website features information about the agency’s portfolio of language and education programmes.
Ingle launches new insurance product
Intrepid 24/7 has been launched by Ingle International as an end-to-end travel, health and security assistance product, providing access to in-house emergency medical and security assistance. “Intrepid 24/7’s services include pre-travel medical and security screening capabilities, mid-trip emergency assistance, post-travel claims management, as well as health care and security navigation services,” said Head of Operations and Managed Care, Raffy Karagossian.
Triposo wins WYSE app contest
Triposo, a mobile travel app that provides personalised travel recommendations to consumers based on their location, has been announced as the winner of the second World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation (WYSETC) annual App Yap contest. Meanwhile, WYSETC has announced that its San Diego Declaration promoting youth tourism has been added to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s next General Assembly in August, where it will be considered for full adoption.
Emirates has launched a four-times-weekly service between Adelaide and Dubai, marking the first non-stop route between south Australia and the Middle East. “We are investing in South Australia for the long haul,” said Salem Obaidalla, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for the Far East and Australia. He added that the new service, soon to operate daily, “will carry more than 20,000 passengers each year between South Australia and Dubai, with the UK and Europe expected to be the strongest markets”.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has started a direct service between Manila and Toronto, opening the first gateway between the eastern seaboard of North America and the Philippines since the carrier dropped its Manila-Vancouver-New Jersey route in 1997. Domingo Enerio, Chief Operating Officer at the Department for Tourism in the Philippines, said that PAL is also looking to launch a route between London or Europe and Manila later this year, although plans are likely to be delayed since the country’s ban on flying in the EU was not lifted after it failed a safety review conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The ban was imposed in 2010 when carriers in the country first failed the safety review. It was also banned from serving the USA in 2008. The next ICAO inspection is scheduled for next month.
Flyers using the German carrier Lufthansa are now able to use self-service baggage check in facilities at Munich Airport, with six baggage drop-off machines now installed at the south end of terminal 2 and a further 13 due to be added by November. Facilities at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s largest base, are also undergoing a test run and 16 machines will be in operation by the middle of this year.
Qantas has increased fares for most international flights from Australia by three per cent, after reports in August last year that the carrier made a loss in the 2011/12 financial year for the first time in 17 years. “Pricing is reviewed continuously across all routes, taking into account demand and capacity, competitor activity and business performance,” said a spokesperson for the carrier. “These increases are reasonable in the current environment and we believe they are sustainable. Our fares remain competitive and continue to represent great value for our customers.” The airline also increased fuel surcharges for international flights by AUS$30 (US$31) in April last year.
On a more positive note for travellers, passengers flying from Australia no longer have to declare pre-packaged commercially-prepared food. Tim Chapman from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry commented, “The changes are the result of the latest scientific advice. Some commercially-prepared and packaged goods pose a lower risk. We anticipate people not carrying high-risk goods will have a faster path through the airport and will be able to get home or continue on with their travels more quickly.”
American Airlines will provide new connections between Asia and the Americas with the launch of non-stop flights from its Dallas Fort Worth hub to Seoul and Lima later this year. “These new routes will provide more convenient access to key international destinations,” said Virasb Vahidi, Chief Commercial Officer. “When we look at the top 10 global markets, Seoul is one of those top markets.” The daily flight to Seoul Incheon will start from May 19, allowing customers travelling from South Korea to connect to more than 200 flights from Dallas to US and Latin American cities. The service to Lima, meanwhile, will begin from April 2, connecting passengers to the existing non-stop service between Dallas and Tokyo.
Air France will run temporary services from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul in the USA and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia this summer, adding to the airline’s extensive international long-haul network. The flight to the USA, operating from May 21 until September 1, is part of a joint venture between Air France-KLM, Alitalia and Delta Air Lines that will provide connections between Europe and North America. Customers on the flight to Kuala Lumpur, operating from April 22, will be able to take advantage of connecting opportunities to Jakarta in Indonesia offered by KLM. The flight to Kuala Lumpur will operate three times a week.