|Hard to resist
I’ve been contemplating buying an iphone for sometime but have recently decided that I can wait no longer I need constant contact with the online world; what was that I was saying in a previous editorial about enjoying getting away from it all?!
The lure of the online world is increasingly evident in the study abroad industry, and more stories this month testify to this fact. Kaplan are now publishing iphone applications for Toefl students while Cambridge Esol has announced that one million visitors have visited its website, where language learners can keep track of their achievements online using an “ePortfolio” . Meanwhile, one hostel provider is promising to be the cheapest accommodation booking site on the web and vouching a money-back offer if proved wrong .
The Internet can offer a lot, increasingly so, but one thing that it cannot offer is a qualified recommendation, which as we all know is why agencies continue to be so important in the distribution chain. The many agent-oriented events held in the spring serve as a reminder as to the importance that educators continue to place on good agent networks , while in our UK Market Report, the only school reporting an upward trend on Korean enrolments attests this is due to focusing time and energy on agent partnerships and attending agent events in this country .
Good education agents like to be as clued up as possible about industry trends and course offerings, so we hope that our guide to targeted 50-plus programmes around the world will prove useful in your work . And another interesting topic touched upon this month is the issue of “green” credentials at language schools, or commitment to sustainability, which Canadian expert Terry Rogocki, who provided a lot of useful background information for this feature, defines as, “Taking responsibility to continuously develop a balance between social, environmental and economic considerations”.
Finding out about a school’s efforts towards sustainability is difficult to do online; this is often a subtle direction that schools are taking that is not marketed visibly as a selling point. This is because many schools feel a green approach to operations is not, in itself, a selling point, but an ethical belief. That said, I think this will become more commonplace until the appeal is hard to resist, much like the iphone, although the other end of the spectrum of things to care about!