July 2011 issue

Business Focus
Advisor Survey
Market Report
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus

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Japan rights itself

2010 proved a fruitful year for Japanese study abroad advisories, with some variation in favoured English-speaking destinations. While forecasts for 2011 are somewhat bleak, there are some positives to be gleaned.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by the seven advisories in our survey was 5,952

• Individual advisories placed between five and 4,500 students on courses per year

• Average business growth was 20 per cent in the last 12 months

• The average length of stay for Japanese students was 12 weeks

• Overall, 80 per cent of Japanese students stayed in host family accommodation when studying overseas

• An average of 26 per cent of advisory clients were learning a language for further studies overseas

In the last 12 months, advisories worked with an average of 37 different providers

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. Australia 39%
2. UK 18%
2. USA 18%
4. Canada 14%
5. New Zealand 5%
6. France 1%
6. Germany 1%
6. Ireland 1%
6. Malta 1%
6. Spain 1%
1. General 37%
2. Intensive 24%
3. Junior 12%
4. Summer 11%
5. Academic/exam prep. 7%
6. Business 2%
7. Language plus work 1%
8. Foundation 1%
Other 8%

Reasons for language travel Average percentage agency business
1. Studies overseas 26%
2. Future work 23%
3. Studies at home 18%
4. Pleasure 12%
5. Current work 11%
Other 10%
1. Language programmes 66%
2. Work & travel 14%
3. Higher education 11%
4. High school 1%
4. Volunteer 1%
4. Internships 1%
Other 6%

How do advisors recruit students?
How do advisors find new business partners?
1. Word-of-mouth 41%
2. Website 25%
3. Advertising in press 11%
4. Seminars to students 8%
5. Email/online marketing 3%
6. Mail shots 1%
Other 11%
1. Internet 36%
1. Workshops 22%
3. Fairs & expos 12%
4. STM 8%
5. Other press 3%
Other 19%

Percentage of advisors who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 37.5%
English Australia 75%
NEAS 25%

Languages Canada 37.5%

Souffle 12.5%
Groupement FLE 0%
L'Office 0%
Unosel 0%

MEI 25%

Asils 0%
Italian in Italy 12.5%

Feltom 25%

New Zealand
English NZ 50%
Aeple 12.5%

South Africa
EduSa 0%

Fedele 12.5%

ABLS 25%
English UK 63%
British Council 75%

Accet 25%
CEA 12.5%

Eaquals 25%
Ialc 37.5%
IHWO 12.5%
Quality English 25%
Tandem 12.5%

Market growth
After several years of decline, the Japanese language travel market experienced a slight reprieve in 2010, with seven of the eight agencies surveyed reporting increased or stable business growth. Overall, student weeks grew by 20 per cent, a marked improvement on the 1.2 per cent figure recorded previously (see LTM, August 2010, pages 24-25). However, it should be noted that one study abroad advisor indicated that student weeks had increased by 100 per cent and if omitted from the poll, average student weeks grew by nine per cent. The remaining agency reported a business decline of 20 per cent, although future bookings were up.

Language and destination trends
Accounting for 93 per cent of bookings, English is still the number one language of choice for Japanese students. Enquiries for other languages such as French and Spanish, which showed such promise in our 2008 analysis of student trends (see LTM, July 2009, pages 30-31), were significantly lacking in 2010. English-speaking destinations continue to top the polls (seven out of the top 10), with Australia streets ahead of the rest (39 per cent). One advisor sent clients exclusively to this destination, however. The USA was relegated to joint second alongside the UK (18 per cent), while Canada (14 per cent) was down 11 percentage points on previous results.

Student and course trends
When asked why students were booking a study abroad vacation, future work (23 per cent, compared with 21 per cent in 2009) and further studies overseas (26 per cent, compared with 27 per cent in 2009) factored highly. In 2009, learning a language for pleasure was cited by 26 per cent of agency clientele, however just 12 per cent pointed to this as a motivation in 2010. Requests for junior and summer vacation courses increased this year, up 12 and 11 percentage points respectively. This trend perhaps indicates a younger profile of student with one advisor forecasting that Australia and New Zealand would be hot for junior programmes in the future.

Advisor business
Language learning accounts for a significant portion of advisory business in Japan – notably 51 per cent in 2008, 69 per cent in 2009 and 66 per cent in 2010. However, Work & Travel appears to be a real growth area, up from six per cent to 14 per cent in 2010. Advisors were more reliant on student referrals in 2010 (41 per cent), with one agent attracting 100 per cent of all new clients via this means, but if excluded, this figure drops to 32 per cent.

Looking ahead
The devastating tsunami and earthquake that hit the east coast of Japan earlier this year will impact on student business this year, lamented several advisors. However, one advisor optimistically predicted that the crisis could well prompt more international education travel, with Japanese people realising the importance of international communication. Changes to UK visa rules were also flagged as a potential problem area for 2011.

Economic overview

• According to Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa, the estimated damage from March’s tsunami and earthquake will amount to three per cent to five per cent of nominal gross domestic product, or 16 trillion yen (US$192 billion) to 25 trillion yen (US$300 billion).

• The International Monetary Fund cut the 2011 growth forecast for Japan to 1.4 per cent from 1.6 per cent. The forecast for next year was raised to 2.1 per cent from 1.8 per cent.

• The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said Japan’s GDP growth may be reduced by as much as 0.6 percentage points in the first quarter and up to 1.4 percentage points in the second in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Sources: Bloomberg

Japanese advisors named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Browns English Language School, Brisbane & Gold Coast, QLD; Cambridge International College, East Perth, WA; Inforum Education Institute, Southport, QLD; International College of Queensland Australia English School (ICQA), Brisbane, QLD; Shafston College, Brisbane, QLD; University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD. In Canada: ILAC, Toronto, ONT; Okanagan College, Kelowna, BC; Vancouver English Centre, Vancouver, BC. In Ireland: Dublin City College, Dublin. In the UK: Concorde International, Canterbury; ETC International, Bournemouth; Leeds English Language School, Leeds; St Giles, London. International: EC, Embassy CES, ELS, Kaplan International Colleges, LSI, Global Village.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: My Inc – My Ryugaku Center, Arc Three International, Kaleido Ryugaku Service, Interac Co, Ryugaku Journal, Be Ryugaku, JTB Europe, Ryugakusite.com.

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The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.






Britannia Student Services  

Feltom Malta  
IALC International  
International House World Organisation  
Perth Education City  
Quality English  

Alphe Conferences  

Pearson Education  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

STM Digital  

Malta Tourism Authority  

Ability Education  
Academies Australasia  
Bond University  
Carrick Institute of Education  
English Language & Foundation Studies Centre  
Impact English College  
Language Studies International  
Melbourne Language Centre  
Pacific Gateway International College  
Shafston International College  
Southbank Institute of TAFE  
Think: Education Group  
University of New South Wales  
University of Tasmania  

International House Sol Group  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Saint Mary's University  

Angel Language Academy  
Cambridge Education Group - HO  
Camp Beaumont  
International House London  
Kaplan International Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
Malvern House College London  
King's Colleges  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
St Giles International  
Study Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  

International House Berlin - Prolog  

International House Ireland  

Dialogo Language Services  

Clubclass Residential Language School  
Feltom Malta  
inlingua Malta  

Escuela La Ola  
International House - Sevilla CLIC  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  

EF Language Colleges Ltd  
Eurocentres International  

Academia Uruguay  

Santa Barbara Business College  
ELS Language Centers  
UC Berkeley Extension  
University of Arizona  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Language Centers  

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