July 2013 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus
Market Analysis

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On the move

inlingua Washington DC in the USA is pleased to announce that Laura Medina has joined its team as the new Sales and Marketing Manager. Ms Medina has a wealth of experience in the language industry. During the last nine years, she worked for a chain of French schools under the name of Education en France/Escapades, where she contributed to building a very robust network of agents by closely working with partners and clients to help them meet their respective clients’ needs and goals. “I am delighted to join inlingua, which is the premier English language school in the greater Washington DC area,” she said, “and its programmes are the most advanced programmes for learning English for academic, professional and personal goals.”

Quality English in the UK is pleased to announce the appointment of Frances Pottschulte as Agent Relations and Missions Manager. Ms Pottschulte has over 15 years’ experience in international education and marketing, and joins the company after six successful years at ILS English where she held the position of Project Manager. She is responsible for the running of the QE Workshops and developing the network of QE agents. “I am delighted that Frances has joined Quality English and am confident that her experience will be a great asset to Quality English and its new sister brand, Quality Education,” said Carolyn Blackmore, Chief Executive.

Vicky Power has moved to ACET Cork in Ireland, bringing with her many years of experience in the industry. Ms Power worked as a secondary school teacher for three years in a private Swiss school, after which she worked in the Dublin School of English for many years with her most recent role being Marketing Manager. “I am so happy to join the ACET team,” she commented. It is a privilege to work for such a prestigious institution and the leading school in Cork.” Ms Power will be working in the Marketing Department and will be taking care of all existing and new clients whilst building future relationships. “It is such a pleasure to work for yet another high quality school and to join another great team.”

Peter Stirling Benson has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Neas in Australia, following the departure of Anne Holmes after nearly two-and-a-half years. Mr Stirling Benson has a wealth of experience in running commercial and not-for-profit corporations, including Fitness First, Galileo and Ticketeck. “Neas possesses a global edge when it comes to quality assurance in the English language teaching sector,” said Benson. “We’ll be looking to strengthen this capability through a mix of projects and initiatives, driven by a new quality framework designed by leading international experts.”

Q&A Educator association

This month, Kathryn Kohut, Executive Director of EnglishUSA, talks accreditation measures and future hurdles.

Full name of association:
American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP)
Year established: 1988
Number of members:
330 member programs, 35 associate members
Association’s main role: Promote professional standards for IEPs in the USA, foster professional development among members, communicate the value of English language study in the USA, and enhance the visibility of member programmes
Contact details: Kathryn Kohut, Executive Director
E: info@aaiep.org
W: www.englishusa.org

What has your association achieved recently?
The past 12 months have been very busy and exciting for our organisation; in spring 2012 we launched the EnglishUSA brand and logo. While our legal name remains the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP), we will use the EnglishUSA brand to promote the USA as a key destination for English language study. Throughout the past year, we have attended several conferences and exhibited or presented using our new EnglishUSA brand. Another area in which we’ve been very active is advocacy. Our advocacy team, led by Patricia Juza of Baruch College, City University of New York, has done an outstanding job of working with regional accrediting bodies to clarify the documentation required of IEPs under the Accreditation of English Language Training Programs Act. Finally, 2012 marked the establishment of AAIEP’s first Executive Director. This new full-time position shows a commitment to the growth and sustainability of the organisation.

TEll us about your Professional Development Conference.
The workshop attracted a record turnout of over 135 administrators and faculties from member and non-member IEPs. Presentations featured a variety of topics: accreditation, marketing and recruitment, student issues and curriculum development. An important part of the workshop was a conference call with the US Department of Homeland Security’s SEVP to discuss pertinent issues and clarify policies.

Can you help clear up the confusion surrounding the accreditation ACT?
The Accreditation Act was enacted into law in 2010 and stipulated that English language programmes must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognised by the US Department of Education, in order to enrol F-1 non-immigrant students. Unaccredited programmes were allowed a grace period until December 2011 to apply for accreditation, and until December 2013 to secure accreditation. We estimate that over 200 unaccredited IEPs began the accreditation process in December 2011. One of the first points of confusion in May 2012 surrounded what SEVP referred to as “stand-alone” vs. “combined” English programmes. Stand-alone programmes are generally proprietary institutions offering only English language training programmes, while combined programmes are those offering English training and other programmes – typically located within a university or college. AAIEP helped by reaching out to regional accrediting bodies to determine acceptable documentation illustrating that such “combined” programmes fall under the umbrella of the regionally accredited university or college. Fortunately, the issue has been cleared up for the most part. A probable side effect is that SEVP has grown increasingly backlogged on school adjudications.

What challenges do members face in 2013?
The extension of the King Abdullah Scholarship Program means that many programmes will see an increase in scholarship students this year. For some, this may mean that they are looking at a student population of 75 per cent or more of Saudi students. Second, our members are eagerly awaiting further policy guidance shaping conditional admissions policies for students seeking degree study following their English programme. Depending on the guidance to be published, many member programmes may need to work with their institutions to ensure that conditional admissions and pathway programmes meet SEVP requirements.

Q&A Agent association

This month, Carlos Robles, President of Belta in Brazil, answers our questions.

Full name of association:
Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association
Year established: 1992
Number of members: 67
Contact details: E: belta@belta.org.br
W: www.belta.org.br

What has Belta accomplished in the last 12 months?
Belta has been focussed on the seal of quality for the Brazilian market: outlining the differences between acquiring an international educational programme from a Belta member and a non-Belta member. We are not implying that all non-Belta members do not have quality or are not ethical, but within Belta, there is more certainty that they are investing in training, developing new programmes, participating in fam trips and choosing partners abroad also with a seal of quality.

Please tell us about your survey of the Brazilian agent market.
We did a comparison between the results from 2010 and 2012. This comparison was presented by myself at Alphe Brazil. One major finding was that new destinations such as Malta, South Africa and China are attracting Brazilian students. Also, the average amount of time that Brazilians spend abroad has grown to six months, meaning they are investing more in international education and bring back not only a better linguistic knowledge, but also practical experience allied with a new culture to be able to access better jobs.

what challenges could member agencies face in the future?
We believe the international educational market will be in constant growth. The inclination of the growing curve, however, will depend on several factors, such as: number of new agencies opened in the market (thus reducing the individual participation share); foreign exchange policy and stability of the Brazilian currency compared to others and policy of governments on rulings about visas and possibility of temporary employment with an exchange programme. It’s a complex system that will vary according to the dynamics of the international market and global policies. Members will have to face the competition, invest in training and develop new products to attract Brazilian clients.

Industry issues - agents speak out

Q. Has agency business been affected by the difficult economy in your country?

Diego Barceló, INEX Cursos, Spain
“Since 2008, Spain has suffered a protracted economic downturn, with unemployment rate now at 26 per cent. The government had to cut grants and, at the same time, credit to both families and companies is scarce. Study abroad programmes have behaved almost as luxury goods sold to non-rich people: demand plummeted. Our long-term relationship with our partner schools has been very helpful, since we were able to find ways to counter, in part, the lower demand by concentrating on up to four-week courses, launching special promotions, etc. We focus more heavily on Internet marketing and try to attract clients with cross-selling actions (travel insurance, pre-travel classes, etc.), as well as offering alternative, cheaper, accommodation options. Of course, we revised every single item of our expenditure and cut everything we could. 2013 will be tough, but after the summer the economy should slowly start to recover.”

Valeria Bucci, Beehive Vacanze Studio, Italy
“The current state of the economy in Italy is the most difficult in the last 20 years. Income taxes, VAT as well as property and real estate taxation have increased dramatically, causing a harsh reduction in the average household saving capacity. High interest rates and domestic credit crunch added to the lack of public and private investments pushing the unemployment rate up to 38 per cent among the under 25s. In this bleak scenario, the need for young Italian people to learn a foreign language (English in particular) has never been so strong and sought after. They need it for their future careers. Italian agencies, in general, had to cut on administration and staff costs and on some traditional marketing activities like catalogue printing and mail distribution in favour of web marketing and/or marketing campaigns through Google and Facebook.”

Pepa Ferrer, Pepa Ferrer Climent-Pallarés, Spain
“I set up as an agency in 2012. I could be seen as a “kamikaze” or as an enterprising woman willing to undertake my own professional project despite the circumstances in my country. I don’t know how fast my business would’ve developed when Spain was on the path of economic growth, but I can state that nowadays it is hard work to set up a new business, get new clients and keep the loyalty of those who are already happy with your services. The purchasing power of Spanish families has decreased, but education is still a priority. Nevertheless, clients demand more for less money. Commission is not a decisive factor in the selection of programmes I promote. I prefer to cut down on expenses, such as marketing trips overseas.”

Marta Ruiz, MRC abroad, Spain
“The economic situation is in part positive for the language travel business, but it has definitely changed the interests and goals of students willing to study abroad, since the economy does not allow most parents or young graduates/professionals to study abroad with the same conditions as before. Study and work programmes are the most demanded but also the most difficult to find, due to the huge demand and high level of education/experience [required]. We have reduced our marketing to social networks and face-to-face contact. We also have opened our customer network to other countries, focussing on attracting more students to Spain and sending students to China as well as organising everything ourselves from private tutoring, paid/unpaid work to accommodation.”

Agency of the month

In a series appearing each month in Study Travel Magazine, we ask a different teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or advisor partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.

This month Churchill House School of English Language in the UK nominates EDUGROUP in Colombia. Greg Patton, Director, Sales and Marketing at the school, explains this decision.

EDUGROUP is a young agency with big plans, and have already proved that surpassing customers’ expectations leads to fast growth. Owners Jose and Ana both studied in the UK and, as such, are aware of the highs and lows of studying abroad. This means that students are made fully aware of what to expect and are prepared to enjoy their experience from the first day. It means that their students are guaranteed the best possible experience before, during and after study. We work well together because we share the same business philosophy. Excellent strategic and tactical marketing, taking time to understand their student’s needs, offering something different and exceeding expectations all
combine to make them an agency to watch.”

“We are very pleased and honoured by this nomination. I would like to express special thanks to Greg Patton and his professional team for their dedication and outstanding service. For us Churchill House symbolise top-quality education, giving the student an unforgettable experience.” Jose Ovalle, EDUGROUP, Colombia

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

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.






Sakura House  
English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
English Australia  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
eYou Mandarin School  
Harrow College  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Prime Education  
London School of Business & Finance  
TUS Advertising  
St Giles International  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
Cambridge Esol  
English For Asia  
Centre of English Studies  
Akamonkai Japanese Language School  
Genki Japanese and Culture School  
Kai Japanese Language School  
Manabi Japanese Language Institute  
Sakura House  
Sendai Language School  
Yokohama International Education Academy  
Clubclass Residential Language School  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  
EF International Language Centers  
Eurocentres International  
Taiwan Mandarin Institute  
Malta Tourism Authority  
Cal America Education Institute  
California School of English  
California State University San Marcos  
ELS Language Centers  
Glenholme School  
IH Pacific (Vancouver, Whistler, San Diego)  
INTERLINK Language Centers  
Madison ESL School  
Spring International Language Center  
University of California Berkeley  
University of California Irvine  
University of California San Diego  
University of Delaware  
University of Maryland Baltimore County  
University of Tennessee at Knoxville  
Zoni Language Centers  

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