Ialc introduces policy changes
Following a strategic review, the International Association of Language Centres (Ialc) has announced several changes to its membership policy.
The definition of an Ialc school has been simplified to allow for different types of private ownership and management including foundations, families, individuals, partnerships, charities and limited companies. Application is still by invitation only and prospective members must be economically self-sufficient and not part of a large chain or corporate group.
Territorial protection has been reduced: less-visited destinations may now have up to two Ialc members; medium popularity destinations up to three; and popular destinations up to five. Existing members may, however, expand into an already full destination. Executive Director, Jan Capper, said, “Neither Ialc nor agents like it when longstanding members of high quality suddenly have to leave the association due, in effect, to their success.”
Ialc has limited the number of associate schools a member can have. A new member may not represent more than five per cent of total Ialc membership (10 per cent for an existing member). The policy of not allowing cross-membership of other international networks of independent schools has now been revised. A final change is that members may license, rather than own, an associate school. The licensee must satisfy inspections and join Ialc as a full member.
The two-year review drew on a survey of 267 agents. “These changes will provide greater flexibility to the Ialc board in recruiting the highest quality schools worldwide,” said President, Alexandra Borges de Sousa.
Overseas students up at UK independent schools
The number of international students at UK boarding schools has increased by 5.8 per cent to 26,376, according to the annual census released by the Independent Schools Council (ISC).
International students now make up 5.2 per cent of the total student population at ISC schools. China, including Hong Kong, accounts for 37 per cent of international students. The next biggest market is Germany with 8.9 per cent.
The ISC report also revealed that across the last five years the market that has shown the most growth is Russia, rising from 816 in 2007 (3.9 per cent of overseas students) to 1,722 in 2012 (6.5 per cent). Spain has also significantly increased from 745 to 1,252 (4.7 per cent).
Ilac donates scholarships to Daughters for Life
International Language Academy of Canada (Ilac) is donating CAN$200,000 (US$199,000) of language programmes and related scholarships to the Daughters for Life Foundation, a Canadian registered charity devoted to the advancement of girls and women in the Middle East.
Daughters for Life was established by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian doctor and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who made international headlines when three of his daughters were killed in Gaza and he turned his grief into an international call for peace.
Dr. Abuelaish made a speech and signed books at Ilac’s recent fam trip. “The desire for peace is universal,” he said. “The difference here in Canada is that people of all backgrounds, religions and ethnicities are encouraged to work together towards a common goal. The partnership between Ilac and Daughters for Life is an example of what can be achieved when people put aside their perceived differences.”
The Ilac donation includes more than 30 scholarships and accommodation packages for girls accepted into programmes in Canada and the Middle East. The selection process, based on academic achievement and financial need, will be handled directly by Daughters for Life.
Ilac’s fam trip saw 70 advisors visiting Vancouver and 120 in Toronto, with 33 universities and colleges also attending the Ilac Higher Education Fair. Jonathan Kolber, Ilac Executive Director, said, “By now, most of our agents know that we are more than just a language school, and we do our best to showcase something different every time we do a fam tour. Our new boutique campuses and the launch of the Ilac Foundation show our commitment to our partners and the students they serve.”
News in brief
iMandarin becomes first Chinese Eaquals member
iMandarin Language Training Institute has become the first Chinese language school to receive accreditation from Eaquals for its Overseas Program for international students to study in China. iMandarin operates 18 campuses in 10 major cities around China, but the Overseas Program has only been running since January 2011. Frank Zhu, iMandarin COO, said, “We are thrilled to be ranked among national leaders in language education, particularly as our Overseas Program is still within its relative infancy stage.” Eaquals has welcomed several new members already in 2012: Bell Bucharest, Romania; Novamova, Ukraine; CES Worthing and CES Wimbledon, UK; Dialogos, Bosnia & Herzegovina; and Eton Institute, UAE.
Oxford Royale wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise
Oxford Royale Academy has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2012 in the International Trade category. Over the last seven years the academy has achieved sustained growth from delivering summer courses for international students both juniors and adults at six different colleges in Oxford and Cambridge. In 2012 the company expects to receive students from 90 different countries. The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the highest official UK awards for British businesses that excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development.
Linguista opens new branch
Swiss-based study abroad agency Linguista has opened its fifth branch in the town of Aarau, located between Zurich, Basle and Bern. Mirjana Maksimovic, Managing Director, said they wanted to be closer to their clients as there is great demand from this part of Switzerland.
USA Summer Work and Travel amended
The US State Department has announced further changes to the J1 Summer Work and Travel Program.
Students are now no longer allowed to work in jobs declared hazardous to youths by the Secretary of Labour, positions that require work hours that fall predominantly between 22:00 and 06:00, or jobs that require sustained physical contact, such as massage and tattooing. From November students will no longer be allowed to work in goods-producing industries.
Robin Lerner, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the State Department, said, “The new reforms for the Summer Work Travel Program focus on strengthening protections for the health, safety and welfare of the participants, and on bringing the programme back to its primary purpose, which is to provide a cultural experience.”
Following an initial interim final rule last year (see STM, September 11, page 10), the State Department further identified concerns about the level of cultural interaction and the conditions of some work placements.
Sponsors must now check that no American workers have been displaced by J1 participants, and are required to provide guidance on how best to experience US culture. The programme will continue with a cap of 109,000 students per year until the State Department is satisfied that the regulations address concerns.
Christine La Monica-Lunn, CEO of J1 sponsor InterExchange, welcomed the move. “The cultural interests of these new rules are in keeping with our mission to promote and facilitate international understanding, friendship and cooperation between citizens.”
Coined opens new Puerto Madryn centre
Spanish language provider Coined International has announced the opening of its latest intercultural centre in the Argentine Patagonian town of Puerto Madryn.
The school is located close to the coast and features six classrooms, a computer room, free Internet access, a multimedia room and a cafeteria. Puerto Madryn is the gateway to the Peninsula Valdés nature reserve, and is famed for its marine life including penguins, sea lions and whales.
The school becomes the fifth owned by Coined International, which also partners several other language schools across Latin America.
Study Group partners with Istituto Marangoni
International education provider Study Group will establish an international study centre (ISC) on the London campus of fashion school Istituto Marangoni to prepare overseas students for undergraduate programmes.
Content of the three-term international foundation year will include English language and modules focussed on drawing, computer drawing and art history. The foundation year will lead directly onto a BA Honours degree at Istituto Marangoni London and Paris, or undergraduate programmes in Milan.
James Pitman, Managing Director of Study Group’s Higher Education Division, said, “There is a wealth of emerging talent in previously untapped regions of the world that is determined to break through into the fashion industry. We are recognised as the leaders in international education and take great pride in the levels of progression achieved by students that study with us. We will replicate this success with Istituto Marangoni to further help the school attract the brightest and the best from around the world.”
Study Group was established in 1994 and partners with universities worldwide to provide academic preparation courses. Istituto Marangoni was founded in Milan in 1935 and offers programmes in all areas of fashion.
Pearson PTE partners in China and Nepal
Pearson has announced an agreement with JJL Overseas Education Consulting & Service Company in China and the Education Consultancy of Nepal (Ecan) to promote the PTE Academic English language test.
PTE Academic was launched two years ago and is now accepted by almost 3,000 institutions worldwide, as well as the UK Borders Agency and the Department of Immigration & Citizenship in Australia. Students can register a test 24 hours in advance and typically receive results within five business days.
In Nepal Pearson will provide training for all teachers and advisors of Ecan member agencies, while Ecan will work as the liaison office for Pearson testing in Nepal. With JJL in China, Pearson has provided access to an on-demand testing service even when advertised sessions are full. Both sides have also agreed to expand their cooperation in other areas including publishing, training and international exchanges. JJL Overseas was established in China in 1999 and now has 26 global offices in 16 countries, while Ecan has a network of over 300 advisors in Nepal.
NZLC moves to new Auckland campus
Auckland Language Centre, part of New Zealand Language Centres (NZLC), has moved to a new campus near the Viaduct Harbour and city centre.
The newly renovated campus occupies 1,743 square metres over three floors. Facilities include a student library, self-study centre, media centre, and a student presentation room.
Justin Mastoyo and Miles Stewart, the Owners/Directors of NZLC Group, said, “The new location and facility at our NZLC Auckland campus raises the school to the level of our other excellent campus at NZLC Wellington both provide an international standard of facilities and service for our clients.”
BA has unveiled plans to launch flights to Seoul from London Heathrow airport from December. The flights, commencing six times weekly, have resumed after the airline reportedly terminated the route for economic reasons in 1998. Drew Crawley, BA’s Commercial Director, said, “We have seen significant growth in customers wanting to travel to Seoul for both business and pleasure. It is a vibrant city with a strong economic base, rated eighth in the Global Cities Index this year.” Meanwhile, BA will also add flights to Rotterdam, Netherlands and Zagreb, Croatia from Heathrow, while tri-weekly flights to Tripoli, Libya from the same airport have already commenced.
German carrier airberlin has opened a flight from Berlin to Los Angeles departing from Düsseldorf International three times a week the tenth non-stop connection to North America for the airline. The airline’s CEO, Harmut Mehdorn, said, “Los Angeles is a major route expansion for our Berlin hub. With this offer, we particularly want to attract connecting passengers from our German and European route network.”.
New York’s JetBlue Airways and Japan Airlines have announced a codeshare agreement, making it easier for customers to book flights between the East Coast USA and Japan. Customers making reservations will see Japan Airlines’ codes on JetBlue-operated flight, and can book combined travel on the two airlines through Los Angeles and Asia. Passengers can connect to Tokyo via 13 US destinations including New York, Orlando and Washington DC. Additionally, Japan’s All Nippon Airways will run flights between Tokyo and Seattle towards the end of this month.
Eurostar is looking to add 10 destinations from London’s St Pancras to the Netherlands, Germany, southern France and Switzerland over the next five years. The plans to expand across Western Europe include cities such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne, Lyon, Marseille and Geneva. “By 2016 and 2017 we would like people when they are thinking about travelling to these cities to consider Eurostar rather than flying,” said Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive. The cross-channel international rail service, which connects London and Paris, is also considering setting up a second a hub in Brussels. And international rail travel is increasing in popularity, with more than 70 per cent of Eurail Pass customers, a ticketing service allowing travellers multiple journeys within Europe, satisfied or very satisfied with their journey, according to Eurail Group research. Ana Dias e Seixas, Marketing Director, said, “We are delighted the research suggests that the popularity of European rail travel is steadily increasing.”
Finnish carrier Finnair has launched the first ever direct flight between Europe and Chongqing, one of China’s fastest growing cities. The new route, starting in Helsinki, began as part of the airline’s plan to offer the shortest connections between Asia and Europe via Helskinki. Mike Vehilainen, CEO, said, “Western China is an important growth area, and the new route will strengthen our position in the growing Asian markets.”
The British carrier Monarch will add 12 new destinations such as Grenoble, Friedrichshafen, Munich, Madeira and Sharm el Sheikh from Leeds Bradford International Airport, operating from the end of 2012. Flights to Munich and Friedrichshafen (Germany) and Grenoble (France) will commence from September this year while Madeira (Portugal) and Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) routes will start in October. The carrier’s Managing Director, Kevin George, said the introduction of the flights “marks an exciting era for Monarch as we introduce our first programme of scheduled ski flights and target a new customer base”.
It is now possible to take phone calls while in the clouds, thanks to UK’s Virgin Atlantic. The carrier the first British airline to offer this service will allow passengers to send texts, use the Internet and make phone calls with mobile phones at the end of the year, although only six people, signed with UK mobile phone networks O2 or Vodafone, will be permitted to talk at once and will be charged extra. At least 20 aircraft will be fitted with AeroMobile technology, costing UK£50 million (US$80.6 million). Steve Griffiths, Chief Operating Officer, said, “Many people will have experienced that moment when you’re about to take off on a 10-hour flight and need to send an important message to the office, or even reminding a family member to feed the cat.”