|There was general good feeling among German advisors in this month’s survey of the German study abroad market. Business was up on 2009 and there appears to be more diversity in terms of business portfolios.
|• The total number of students placed by the nine agencies in our survey was 7,318
• Individual agencies placed between 97 and 3,200 students on courses per year
• Average business growth was 17.2 per cent in the last 12 months
• The average length of stay for German students was six weeks
• Overall, 60 per cent of German students stayed in host family accommodation when studying overseas
• An average of 21 per cent of agency clients were seeking secondary education opportunities overseas
• In the last 12 months, advisors worked with an average of 62 different providers
||Most popular courses
|1. UK 37%
2. USA 21%
3. France 7%
4. Canada 6%
4. Malta 6%
6. Italy 5%
6. New Zealand 5%
8. Spain 4.5%
9. Australia 4%
10. Singapore 1%
||1. General 23%
2. Junior 21%
3. Business 15%
4. Intensive 13%
5. Language & work experience 4%
6. Summer 3%
7. Academic / exam prep. 2%
|Reasons for language travel
||Average percentage agency business
|1. Current work 36%
2. Studies at home 31%%
3. Pleasure 17%
4. Future work 8%
5. Studies overseas 4%
||1. Language programmes 58%
2. Secondary education abroad 21%
3. Internships 9%
4. Work & travel 8%
5. Higher education 1%
6. Volunteer 1%
|How do advisors recruit students?
||How do advisors find new business partners?
|1. Website 43%
2. Word-of-mouth 26%
3. Mail shots 12.5%
4. Advertising in press 5%
5. Email/online marketing 4%
6. Seminars to students 2.5%
||1. Workshops 48%
1. Fairs and expos 19%
3. Internet 24%
4. Other press 4%
5. LTM/ETM 3%
|Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
English Australia 75%
Languages Canada 75%
Groupement FLE 50%
Italian in Italy 50%
English NZ 100%
English UK 100%
British Council 100%
Quality English 75%
Just nine advisors took part in this month’s survey of the German outgoing student market, compared with 18 in 2010 (see LTM, April 2010, pages 24-25). Nonetheless, general consensus concerning average business growth for 2010 was extremely positive with all but one agency reporting an increase in student weeks. One advisor noted that business had remained stable. Therefore, average business growth over the last 12 months came in at an impressive 17.2 per cent, compared with 7.7 per cent previously. Individual growth figures ranged from eight to 50 per cent.
Language and destination trends
English remained the top language choice among German advisor clientele in 2010, up 13 percentage points to 72 per cent, followed by French and Spanish (both on nine per cent), Italian (six per cent) and Japanese (one per cent). English-speaking destinations were also popular with German students with the UK (37 per cent) in the number one spot for a second successive year. The USA also increased its market share, accounting for 21 per cent of all advisor business up 11 percentage points on our previous result. Spain, which was close on the heels of the UK in 2009 (taking a 19 per cent share of the market), dropped down the list to eighth accounting for 4.5 per cent of the outgoing student market in 2010.
Student and course trends
Over a third of all advisor clientele were motivated to study abroad for current work purposes in 2010, compared with 20 per cent in 2009. One advisor observed that 100 per cent of their clients were studying away from home for this reason. In fact, executive language learners appear to be big business for German advisors with 15 per cent of all student clientele requesting business language programmes in 2010. Again, the same advisor noted that all clients requested this type of course and if omitted from the poll, this figure drops to five per cent.
On average, language programmes accounted for a lower percentage of agency business this year (58 per cent) compared with our previous survey (71 per cent), while requests for higher education programmes abroad were also down considerably from 15 per cent to just one per cent. Secondary or high school programmes, a business sector not featured previously, accounted for 15 per cent of all agency bookings. These differences could of course be attributed to a different spread of advisors taking part. Interestingly, one advisor said they did not specialise in language learning at all, sending students instead for work & travel, internships, secondary education or volunteering. Another advisor noted that language courses were a subsidiary part of the business with the main focus being on work experience.
German study abroad advisors were optimistic in their assessment of future business growth. Four agencies were confident there would be a 10 or 20 per cent increase in business, while another was keen to maintain quality as well as encourage good growth.
• The German economy expanded by 3.2 per cent in 2010, the most since records for a reunified Germany began in 1992. Recent forecasts predict the German economy will expand by as much as 2.8 per cent in 2011.
• Due to the strong economic upswing, the situation in the labour market is likely to improve further. Job growth is expected to slow somewhat given that production growth is seen moderating and wages rising. Employment is expected to rise by 430,000 this year and 275,000 next year.
• In 2012, GDP growth is expected to slow to two per cent.
Sources: Marketnews.com, Bloomberg
German advisors named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Canada: ILSC, various. In France: Alpha B Institut Linguistique, Nice; Education en France, various. In Ireland: Atlantic Language Galway, Galway. In Italy: Scuola Leonardo Da Vinci, various In Malta: Bels Malta, St Paul’s Bay; Elanguest, St Julians; Linguatime, Sliema. In New Zealand: ODENZ, various. In South Africa: Good Hope Studies, Cape Town. In Spain: Debla, Malaga; Malaca Instituto, Malaga. In Portugal: CIAL, Lisbon. In the UK: Cambridge Academy of English, Cambridge; Canterbury Language Training, Canterbury; EC London, London; Frances King School of English, London; Klub Group, various; Margate Language Centre, Margate; London School of English, London; Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth; Twin Group, London; University of Edinburgh IALS, Edinburgh. In the USA: ELS, various; University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Rennert, New York, NY.
Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: College Council, Sprachdirekt, Experience! Sprachreisen, GLS Sprachenzentrum, Ausland Sprachendienst, TREFF-Sprachreisen, XPLORE, Kultur Life and F&U Academy.