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Contents - June 2011

Special Report
Changing student profile
As students’ language learning aspirations become more targeted, course provision has necessarily become more specialised to meet their needs. Jane Vernon Smith finds out how the picture of a ‘typical’ language student has changed over the last few years.

Gathering strength
The role of education associations is growing and their remit is widening as they react to new challenges in the industry. Bethan Norris finds out some of the latest activities conducted by language school and education associations around the world.

England’s charms
Rugged and wild coastlines, small town rural charm and vibrant international cities are all available for students looking to find their idyllic language travel destination in England. Bethan Norris reports.

Harnessing demand

The activities of governments can either make or break an international education industry and what’s scary is the speed with which national policies can change bringing far reaching consequences for those caught up in the midst. Language schools in Malta were reassured that the Spanish government grants for Spanish students learning English in the country would be kept the same at the beginning of this year, only for them to discover months later that the grants had in fact been reduced to take account of the lower cost of living in Malta compared to other language travel destinations (page 6).

The speed at which regulations can change is also a concern in the UK, with language and education providers worried about the impact of confusion for students and advisors regarding the many changes introduced to the Tier 4 visa system over the last few years. Look out for our special Direction feature focusing on the Tier 4 visa changes in the July issue of Study Travel Magazine, which will take a definitive look at the effects of these changes on providers in the UK.

However, in some countries government policies have been helping the industry with a new quality assurance body announced for vocational providers in Australia (page 19) and a new government-led promotional body for international education in New Zealand. These measures show the seriousness with which some governments are viewing their education export industries and regulating and unifying the industry can only be a good thing.

Favouring certain sectors of the industry, however, and issuing different requirements for different education providers can bring up its own complications. This is highlighted in the UK where government funded universities were automatically given ‘highly trusted sponsor’ status under new visa regulations introduced last year while private institutions had to prove their status. The news that a UK university is currently under investigation for illegally letting students work during their studies questions the wisdom of having different requirements depending on the sector of the market as no-one it seems is immune from breaking the rules.

Our ‘industry issues’ question this month reveals that higher and vocational education are growth sectors for agents worldwide and there are many benefits for governments who tap into this demand in a sustainable and open manner.

Harnessing demand

Spanish scholarship for English in Malta reduced
New promotional agency for New Zealand
Ireland launches trusted agents scheme in India
Language students flee Japan
Further education group launched in South Africa
Licence suspended at UK university

Business Focus
Unosel unveils stronger quality label
Productive workshop month for ICEF

Advisor Survey
Germany looking up
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.

Spanish schools attract a real diversity of students in terms of motivation and nationality. Only one-third of students used an advisor to book their course, but this included many from established Western European destinations.

Language plus wine

English plus sports in the USA
There are many providers of English plus sports programmes in the USA, directed at both adults and children. Bethan Norris takes a look at some of the options.

France 2010

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