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June 2010 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Agency Survey
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Market Report
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Special Report
Course Guide
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NZ pulls through


A low New Zealand dollar boosted enrolments at language schools in the country although difficult economic conditions in a variation of source countries created problems for some. Bethan Norris reports.

Numbers of fee-paying international students in New Zealand grew by 5.5 per cent between 2008 and 2009, proving that unstable economic conditions around the world have not had a negative affect on the country’s education export industry as a whole.

One reason for this is a decreasing exchange rate, making it one of the cheaper English language destinations to study in over the last 12 months. Terry Leotta from AIS St Helens in Auckland says, “[Student] numbers increased due to favourable exchange rates at certain points [in the year]. Japanese and Korean individual student numbers decreased due to the impact of the financial crisis. However, total weeks for these markets increased, as did study group numbers. Thailand was down but Vietnam increased due to more efficient visa processes.”

Some of New Zealand’s top student markets – Korea and Japan in particular – have suffered due to the global economic crisis and Jessica Lilley from Seafield School of English in Christchurch said that student numbers at their school have decreased by as much as 25 per cent. “The general roll decrease is a reflection of a decrease in students from Korea and Switzerland,” she says. “We understand that both our Swiss and Korean students have been adversely affected by the recent world financial crisis.” However, other schools report that, in general, any decreases were shortlived and student numbers from these countries are back on track.

Geoff Butler from Mount Maunganui Language Centre says that the school has been concentrating on increasing student numbers from Korea and Latin America recently. “Our numbers have remained stable, with slight increases in markets where we have increased our promotional activities,” he says, adding, “In Korea, as in other markets, our strategy of working with a small group of dedicated agents is working well.”

Maurice Kirby from Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre in Whitianga says that Japanese and Korean student numbers at the school have been increasing and puts this down to economic recovery in these countries as well as a change to the visa regulations. “[There is an] improved working holiday visa quota in Korea and increased allowable study period for Japanese working holiday visa holders – from three months to six months,” he explains.

Another student market faring particularly well for New Zealand is Saudi Arabia; now the fifth top source country for the education sector (see pie). Lilley reports that this is one student market that has increased for them in 2009 and Justin Mastoyo from Christchurch Language Centre says, “We have had more students from Saudi Arabia than ever. We have established a strong relationship and built a high reputation among the students and agents from Saudi Arabia.”

However, the recent world economic crisis has proved to be a warning against relying on selected student markets and language schools point out that targeted marketing combined with providing up-to-date language programmes ensure that they stay ahead of the game. Brett Shirreffs from Languages International in Auckland and Christchurch says that they have seen student numbers grow by 12.5 per cent over the last year, mainly due to a favourable exchange rate and increased marketing in Saudi Arabia. He adds, “We are sharpening our focus on certain areas [of course content] – English for academic purposes, aimed mainly at Saudi students and teacher training especially for Asian markets – and developing some work in the complementary field of workplace literacy to diversify our business a bit.”

Indeed, demand for teacher training courses in New Zealand appears to be on the increase, particularly from Asian markets. Mastoyo says, “[Asians] appreciate the fact that they also have the opportunity to train to become an English teacher when they return to their home countries.” Alyson Craig from Dominion English Schools in Auckland and Christchurch echoes this notion and observes that the nine teacher development courses held throughout the year are “all full”.



Increasingly wary?

New Zealand’s neighbour and rival education destination, Australia, has experienced a number of high profile school collapses in the last 12 months – including eight schools in the Geos chain – and it is possible that New Zealand has gained from this damage to Australia’s reputation.

New Zealand has a particularly robust tuition fee protection scheme for students which means that fees paid in advance for tuition and accommodation are held in a trust account and can be refunded in the event of a school closure.

Maurice Kirby from Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre in Whitianga says that students are increasingly wary about which schools to trust. “I think there may be a growing tendency – especially in Japan – to avoid the big chains, after the issues with Nova and more recently Geos,” he says. “Membership of English New Zealand and Ialc seem to offer confidence to agents.”

The three Geos schools in New Zealand were taken into private ownership at the beginning of the year and Mary-Rose Blackley from Taupo Language & Outdoor Education Centre hopes that the removal of a big chain operator from the country will allow fairer competition among the remaining schools. “Because Geos had undercut our prices and offered discounted rates, many of our group tours had gone their way. Now that they have closed down, we are hoping to recover some of these tours.”


Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

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

Name

Company
Country

Telephone

Email


ASSOCIATIONS/GROUPS
Feltom Malta  
International House
      World Organisation  
Quality English  

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  

EXAM BOARDS
IELTS  
Pearson Education  

INSURANCE PROVIDERS
Dr. Walter GmbH  

SERVICES
InTouch  
LTM Digital  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

AUSTRALIA
Ability Education  

CANADA
College of New
      Caledonia  
CSLI  
ECSL  
ILSC - International
      Language Schools
      of Canada  
International House
      Vancouver  
Point 3 Language
      Center  
Red Leaf
      Student Programs  
Richmond School
      District #38  
Stewart College
      of Languages  
Vancouver English
      Centre  

ENGLAND
Anglolang Academy
      of English 
Beet Language
      Centre  
Cambridge Academy
      Of English  
Cambridge Education
      Group  
Capital School of
      English  
Choices  
Churchill House  
Devon School Of
      English  
Discovery Summer
Eastbourne School
      Of English  
Eckersley Oxford
English Language
      Centre Brighton &
      Hove
Excel English
Frances King School
      of English
ILS English
Kaplan Aspect
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand,South Africa,
      UK, USA)
Kings Colleges
      (Prime Education)  
Lake School of
      English  
LAL Language
      Centres  
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa,
      Spain, Switzerland,
      USA)
Lewis School of
      English  
Liverpool
      International
      Language Academy
Living Learning
      English  
(The) London School
      of English  
Malvern House
      College London  
Millfield English
      Language Holiday
      Courses  
Queen Ethelburga's
      College  
Shakespeare
      College  
Southbourne School
       of English  
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
      USA)
Thames Valley
      Summer Schools  
Twin Group  
University of
      Essex -
      International
      Academy  
Wickham Court
      School  
Wimbledon School
      of English  

FRANCE
Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France 
Home Language
      International  
      (Australia, Brazil,
      Canada, China,
      Czech Republic,
      Denmark, England,
      Egypt, Finland,
      France, Greece,
      Netherlands, Hungary,
      Ireland,Italy,Japan,
      Scotland, South Africa,
      Spain, Malta, New
      Zealand, Norway,
      Poland, Portugal,
      Switzerland, United
      Arab Emirates, USA,
      Wales)
Université de
      Paris Sorbonne  

GERMANY
International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

IRELAND
ATC Language and
      Travel  
Atlantic Language
      Galway  
Cork English
      College  
The Linguaviva
      centre  

MALTA
Clubclass Residential
      Language School  
EC English Language
      Centre  
      (England, Malta, South
      Africa, USA)
Global Village English
      Centre  

NEW ZEALAND
Rotorua English
      Language Academy
      (RELA)  
Worldwide School
      of English  

SOUTH AFRICA
Interlink School of   
      
Languages  

SPAIN
Choices International
      Work Experience 
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL
Malaga Si  
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute  

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Costa Rica,
      Ecuador, England,
      France, Germany,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Spain, Switzerland,
      USA)

USA
Boston School of
      Modern Languages  
California School
       of English  
California State
      University Chico  
California State
      University Long
      Beach  
California State
      University San
      Marcos  
ELS Language
      Centers  
International House
      San Diego  
San Diego State
      University  
University of
      California Berkeley
      Extension  
University of
      California Riverside  
University of
      California San
      Diego  
Zoni Language
      Centers  
      (Canada, USA)




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