Contents - March 2005

Special Report
Industry direction
While global economic health plays a major factor in determining the outlook for the study abroad market, it is not financial ability alone that convinces a student to study overseas. Amy Baker looks at some other macro trends that will influence the mid-term outlook for the industry: factors such as national policy in school curricula, business expectations, education exchange and increased expectations among the majority population.

City Focus
Los Angeles, USA
For many, Los Angeles is synonymous with the US movie industry and much of the city has the atmosphere of a film set. However, the city is made up of different neighbourhoods, each with their own distinct character, as Jane Vernon Smith finds out.

Scotland and Wales
Language schools in Scotland and Wales offer students the chance to experience a different side to the UK. Both countries boast stunning natural scenery, large cosmoplitan cities and also a wealth of local traditions that go down well with students.


Policy rules
Whereas I often write about governments or export agencies getting behind their international education industries and trying to facilitate the student visa process, there are a couple of examples of policy going off the boil in this month's issue. In Ireland, which is now focusing its attention on the international education industry, the government's first steps to help build the market and improve quality have not been greeted with enthusiasm by all.

Indeed, the English language teaching industry is alarmed that plans to revoke part-time work rights for students outside the European Economic Area will strangle the short-term student market and it is currently appealing against the move. While conducting trade missions to China and earmarking Asia as a future source of higher education students, the government has nevertheless introduced a policy that could see many Asian students deterred from short-term study in Ireland by the ban on working part-time.

In Australia, IDP, the university-owned recruitment agency, has announced a new policy direction, which is to focus its recruitment activities in Asia, where its core student markets are based. Given that nationality diversity is a concern for all education providers promising a truly international classroom or campus, IDP's decision could be considered as short-sighted, despite its financial difficulties. One source at an Australian university indicates that IDP does not seem to have adequately considered the needs of the tertiary sector clients that pay its bills.

On the other hand, other policies have been announced elsewhere that seem better placed to help attract a diverse student body. Malaysia is to allow part-time work rights to all international students in the country to be on a par with other study destinations. Initiatives to speed up visa processes are being promised by UK authorities, while the USA is pointing to its own improving visa record.

Key factors such as the visa process and work rights - determined on a macro-policy level - will sway students, so for schools, it is essential that their governments keep in tune with the competition. As we find out in our Special Report, long-term demand for international education shows good potential for growth, especially with school curricula policy around the world indicating that second language skills are more essential than ever.

Policy rules
Whereas I often write about governments or export agencies getting behind their international education industries and trying to facilitate the student visa process, there are a couple of examples of policy going off the boil in this month's issue.

Ireland rescinds work rights
UK conference looks at global industry
OISE add Regent to their group
Open Doors: ELT demise
Swan School of English, UK, closing

Travel News
'superjumbo' unveiled
Heavy losses despite passenger growth
Open skies deal in Asia

Agency News
IDP sets sights on Asia only
CEC Network report success
American Link in Spain

Agency Survey
Mexico stays strong
According to the agencies that took part in our survey, business was good in Mexico last year, and things look set to stay that way.

New Zealand
Student satisfaction rates continued to grow in this year's Feedback survey of New Zealand, as classrooms welcomed a greater spread of nationalities.

Course Guide
UK exam prep.
Ielts and Toefl preparation courses are becoming more popular with international students wanting to go on to further education at a university in the UK or in another English speaking country. Below is a list of language schools and higher education providers in the UK that offer preparation courses for either the Ielts or Toefl exam or both.

Busy season
The language travel industry in most countries has always experienced seasonal peaks in business. While the characteristics of schools' high seasons have changed according to student demand, the target of maintaining quality during these times remains the same. Gillian Evans reports.

Working in Spain
Learning Spanish and then working in Spain, either for remuneration or for a professional experience, is becoming increasingly popular. We profile some schools that are active in this field and provide an overview of options available.

Global comparison
In our global comparison article, we provide a breakdown of results from our Status surveys over the past year. In this article, it is possible to compare the nationality breakdown for international students across the major language teaching markets in the world in 2003.