Contents - March 2007

Special Report
Summer formula
Up-to-date activities; good integration with other students and ideally, locals; targeted learning and above all, an element of fun: this is what all successful summer programme operators need to incorporate into students' schedules, as Jane Vernon Smith discovers.

Valuing a business
Loyal staff, company prestige, turnover, profit and management structures; all of these are factors to be considered when trying to value a business. Amy Baker finds a number of industry players with experience or opinions on the matter.

Tantalising Brazil
Brazil is a huge and exciting country to explore, offering lively cities, mesmerising natural attractions and party spirit on a grand scale. Amy Baker reports.


Industry exposed

One of our news stories in this issue relates to the biggest players in the ELT market of the UK filing their 2005 company accounts – OISE is becoming an astonishingly large company and has continued to expand since 2005 (page 7). With any industry that is around half a century old, creeping consolidation is inevitable, and while some of the language school chains in our industry are becoming bigger, it may not always be apparent if newly purchased brands are left unchanged and operate as before.

With some language school empires expanding in such a way – Kaplan is also operating Aspect as a stand alone brand for the year ahead at least – another business development is that there is also more crossover occuring between language schools and outbound agencies.

A number of agencies or schools have shares in or own a business on the other side of the commercial divide although the connection is not always made obvious. In effect, this means owning a part of the distribution chain as well as being a provider and the news of the Amerispan closure in the USA and Don Quijote takeover (page 6) is the latest such business development to emerge.

The acquisition of a sizeable agency by a prominent Spanish language school company has raised question marks in the industry, not, primarily, because it could mean the monopolisation of a significant outbound agency – but because there have been questions raised about how Amerispan was able to close, leaving such substantial debts to so many ex-partners, and with no apparent way for these debts to be repaid.

At the time of going to press, a website set up by an association of unpaid language schools, Aulas, was urging all other affected schools to come forward and work together to find a solution to reclaim unpaid debts. While it is nice to see schools working together for the good of the majority, whether the association will be successful is likely to be decided by legal experts. But this action has certainly cast the spotlight on financial dealings in our industry, and for industry bystanders, for affected schools, and also for Don Quijote';s Antonio Anadon, as he told me, it has made a strong case for prompt payment by agencies and the need for clearer rules and structures.

This works both ways, as agencies in this issue also talk about payment problems they experience (page 11), with some universities revealed to be notoriously slow at sending back commission that is due to partners.

Industry exposed

Don Quijote takes over Amerispan in the USA
UK ELT fared well in 2005
EU expansion spells more business
EdNZ assumes overseas responsibility
China more popular with Koreans

Travel News
RAirAsia expands fleet further
Eurostar winning passengers
Australia heralded as best 'global brand'
Airport activity at a high

Agency News
IIcef Online launches, Alphe Asia takes in Thailand
Industry issues - agents speak out

Agency Survey
Turkey';s strength
The Turkish market is in a strong position as many study abroad agencies in the country report good growth in their business and are confident about future prospects, given the current and expected economic performance.

New Zealand
Fewer nationalities took part in this year's Feedback survey on New Zealand although the most important student markets remained the same.

Course Guide
UK paid work programmes
Working in a foreign country is a good way for students to fine-tune their language skills while enhancing career prospects at home or in their chosen destination. And earning money is an added incentive.

One-to-one in Spain
One-to-one Spanish programmes are becoming popular, with a more diverse range of clients requesting personalised tuition.

City Focus
Relaxing in Adelaide
Once experienced, Adelaide is never forgotten. With its elegant buildings, acres of parkland and liberal, friendly people, it is said to leave a lasting impression on those who visit it. Gillian Evans investigates the 20-minute city.

Global comparison 2005
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 for 2005.