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March 2008 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Market Report
Direction
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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Saudi’s diversity

Despite well documented demand for the USA among Saudi students, many have sought alternative language destinations such as the UK and New Zealand according to our Agency Survey. Meanwhile, higher education appears to be big business.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by five of the six agencies in our survey was 4,125

• Individual agencies placed between 100 and 3,000 students on courses per year

• Average business growth was 37 per cent in the last 12 months

• The average length of stay for Saudi Arabian students was 13 weeks

• Overall, 57 per cent of Saudi Arabian students stayed in host family accommodation when studying overseas

The UK was the most popular destination for Saudi Arabian students, followed by New Zealand and Canada

• On average, each agency worked with 31 schools in the last 12 months


Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 52%
2. New Zealand 15%
3. Canada 13%
4. Australia 12%
5. Usa 3%
Other 5%
1. Intensive 40%
2. General 29%
3. Summer vacation 12%
4. University found. 8%
5. Acad./exam. prep. 5%
6. Junior 2%
6. Lang. & work exp. 2%
6. Business 2%

Reasons for language travel
Average percentage agency business
1. Studies overseas 55%
2. Current work 17%
3. Future work 16%
3. Studies at home 8%
5. pleasure 4%
1. Lang. programme 38%
2. Higher education 35%
3. Work & travel 19%
Other 8%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Word of mouth 37%
2. Adv. in press 24%
3. Website 16%
4. Seminars to students 4%
5. Mailshots 2%
Other 16%
1. Internet 34%
2. Fairs & expos 18%
3. LTM/ETM 10%
4. Workshops 6%
Other 32%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Australia
Acpet 17%
English Australia 33%

Canada
Capls 50%
CLC 67%

France
Souffle 0%
L'Office 0%
Unosel 0%
FLE 0%

Ireland
MEI~Relsa 0%
IEAI 0%

Italy
Asils 0%
Italian in Italy 0%

Malta
Feltom 0%

New Zealand
Ed. NZ 50%
English NZ 83%

Portugal
Aeple 0%

South Africa
Eltasa 0%
English SA 17%

Spain
Fedele 0%

UK
ABLS 17%
English UK 50%
British Council 100%

Europe
Eaquals 0%

USA
AAIEP 0%
Accet 40%
CEA 17%
UCIEP 0%

International
Ialc 0%
Quality English 17%
Tandem 0%



Market growth
Only six agencies participated in our first ever Agency Survey on Saudi Arabia (although the total market size is small anyway) but almost all agents reported a surge in the number of students opting to study abroad – although one agency did not disclose the amount of students it sent overseas in 2007. Five agencies reported a business growth of between 20 and 200 per cent while one agent noted business had decreased by as much as 80 per cent in the last 12 months. Business growth was far from stunted, however, coming in at 37 per cent overall.

Language and destination trends
In 2005, US President Bush and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah drew up an agreement that called for a greater exchange of students between the USA and Saudi Arabia, a wish that was certainly fulfilled. The latest Open Doors report indicates a huge surge in Saudi students at English language schools in the USA thanks to the introduction of government scholarships (see page six). However, the UK was conversely the most popular study destination last year, according to our survey respondents, with a 52 per cent share of the student market. Perhaps US-bound students apply through different channels for study abroad, as the USA polled just three per cent. English appeared to be the preferred language of choice among Saudi Arabian students, accounting for 98 per cent of all agency bookings, however, German and French made a slight dent in the statisitics, each accounting for one per cent of all student applications.

Student and course trends
Higher education placements generate a lot of agency business, with an estimated 35 per cent of clients interested in studying at a foreign university, just behind the 38 per cent of clients requesting language courses overseas. And a majority of students learn a language for further studies overseas – 55 per cent. Meanwhile, 33 per cent were learning a language for current or future work purposes. Saudi Arabian students opted for an in-depth form of learning with intensive language programmes accounting for 40 per cent of the student base, however, general language programmes polled second place with 29 per cent. In addition, summer programmes and university foundation courses proved fairly popular, achieving 12 per cent and eight per cent respectively. Average length of stay among Saudi students was 13 weeks.

Agency business
Our agents reported that word-of-mouth recommendation was responsible for 37 per cent of new business, while press advertising is also a valid form of recruitment in Saudi Arabia and attracted 24 per cent of business last year. In terms of finding new school partners, the Internet was most useful, leading to 34 per cent of new business relationships.

Looking ahead
Most agents forecast continued business growth for 2008. The benefits of studying abroad remain apparent and with the King Abdullah Scholarships Programme (Kasp) launched for the 2007-2008 academic year, Saudi students can now beneift from a scholarship programme that aims to send 5,000 students abroad each year to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, China and India.


Economic overview

• Strong oil prices and historically high output levels will enable the government to raise public spending, particularly on capital projects. These are projected to decline from 19 per cent of GDP in 2007 to 5.7 per cent of GDP in 2012.

• Despite high oil export earnings, strong import growth will push down the trade surplus. This will lead to a narrowing of the current-account surplus to an estimated 6.1 per cent of GDP in 2012.

• Demand for homes in the kingdom exceeds supply, mainly because 70 per cent of the population is below the age of 30. Land prices rose between 20 and 40 per cent in 2006. In Riyadh, the price per square metre was US$106 - US$340.

Sources: The Economist and AME Info


Saudi Arabian agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in the UK: Anglo European School of English, Bournemouth; Beet Language Centre, Bournemouth. Worldwide: Eurocentres, various; EC, various; EF, various; Kaplan Aspect, various.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: Al Amoudi Travel Agency, Sameerah Corporation, Almarefh Agency, IDP Education Pty Ltd, A2Z Management, Matoolah for Tourism.


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
Acpet
Eltasa
Feltom
International House
      World Organisation
MEI-Relsa Ireland 
NAIS – National
      Association of
      Independent Schools
Perth Education City
Quality English 
 
GUARDIANSHIP
COMPANIES
Bright World
      Guardianships

INSURANCE
Interglobal Ltd

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority

WORKSHOPS / EXPOS
Icef
 
AUSTRALIA 
Acpet
Joy of English
Perth Education City

CANADA
Bodwell College 
Centre Linguista
      Canada
College Platon 
inlingua Vancouver
National School of
      Languages
School District #8
      Kootenay Lake
 
CHINA
iMandarin Chinese
      Training School

EGYPT
ILI International
      House – IH Cairo

ENGLAND
Bell International
      (Malta, UK)
Bloomsbury
      International 
Bright World
      Summer School 
Camp Beaumont
Concorde
      International
      (Argentina, Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Greece, Hawaii,
      Ireland, Italy, Malta,
      New Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      Sweden, USA)
English Studio
Heart of England
      Language School
International House
      World Organisation
Kaplan Aspect
      Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand,
      South Africa, UK,
      USA)
LAL Language and
      Leisure
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
LanguageForLife.com
      at Clifton College,
      Bristol 
Malvern House
Our World English
      Schools
Queen Ethelburga's
      College
Rose of York
      Language School 
South Thames
      College 
St Giles Colleges
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
      USA)
Twin Group
      (Ireland, UK)
 
FRANCE
Cavilam
French in Normandy
Langues Sans
      Frontières
Silc – Séjours
      Linguistiques
      (France, Spain, UK)

GERMANY
Carl Duisberg
      Centren
      (England, Germany)
International House
      Berlin – Prolog

IRELAND
Alpha College of
      English
Atlantic Language
      Galway
English in Dublin
Galway Cultural
      Institute
ISI – International
      Study Institute Ireland
MEI-Relsa Ireland 
Swan Training
      Institute

ITALY
Alce 

JAPAN
Kai Japanese
      Language School 

MALTA
Clubclass Residential
      Language School
EC – English
      Language Centres
      (China, England,
      Malta, South Africa)
Feltom
LAL Malta
Linguatime
Malta Tourism
      Authority
NSTS

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and
      Activity Camps
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)  
Edinburgh Academy
University of Stirling

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies
EC Cape Town
Eurocentres
      Cape Town
Good Hope Studies
Interlink School of
      Languages
LAL South Africa 
Language Teaching
      Centre 
Shane Global
      Language Centres –
      Cape Town 
South African School
      of English

SPAIN
Esade Executive
      Language Centre
Idiomas ¡Sí!
International House
      San Sebastián –
      Lacunza 
International House
      Sevilla – Clic

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,   
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      USA)
Eurocentres
      International
      (Australia, Canada,  
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Japan, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Spain, Switzerland,
      USA)

USA
ALCC – American
      Language &
      Communication
      Center
University of
      California Riverside 
University of
      California San Diego
University of
      Nebraska at Lincoln
Wilbraham & Monson
      Academy
Zoni Language
      Centers Canada
      (Canada, USA)


EDUCATION TRAVEL MAGAZINE

ENGLAND
Bell International
      (Malta, UK)
South Thames
      College
University of
      Manchester

SCOTLAND
University of
      Glasgow 

USA
Monterey Institute of
      International Studies
NAIS – National
      Association of
      Independent Schools
St. Timothy's School
Valley Forge Military
      Academy