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March 2008 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Agency Survey
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Market Report
Direction
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
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Deportation rule for students relaxed in UK

Students who overstay their visa will no longer be deported from the UK as a matter of course unless their case is deemed a fraud priority, according to a leaked memo that was first published in British newspaper The Daily Mail. The new directive came to light after Chief of the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA), Lin Homer, personally intervened to stop a Chinese student being deported after a mistake applying for a visa extension.

In this particular case, Homer said the student had simply filled in the wrong credit card details on a form that was submitted on time. The leaked memo, from Director of Enforcement, Jonathan Lindley, questioned “such quick removal action” of students in some cases, noting that overstayers automatically become at risk of deportation if they sought an extension late.

And Homer noted, “Student cases that show evidence of fraud or corruption will continue to be referred for enforcement action.”

At Universities UK, Chief Executive, Diana Warwick, said discretion was important when dealing with such cases. She wrote to the Immigration Minister last year when, without warning, automatic enforcement proceedings against students were started when they were even one day late with visa extension applications.

“This [approach] failed to take into account occasional extenuating circumstances where students experience problems with the processing of their payments or the student might be receiving hospital treatment for example,” said Warwick. “To remove such students would be harsh and inappropriate.”

Meanwhile, UK Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne, has announced that all visa applicants will now be fingerprinted from spring onwards as part of tightened immigration rules. Nationals from over 120 countries had already been required to provide fingerprints when applying for a work, study or tourism visa.

“Tougher checks abroad mean we keep risky people out,” said Byrne, who noted that 10,000 visa applicants to date have shown up as having previously been fingerprinted in connection with immigration cases or asylum applications.



Open Doors: big increase in Saudi students

Results from the latest Open Doors report into Intensive English Programs (IEPs) in the USA indicate a significant increase in Saudi Arabians across language schools in the country.

Open Doors, produced by the Institute of International Education, has released 2007 figures (relating to the 2006 calendar year) and Saudi student weeks increased by around 530 per cent, with Saudis becoming the second-largest nationality by volume behind Korea.

Japan was in third position in terms of student weeks, followed by Taiwan. Total volume of the student body across participating IEPs rose by 14 per cent to 636,522 weeks from 557,311 weeks.

The reason for such a surge in Saudi Arabian students is a scholarship programme introduced in 2005.



Problems at private college in Australia

Students were left in limbo in Brisbane when the nursing department of Shafston College saw its accreditation lapse in late December. Around 400 foreign students were temporarily stranded, having paid more than AUS$5,000 (US$4,500) for their first trimester of study and unable to start classes. An agreement was reached with Kranz International College in mid-January.

In Sydney, the NSW Education Department was investigating the Sydney International College of Business’s cookery and hospitality courses at the time of going to press and it was forbidden from accepting fees until accreditation was restored. There were concerns that not enough similar course places were available for students should the college be de-registered for over-enrolling.



NSTS in Malta offers scholarships to MEPs

NSTS English Language Institute in Malta, has presented a scholarship package worth e6,000 (US$8,955) to Member of European Parliament (MEP) Simon Busuttil. Thirty one-week English language courses will now be awarded to senior officials working in the European Parliament to enable them to study English in Malta.

The generous donation was given during “Malta Week”, a week-long celebration of Maltese culture organised in the European Parliament. NSTS Chief Executive, Francis Stivala, explained that he wanted to help promote Malta as an English language destination for influential people working in the parliament.

Busuttil commented, “Many MEPs have already come to Malta to learn English. Initiatives such as this will help the country make further steps forward in this direction.”

NSTS English Language Institute is the oldest language school in Malta, set up by the University of Malta in 1963.



Bogus college in UK uncovered

a fraudulent college has been discovered trading as Irish International University (IIU) in London, UK. A BBC London investigation revealed the college’s accreditation status was awarded by another virtual company owned by the same “university” boss. Degrees issued to thousands of students – often involving ceremonies held at rented space in Oxford or Cambridge Universities – are worthless, and moreover, the college represented an easy way for bogus students to enter the country.

With a year to go before accreditation is compulsory for all visa-issuing education institutions, the issue of immigration integrity remains a political hot potato. Currently, “registered” private schools and colleges are listed on a register of bona fide education providers, but this has had its efficacy questioned. Of 256 listed colleges that were chosen to be inspected, 124 have been removed from the register. Companies had simply to prove they were a viable and legal company to be registered initally, with inspection occuring if colleges were then deemed to warrant investigation.

In November, unnannounced inspections were introduced to try and enhance the reputation of the register. A government spokesperson said that IIU was never on the register of education providers, although an affilliated college was, said BBC London.

At English UK, Tony Millns, Chief Executive, said, “English UK has never regarded the Dfes/DIUS Register of Education Providers as more than a first step [towards a quality safeguard].” However, he pointed out it had had some success in forcing a few dodgy operators out of business.

“The new UK Border Agency Register of Sponsors, open for registration in the summer, will rely upon accreditation by approved bodies and will be much more robust and effective,” he said. Meanwhile, two people from Kelvin Business School have been arrested (see LTM, Sept 2007, page 6).



Russia tells BC to close offices

In a sign of increasingly frosty relations between the UK and Russia, the British Council has been ordered to close its regional offices in St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg, maintaining only the headquarters in Moscow. It is accused of violating tax laws and having no legal basis for its work in the country.

The Council denies all charges, claiming it is fully compliant with tax laws and is in the country under the terms of an agreement signed in 1994. At the time of going to press, a statement on the Council’s website said it intended to continue operations.

“The fact we’ve got to recognise is that political disagreements between governments [concerning the fatal poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko] don’t stop Russian and British citizens from having an interest in one another and wanting to get to know one another better,” said Martin Davidson, Chief Executive. “It’s precisely at moments like this, when political relations get difficult, that we need to keep channels of people-to-people contact open.”



Kaplan Aspect buys out PLI in Canada

Kaplan Aspect is on the acquisition trail, with another school becoming part of its global network. This time, it is Pacific Language Institute (PLI) in Canada, which is 20 years old and has two teaching centres, in Vancouver and Toronto.

David Jones, Chief Executive of Kaplan Aspect, said, “We always felt as though PLI set the standard that other Canadian schools aspired to. When you walk into the PLI schools, you are struck by a tangible sense of professonalism and academic integrity.” He added, “The management and teaching teams of PLI will be an invaluable asset to the Kaplan group and this merger will immediately establish us as a major player in the Canadian market.”
 
Robyn Inman, International Director of the schools – which will continue to operate as they are – said she felt the acquisition meant an excellent future for PLI and its extended family. “The response from colleagues and agents has been overwhelmingly supportive and positive,” she said. “It is a big step for both PLI and Kaplan and it is a huge vote for the future of international education in Canada.”



French government accreditation soon to be widespread

French in Normandy in Rouen, France, is the latest language school in the country to have gained the French government’s seal of approval. Thirty-three schools are already accredited and another 30 or so in process.

Once accredited under the scheme, Qualité Français Langue Etrangère, schools can display the logo and French flag as pictured above. “We are thrilled,” said Eleri Maitland at French in Normandy about their latest accreditation. “The criteria for the government label are very demanding and it is all credit to our staff who supported our decision to apply and worked very hard to achieve this excellent result.”

There is also another accreditation process available to French language schools through the school association fle.fr (see LTM, September 2007, page 7).


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