March 2013 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus
Market Analysis

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Switzerland stabilises

Business growth improved almost six-fold for Swiss agents in 2012, although a significant number reported no growth whatsoever. Meanwhile, a large majority of survey participants used alternative methods to attract school partners.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the nine agencies in our survey was 1,125

Individual agencies placed between three and 750 students on courses per year

Average business growth was 11.6 per cent in the last 12 months

The average length of stay for Swiss students was seven weeks

Overall, 85 per cent of Swiss students preferred host family accommodation when studying overseas

A higher proportion of agency clients were studying abroad for current work purposes, namely 46 per cent

Language learning is the most lucrative sector of the study abroad market for Swiss agents

Most popular course requests Average percentage of agency business by sector
1. Intensive 56%
2. Business 19%
3. Academic/exam prep 10%
4. General 8%
5. Summer vacation 5%
6. Junior 1%
7. Language plus work experience 1%
1. Language learning 96%
2. Work and travel 1%
3. Secondary education 1%
4. Internships 1%
Higher education 1%

Reasons for studying overseas Top destinations
1. Current work 46%
2. Future work 26%
3. Further studies at home 11%
4. Pleasure 4%
5. Other 13%
1. UK 43%
2. France 13%
3. USA 10%
4. Australia 9%
5. Germany 9%
6. Spain 3.5%
7. Italy 3.5%
8. Canada 3%
9. Ireland 1%
Other 5%

How do agents recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Word-of-mouth 58.5%
2. Website 24%
3. Mail shots 5%
4. Advertising in press 4.5%
5. E/online marketing 1%

Other 7%
1. B2B conferences
2. Internet 22%
3. Language fairs and student expos 6%
4. STM 1%

5. Other press 1%
Other 30%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 22%
English Australia 78%
NEAS 44%

Languages Canada 67%

Groupement FLE 56%
L’Office 0%
Souffle 56%
Unosel 11%

MEI 56%

Asils 44%
Italian in Italy 22%

Feltom 100%

New Zealand
Eng NZ 67%

Aeple 0%

South Africa
EduSa 11%

Fedele 78%

Abls 11%
British Council 100%
English UK 89%

Accet 78%
CEA 11%

Eaquals 78%
Ialc 78%
International House
World Organisation 89%
Quality English 78%
Tandem 44%

Market growth

The past 12 months have dealt out mixed fortunes for Swiss agents, according to this year’s survey on outbound trends, although the feedback is positive overall. More than half of agent participants recorded good growth in student numbers (one giving figures as high as 30 per cent), three reported that business has remained stagnant and one declined to give growth figures. But with only four out of the 11 participants reporting growth in our previous survey and two recording negative growth (see STM, February 2012, pages 20-21), it seems that the market is starting to bounce back from last year’s slump. Average business growth was at 11.6 per cent in this survey, a dramatic increase over last year’s 1.8 per cent.

Language and destination trends

In terms of language preferences, clients have not really changed their habits since last year’s survey. English programmes still accounted for the lion’s share of requests (72 per cent), while Switzerland’s national languages of French (11 per cent), German (nine per cent) and Italian (five per cent) saw a fair share of interest from Swiss students too. Destination wise, the UK was the most popular with 43 per cent of market share, and France (13 per cent) in second place. However, this result is skewed as only one agency sent clients to this country.

Student and course trends

The popularity of intensive language courses has grown considerably, accounting for 56 per cent of requests compared with last year’s result of 35 per cent. Business language programmes were the second most requested course type with a 19 per cent share of the market (again, this result was skewed by one agency’s data). The top reason Swiss students studied abroad over the past 12 months was for current work purposes (46 per cent), while the most common reason in the last survey was for future work purposes (33 per cent). Studying for pleasure was down 15 percentage points this year, perhaps indicating a growing sense of competitiveness in Switzerland’s job market.

Agency business

Swiss agents are increasingly using less traditional techniques of attracting school partners, with 30 per cent utilising “other” methods. One participant said that they find 90 per cent of business partners through visiting various schools, while another said they forge 50 per cent of new partnerships through personal recommendations. B2B conferences are still a popular way to gain school clients (40 per cent), with one agent citing this as the reason for all new partnerships over the past 12 months, and in terms of attracting student clients, word-of-mouth is a method of increasing effectiveness, accounting for 58.5 per cent of requests compared with 50 per cent previously.

Looking ahead

Participants were notably more optimistic in regards to future business, with most predicting that bookings would be steady or show a modest increase. Some participants cited growth strategies such as targeting smaller schools and doing more to reach students.

Economic overview

• The Swiss economy experienced export-fuelled growth during Q4 2011, defying the strength of the Swiss franc. GDP grew by 0.1 per cent, going against predictions that the economy would shrink because of the Eurozone debt crisis. Overall, the Swiss economy grew by 2.6 per cent in 2011, surpassing the growth of its European neighbours.

• Concerns about the high strength of the Swiss franc continued in 2012, with Switzerland ranking 57th out of 59 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2011-2012. Another perceived threat was that the country is highly dependent on Europe, its main trading partner, and is vulnerable to falling demand from the continent.

• The average annualised inflation rate in 2012 was -0.7 per cent. The Swiss consumer price index calculated by the Federal Statistical Office registered a decline of 0.2 per cent in December 2012.

Sources: BBC News; swissinfo.ch; Federal Statistical Office

Swiss agents named a range of programmes they work with, including in Australia: Byron Bay English Language School, Bryon Bay, NSW; Langports, Brisbane and Gold Coast, QLD; Language Links, Perth, WA; Sydney English Language Centre (SELC), Sydney, NSW. In Canada: Red Leaf, Toronto, ON. In Germany: Dialog Sprachenschule, Lindau; GLS, Berlin; Humboldt-Institut, Konstanz; Kapito, Munster. In the UK: International House, various; New School of English, Cambridge; Regent English Language Training, Brighton, Cambridge, London and Oxford; The English Language Centre, Brighton and Bristol. International: In Spain: Estudio Internacional Sampere; Language Studies International (LSI).

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: Agence Babel; Aventure Linguistique; Biku Languages AG; globo-study Sprachreisen; Interlangues; Lingua Solutions R. Aeschbacher; LinguaService; Link Study Bellinzona; Marshall Language Studies.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

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






AHLI - American Home Life International  
Generation Estates  
Homestay Technologies Ltd  
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  
English UK  
Feltom Malta
Languages Canada / Langues Canada 
Quality English  

Ability English  
Academia International College 
Access Macquarie Limited  
Australian Institute of Professional Education  
Cairns Language Centre / Eu
rocentres Cairns  
ILSC Australia  
Impact English College  
English Language & Foundation Studies Centre  
UNSW Global Pay Limited (University of New South Wales)  
Algoma University  
Bow Valley College  
Camosun College  
Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology  
COMOX valley - School District 71  
East Coast School of Languages (ECSL)  
University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres  
Ecole Quebec Monde  
Hansa Language Centre of Toronto  
Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Niagara College  
Ottawa International Student Programmes (OISP)  
St Giles Vancouver  
Anglia Ruskin University  
Bright World Guardianships  
Camp Beaumont  
International House World Organisation  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Prime Education  
London Language Centre  
London School of Business & Finance  
School of Oriental and African Studies  
St Giles International  
Trent College  
TUS Advertising  
Twin Group  
University of East Anglia  
Cambridge Esol  
TOEFL Educational Testing Service
Accent Francais  
Alliance Francaise Marseille-Provence  
Centre Mediterraneen d'Etudes Francaises  
Ecole Suisse Internationale  
French in Normandy  
Groupement FLE  
ILCF Institut Catholique de Paris  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  
Université de Perpignan  
F+U Academy of Languages  
ESL Ecole Suisse de Langues  
English For Asia  
Guard. Me  
Ingle International  
Centre of English Studies  
IH Cork  
Travelling Languages - Think Ahead LTD  
A Door To Italy  

Feltom Malta
inlingua Malta  
City Education Language School  
EC Cape Town  
EF International Language Centers  
English Language School Cape Town  
Eurocentres International  
Good Hope Studies  
International House Cape Town  
inlingua Language Training Centre Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
Jeffrey's Bay Language School  
Kurus English CC  
LAL Cape Town  
Language Teaching Centre  
EF International Language Centers  
Eurocentres International  
Malta Tourism Authority  
International Mediterranen Academy  
AHLI - American Home Life International  
Brown University  
California State University San Marcos  
ELS Language Centers  
FLS International  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Glenholme School  
Global Language Institute  
Hun School of Princeton  
Lawrence Academy  
Montverde Academy  
Saint John's University  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Lan
guage Centers

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