Contents - May 2009

Special report
Decisive marketing
With the explosion of Internet marketing, today’s marketeers have a larger box of marketing tricks at their disposal. But where do agents fit into all of this? How do successful educators enhance their global exposure? Whatever strategy is decided, companies must know their market sectors and plan well, as Gillian Evans discovers.

Market Report
Italy struggles
Some schools in Italy are upbeat while others foresee a battle to maintain business this year, particularly as Italian language students are increasingly booking shorter courses. A positive visa issuance policy across the board would help, as Amy Baker discovers.

City Focus
Bournemouth’s welcome
Bournemouth is like Brighton’s older cousin: well established, popular and just slightly less crazy and frenetic, but with much of the same seasoned charm. Jane Vernon Smith takes a trip to the south coast.


Evolution of ideas

Time always marches on at the same pace, irrespective of economic woes or giddy, exciting opportunistic times. Schools in Italy might be wishing next year was here already, when some positivity may have already returned to their client base. Meanwhile, perhaps educators in New Zealand are relishing the moment because the latest reports are that enrolments are rising, in the tertiary sector at least.

Like time, business never stands still. Somebody, somewhere right now is thinking about positioning their business in a new way; forcing others in the industry to take notice. In the marketing domain, one example is celebrity endorsement of international education: we hear that one education company is using this tactic.

While this may be an advantage that only big money can buy, as the marketing of international education evolves, others must question their own efforts. Another strategy mentioned is enhancing reputation via social networking sites online. The advent of websites such as Facebook offer opportunities for schools to build a virtual community and encourage loyalty online. At the same time, the beauty of an online feelgood factor is that it ultimately is controlled by the clients; hence reliant upon the quality of teaching, services and accommodation provided.

As we underline in this issue, accommodation is an important area of expertise, and in the last few years, this sub-sector of our industry has really started to professionalise, with third party providers evolving that are dedicated to serving study abroad clients. As clients become more demanding, schools are having to consider carefully how they approach their area of their provision.

Even the delivery of language tuition is being reinvented. I find it astonishing that the Internet can now be harnessed for conversations, using Skype, for example. In one step further, two technology companies have teamed up to enable international dialogue to take place on mobile phones, using Internet technology, for the price of a local phone call. This may not replace learning a language in the country where it is spoken, but it certainly might become a popular way of practising skills on return home.

Congratulations too to the British Council for hosting its annual “ELTons” award ceremony for innovation in English language teaching, helping in some small way to sustain a culture of creativity.

Evolution of ideas

English UK passes 400 member mark
New premises for Malvern House in London
Mixed message in NZ
Paul Simon Act in USA pushes study abroad
Feltom marks 20-year milestone with an event
GV opens in Byron Bay
Mood at Alphe Asia upbeat

Agency News
English UK North working with Ialca in Italy
Cactus launches own-brand coursebooks
In memory of Pierre Semidei

Agency Survey
Swiss courage
It’s been a topsy turvey year for the outbound student market in Switzerland, with economic strife seemingly at the heart of it all. However, agents appear to be taking it in their stride.

Tertiary study in Germany was a clear incentive for many students to be studying German. As a result, there were more Asians in our survey this year.

Work experience in the UK
Work experience, whether paid or unpaid, is the perfect way to improve language skills and better future career prospects. Paid work is often restricted to the hotel and catering sectors, although providers offer unpaid placements in various fields of expertise including engineering and journalism.

Course Guide
Dele preparation in Spain
The internationally recognised language exam aims to test levels of competence and students’ command of Spanish. Preparation courses are specifically designed to prepare students for the certification with several of the providers listed below being approved exam centres.

Ireland 2008
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.