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May 2011 issue

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Learning English in Australian Tafes

Many Technical and Further Education (Tafe) institutions offer English language tuition to international students planning further study. Despite student numbers suffering a decline in Australia recently, some Tafes are bucking the trend.

The vocational education and English language sectors in Australia suffered a decline in international student numbers in 2010 yet Tafes in some areas of Australia report that numbers are on the rise.

Larissa Salinas from NMIT in Collingwood, VIC, says the fact that Tafes are funded by state governments means that they are more secure than many private providers in the country; the highly publicised closures of some providers in the last few years have dented international student confidence in the country as an English language destination, she says. “NMIT has built a reputation of offering quality education and training since it was first established in 1912 and is funded by the Victorian government,” says Salinas. “This means that NMIT [is unlikely to] close down – something to consider when researching private language schools.”

Small class sizes, when compared with university English language programmes, a clear educational progression pathway and the ability to mix with other Australian students while on campus are also big attractions for international students choosing to study English at a Tafe. Salinas adds, “NMIT’s Elicos [English language] programme has grown from strength to strength and continued to maintain popularity over the last few years. Despite changes in the Australian international education industry, NMIT’s Elicos programme is still hugely popular.”

Changes to Australia’s visa system during 2010 have had a drastic effect on the country’s international student population, with the English language sector down by 16 per cent between 2009 and 2010 and the vocational sector down by 11 per cent over the same period. Yet, some Tafes report that international enrolments have proved to be resilient, as Vicki Blaxell from Gold Coast Institute of Tafe notes. She adds, “Gold Coast Institute of Tafe is the largest public provider in the Gold Coast region, a government owned statutory body and a registered training organisation. Being part of the vocational and education and training system means that Gold Coast Institute of Tafe is innovative and delivers customised training products and services.”

Last year, key student markets for the vocational sector declined in numbers slightly with Indian students dipping by five per cent and Chinese student numbers down by 34 per cent. Yet Elicos providers at Australian Tafes report a wide variety of student markets that have remained strong in recent years. Salinas identifies 15 top nationalities for their English language programmes, including China, Vietnam, Brazil, India, Thailand and Venezuela, while Blaxell points out that 70 per cent of their English students are made up of Japanese, Saudi Arabian, Korean and Chinese. “[Other countries] include France, Libya, Russia, India, New Caledonia, Vietnam, Ecuador and Brazil,” she adds.

For many international students, the ability to enrol on a further Tafe or university course after an initial English course is a key part of a Tafe’s appeal and students may even be offered a place on a mainstream course on the condition that they take an Elicos course first. Salinas confirms, “Often students who do not meet the English requirements for direct entry into NMIT’s programmes may undertake Elicos prior to the commencement of their principal course.”

Due to the academic intentions of many of the students who study English at Tafe institutions, many offer a variety of exam preparation programmes and can tailor their courses to meet the vocational demands of students. Kate Ross from the Tafe NSW Elicos centres in seven location across New South Wales says, “[We offer] Certificate three English for Further Studies (EFS) and Certificate four English for Academic Purposes (EAP). [We also offer] Certificates one and two Esol and study tours can meet the demands of clients who require English for specific purposes eg. English for nursing.”

Overall, Elicos programmes in Australian Tafes offer international students a secure basis from which to develop their future academic ambitions and are likely to remain popular in the future.

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.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

Email


ASSOCIATIONS/ GROUPS
ALTO  
English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
International House
      Toronto  
International House
      World Organisation
Perth Education City
Quality English  

ACCOMMODATION
Sara's New York
      Homestay LLC  

EXAMS
Pearson Education  

SERVICES
  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

AUSTRALIA
English Australia  
Perth Education City

ARGENTINA
Ecela - Latin
      Immersion  
Expanish  

BELGIUM
CERAN Lingua International  

CANADA
Banff Education
      Centre
ILSC - International
      Language Schools
      of Canada
King George
      International College  
Vancouver English
      Centre  

CHILE
Tandem Santiago  

ENGLAND
Bloomsbury Business
      School  
Cambridge Education
      Group  
Camp Beaumont  
English Language
      Centre Brighton &
      Hove  
International House
      London  
Kaplan International
      Colleges  
King's Colleges  
London School of
      Business & Finance  
Malvern House
      College London  
Pearson Education  
Quality English  
Queen Ethelburga's
      College  
St Giles International  
Study Group  
United International
      College  
University of
      Essex - International
      Academy  

GERMANY
F+U Academy  
Goethe Institut  
inlingua Berlin  
International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

ITALY
Terramare  

IRELAND
Galway School of
      English  
International
      House Dublin  

MALTA
Clubclass
      Residential
      Language School  
EC English
      Language Centre  
English Language
      Academy  
Feltom Malta  
inlingua Malta  

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and
      Activity Camps  

SPAIN
Inturjoven
      Spanish Courses  

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
Eurocentres
      International  

USA
Educatius  
ELS Language
      Centers  
International House
      Sol Group  
New York
      General Consulting  
University of
      Arizona  
University of
      California San
      Diego  
Rennert  
Zoni Language
      Centers  



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