May 2012 issue

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

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Korea’s challenge

The 2011 operating year proved a challenging one for Korean study abroad advisors. However, despite economic growth weakening, advisory centres are hopeful business can improve.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the seven advisories in our survey was 8,938

Individual advisories placed between 52 and 8,000 students on courses per year

The average length of stay for Korean students was 14 weeks

Overall, 60 per cent of Korean students stayed in host family accommodation when studying overseas

A higher percentage of advisory clients were studying abroad for future work, namely 45 per cent

Language learning is the most lucrative sector of the study abroad market for Korean advisors

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. USA 34%
2. Canada 18%
3. Philippines 14%
4. UK 14%
5. Japan 9%
6. Australia 6%
6. Ireland 1%
1. Intensive 57%
2. General 20%
3. Junior 8%
4. Business 3%
5. Language plus work 3%
6. Undergraduate/ postgraduate 3%
7. University foundation 3% 7. Academic prep/exam prep 2%
Other 1%

Reasons for studying overseas Average percentage advisor business
1. Further work 45%
2. Further studies overseas 34%
3. Further studies at home 9%
3. Current work 6% 4. Pleasure 4
% Other 5%
1. Language programmes 78%
2. Secondary School 8%
3. Higher education 7%
4. Internships 4%
4. Work & Travel 3%

How do advisors recruit students?
How do advisors find new schools to represent?
1. E/online marketing 41%
2. Website 20% 3. Word-of-mouth 19%
4. Press 6%
4. Seminars to students 6%
6. Mail shots 3%
7. TV/radio 3%
Other 2%
1. Internet 37.5%
3. B2B workshops 26%
2. Language fair and student expos 16%
4. STM 9% 5. Other press 4%
Other 7.5%

Percentage of advisors who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 57%
English Australia 57%
NEAS 57%

Languages Canada 57%

Groupement FLE 14%
Souffle 14%
L’Office 0%
Unosel 0%

MEI 28%

Asils 0%
Italian in Italy 0%

Feltom 28%

New Zealand
Eng NZ 71%

Aeple 28%

South Africa
EduSa 14%

Fedele 0%

Abls 14%
British Council 86%
English UK 86%

Accet 57%
CEA 43%

Eaquals 28%
Ialc 43%
International House
World Organisation 43%
Quality English 28%
Tandem 0%

Market growth
In 2011, Korean study abroad advisors remained cautious when projecting future growth and with good reason. In the last quarter of 2011, South Korea’s economy was at a two-year low (see economic overview). Just two of the seven advisors that took part in this year’s annual survey of agency business recorded an increase in business, while four posted a decrease. As was the case in 2010 (see STM, May 2011, pages 36-37), average business growth remained in the red, coming in at -15.6 per cent, compared with -8.6 per cent previously.

Language and destination trends
Four advisors reported that 100 per cent of all agency clientele were interested in studying an English taught programme abroad. The overall average was therefore considerably high, namely 89 per cent - in keeping with last year’s 86 per cent. The second most requested language to study overseas was Japanese (10 per cent). There was little change too in regards to destination choice in 2011. A significant proportion of Korean students opted to study in the USA (34 per cent compared with 32 per cent), followed by Canada (18 per cent compared with 20 per cent) and the Philippines (14 per cent compared with 15 per cent). In 2011, the UK drew level with the Philippines in terms of market share.

Student and course trends
Korean students have consistently shown a predilection for intensive language programmes. In 2011, 57 per cent of all requests were for this type of provision, denoting perhaps Korean students’ penchant for highly targeted learning. This was followed by general language courses, with 20 per cent. Requests for academic and exam preparation courses dipped from nine to just three per cent in 2011. Interest in junior programmes, though, accounted for eight per cent of all agency bookings, compared with one per cent previously. There was a shift in client motivation in 2011: studying abroad with future work prospects in mind was the clincher for 45 per cent of all students, 9.5 percentage points more than in 2010.

Advisor business
Interest in higher education abroad continued to dip in 2011, down from 13 per cent in 2010 to just seven per cent. Language learning (78 per cent) proved yet again to be the most lucrative sector of agency business. Interestingly, five agency respondents reported that they were active in placing student clients in secondary/high schools abroad, a trend not trackeds in 2010. Korean advisors looked to promote their services and target new student business via a series of e-marketing campaigns in 2011, accounting for a whopping 41 per cent of all new business received, compared with nine per cent in 2010. When looking for new schools to represent, 37.5 per cent of all new business originated from the Internet, compared with 32 per cent in 2010. Korean agents still value face-to-face meetings with b2b workshops accounting for 26 per cent of all new partnerships formed.

Looking ahead
In light of the current economic situation, advisors remain realistic in their 2012 business forecasts. One agent is optimistic that recovery is on the horizon but that growth will be slow. A change in governing powers – the next presidential election is expected to be held at the end of 2012 – could spell a change in Korean economic policy, they added.

Economic overview

• According to a government report, South Korea’s economy grew the least in two years in the fourth quarter of 2011 as exports sank because of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and faltering global expansion.

• According to the central bank in Seoul, gross domestic product expanded 0.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2011. This was less than the median 0.5 per cent estimated by 10 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

• Exports fell in the final three months of 2011 for the first time in two years and investment and consumption also declined. South Korea’s inflation has remained elevated in part because a weakening won has made imported goods more expensive. Consumer prices rose 4.2 per cent from a year earlier in November and December 2011, exceeding the central bank’s target limit of four per cent.

• Risks to South Korea’s economy are increasing and inflation may ease at a moderate pace as growth slows for some time before picking up, said the central bank in January, deciding to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged.

Sources: Bloomberg.com

Korean advisors named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Sydney College of English, Sydney, NSW. In Switzerland: The American School in Switzerland, Lugano. In the UK: Beet Language Centre, Bournemouth; Brockenhurst College, Brockenhurst; Cambridge Academy of English, Cambridge; ELC Bristol, Bristol; Eurocentres, London; Hilderstone College, Broadstairs; International House, London; London Hotel School, London; London School of Commerce, London; London School of English, London; Language Studies International, Portsmouth; Malvern House, London; Oxford House College, Oxford. In the USA: ELS, various; North Broward Preparatory School, Fort Lauderdale, FL. International: ILSC; EC.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in this survey: UKUHAK.com; GCN Corp (CampusOK); Uhak.com; Han Shin Counsulting/Edu –Link; To Be Londoner; Hankook Education; Olive Institute for International Education.

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.






English Australia  
Fedele Spain  
Feltom Malta  
MEI Ireland  
NEAS Australia  
Perth Education City  
Quality English  
Study Gold Coast  
The English Network  

Generation Estates  
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  

Access Macquarie Limited  
Bond University  
English Australia  
ILSC Australia  
Impact English College  
International House Sydney
Language Studies International  
NEAS Australia  
Perth Education City  
Study Gold Coast  
University of Newcastle Language Centre  
University of New South Wales  

CERAN Lingua International  

Eastern Townships School Board  
Greater Victoria School District  
Halton Catholic District School Board  
International House Toronto  
Omnicom School of Languages  
Peace River School District  
Powell River School District  
Qualicum School District  
Red Deer Public School District  
St James Assiniboia  

iMandarin Language Training Institute  

Bright World Guardianships  
Camp Beaumont  
CES - Centre of English Studies  
International House London  
Kaplan International Colleges  
King's Colleges  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of English  
Malvern House London  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
St Giles International  
Study Group  
University of East Anglia  
University of Essex - International Academy  

Quality English  

Cambridge Esol  
City and Guilds branch Office in Europe  
TOEFL Educational Testing Service  

Alliance Française Lyon  

Dr Walter GmbH  

Active Language Learning  
Clare Language Centre  
Cork English College /Language & Activity Holidays  
Galway Cultural Institute  
Galway Language Centre  
International House Dublin  
International School of English  
Language College Ireland  
MEI Ireland  
MLI International Schools  

A Door to Italy  

Clubclass Residential Language School  
EC English Language Centre  

Fedele Spain  
Inturjoven Spanish Courses  

EF Language Colleges Ltd.  
Eurocentres International  

Malta Tourism Authority  
Study Gold Coast  

California State University Chico  
California State University San Marcos  
FLS International  
Forest Ridge  
Global Language Institute  
Army and Navy Academy  
Saint John's University  
University of Arizona  
University of California Berkeley  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Language Centers  

Gower College Swansea  

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