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November 2007 issue

Contents
News
Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Direction1
Direction2
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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The global market


The majority of English language destinations reported growth in the market in 2006, according to our annual survey of the global English language travel industry. Bethan Norris details some of the changes that have occurred since our last report.

The English language travel industry continues to grow and develop and this year the trend towards amalgamation and the growth of large language school chains continues. The acquisition of Aspect by language school giant Kaplan was one of the most significant events of the year, while the purchase of Cambridge Education Group by a venture capitalist and the acquisition of EC’s first school in the USA, the Olin Center in Boston, MA, proves that the industry remains healthy and continues to attract investors.

Another business trend over the last 12 months has been the move towards privatising English language provision at state universities in the largest English-speaking destination, the UK. Into University Partnerships currently provides English language teaching provision at three partner universities and has invested UK£35 million (US$71 million) in providing state-of-the-art facilities for students at the University of East Anglia as well as an international marketing campaign to promote UK university education overseas.

The importance, both financially and in terms of attracting highly qualified immigrants, of welcoming international university students is at last being recognised by the governments of most of the major English language destinations worldwide. Recent visa policy changes mean that international graduates from universities in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK can stay on in their host country to work after graduating and in some countries this is a major part of their immigration policy. The fact that investors are recognising the link between English language teaching and international student recruitment for universities suggests that the academic preparation sector of the market will continue to grow and play a major role in boosting English language enrolment figures in the future.

The market in 2006
Our annual comparison of statistics for the major English language travel destinations worldwide uses a variety of sources in order to provide a snapshot of the industry and its changes year on year. This year, our statistics for 2006 show that overall student numbers reached 1,345,589, a 5.8 per cent increase on the 1,271,635 figure calculated last year, and reveal an industry with healthy growth patterns. However, owing to total student weeks and total revenue generated were both down on last year, largely due to more accurate statistics being available for the UK.

This year, more concrete statistics have become available for the state sector English language teaching market, showing that our previous calculations were too high. This revision of the UK figures means that the market share for our English language destinations looks slightly altered this year. In terms of student weeks, the UK now accounts for 30.7 per cent of the total market when previously we calculated that this figure was closer to 43.7 per cent. This change means that the US market share has increased to 23.9 per cent, up from our previous estimate of 18.1 per cent. Australia has also gained market share in our calculations this year, up to 13.3 per cent from 10.6 per cent previously.

In terms of student numbers, our new calculations for the UK have made less of a difference in the division of market share, with the UK accounting for 43 per cent of the market, compared with 46.1 per cent previously. Canada has also held on to its place as the second largest market for student numbers, attracting 15 per cent of total students, above the USA, which accounted for 14 per cent of the market – a similar figure to last year.

Average length of stay
While student numbers in Canada are shown to be eight per cent greater than those in the USA, the situation is completely reversed when it comes to student weeks as the US market is 43 per cent larger than Canada’s. This margin of difference in student weeks between the two countries has grown considerably since last year and can be attributed to the fact that the USA now has the longest average length of stay per student, at 12.7 weeks, of any of the destinations looked at.

This trend towards a longer average length of stay in the USA can be attributed to an increase in academic preparation programmes offered by language schools in order to cater for the demand for university places among international students – as noted in our recent Market Report feature on the USA (see Language Travel Magazine, September 2007, page 53). A large increase in the number of students from Saudi Arabia, studying English on a scholarship from the Saudi government, with a view to going on to university in the USA, could also have influenced this figure and IIE’s Open Doors statistics show that enrolments on English programmes from this country increased by 342 per cent between 2004 and 2005.

South Africa is another destination where the average length of stay has increased in recent years and it is now in second place behind the USA in the length of stay league table, with 11.3 weeks. Reasons for this trend can be found in our Market Report feature on South Africa earlier this year, which showed that schools are increasingly venturing into the business, academic and Tefl training markets, all of which are likely to send the average length of stay upwards (see Language Travel Magazine, April 2007, page 24). The fact that South Africa also has the lowest average spend per student per week could also be a factor in encouraging students to study on longer language programmes.

Changing trends
Destinations doing particularly well, according to our comparison of global statistics, include South Africa and Ireland. South Africa now has a larger market share than Malta in terms of student weeks and the industry is calculated to be worth US$103,810,462 to the country’s economy, compared with US$44,161,320 previously.

The revenue earned from the English language travel market in Ireland has also increased to US$787,903,116 – up 43 per cent from our calculations last year. Student numbers and weeks are both up substantially on last year’s results, while the average weekly spend for students has also crept upwards from US$805 previously to US$976. Adrian Cummins from Irish School Association MEI-Relsa says that the figures for 2006 could be even higher. “We think that the statistics collected by Bord Failte are a bit low. 2006 was a good year for Irish language schools – helped mainly by the EU grants to study English. We had about 10,000 extra Spanish students as a result in the first year.”

The Canadian language teaching industry is also doing particularly well at the moment, retaining its place as second largest in terms of student numbers for the second year. Gerry La Belle from the newly merged school association, Languages Canada, says that student numbers continue to rise. “From anecdotal information from members, it appears that the language training market in Canada is moving in an upward direction. Student numbers have rebounded over the last two years, following the various global events which adversely affected the industry since 2001,” he said.

For the first time this year, Malta was calculated to have more students than New Zealand although, due to its low average length of stay of 2.4 weeks, this destination remained bottom in terms of student weeks. John Dimech from school association Feltom says, “The [Maltese] ELT market has constantly increased by an average of nine per cent for the past 10 years. Potentially this can increase to 100,000 students a year in the next five years.”

The UK also had a good year in 2006, with student numbers at schools accredited by English UK up by 6.6 per cent on 2006 and student weeks increasing by 11.6 per cent. Tony Millns, Chief Executive of English UK, confirms, “2006 was a very good year, probably the best for 6-to-7 years, for the UK.”

One student market, however, did not perform so well in 2006. Statistics for New Zealand show that student numbers declined by two per cent while student weeks stayed almost the same as the previous year’s results. This can largely be attributed to a decline in students from China – one of the country’s biggest student markets. Chinese student numbers decreased by 50.5 per cent between 2005 and 2006.

Future change
When it comes to predicting what the future holds in terms of market share, it is likely that the positions of the smallest four countries – Ireland, Malta, New Zealand and South Africa – will continue to change as they develop. And while the position of the UK as top destination for English language learning seems assured at present, increased competition from other destinations is likely in the future.

Millns says, “Main competitor destinations are Australia and Ireland, but the USA has started to recover from the visa issues and is now doing quite well, helped also by the weakness of the dollar.”

Javiera Visedo from New Zealand Global in Chile says that she expects South Africa and Ireland to grow as language travel destinations in the future, although Australia, Canada and New Zealand are the most popular with clients at the moment. However, perceptions of study destinations are changing. She adds, “Higher education is still dominated by the USA and UK, especially for the most traditional universities, but Australia and Canada have been doing great work too in the past four years, setting their universities in the minds of prospective students.”

James Herbertson from Answer English in the UK says that high profile sports events will also have an effect on the market. “I think places like Beijing in 2008, South Africa in 2010 [for the World Cup] and undoubtedly London [for the Olympics in 2012] will attract greater numbers than ever before,” he says.


Global English language market by student weeks, 2006
Global English language market by student numbers, 2006
UK 3,083,751 (30.7%)
USA 2,394,991 (23.9%)
Canada 1,671,714 (16.7%)
Australia 1,333,872 (13.3%)
Ireland 839,982 (8.4%)
NZ 365,684 (3.6%)
S Africa 181,964 (1.8%)
Malta 158,318 (1.6%)

total
10,030,276
UK 578,565 (43%)
Canada 203,868 (15.2%)
USA 188,582 (14%)
Ireland 135,481 (10%)
Australia 121,858 (9.1%)
Malta 65,966 (4.9%)
NZ 35,166 (2.6%)
S Africa 16,103 (1.2%)



total
1,345,589


Global English language market by revenue (US$), 2006
Average length of stay per country
UK 3,389,042,349
USA 2,336,613,094
Canada 1,164,348,801
Australia 848,007,912
Ireland 787,903,116
NZ 216,942,033
Malta 130,493,612
S Africa 103,810,462

total
8,974,161,379
USA 12.7
S Africa 11.3
Australia 10.9
NZ 10.4
Canada 8.2
Ireland 6.2
UK 5.3
Malta 2.4


Average spend per student per week '06 (US$)
UK 1,099
USA 976
Ireland 938
Malta 824
Canada 697
Australia 634
NZ 593
S Africa 571


Changes in market share by student weeks taught (%) '2003-2006
2003 2004 2005 2006
UK
USA
Canada
Australia
NZ
Ireland 3
Malta
S Africa
40.6
19.2
16.2
8.8
7.4
5.7
1.3
0.8
43.6
18.8
15.3
10.4
6.3
3.1
1.7
0.8
43.9
18.2
15.2
10.7
6.4
3.4
1.4
0.8
30.7
23.9
16.7
13.3
8.4
3.6
1.8
1.6

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


AGENTS
Boa Lingua

ASSOCIATIONS / GROUPS
Acpet
Capls Canada
CLC Canada
Eaquals
English Australia
International House
      World Organisation
MEI-Relsa
Perth Education City
Quality English

EXPOS / WORKSHOPS
Alphe Conferences

INSURANCE
InterGlobal Ltd
Student Guard
      Insurance

TELECOM SERVICES
Business Telecom
      Systems
GSM International

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority

WORK EXPERIENCE
ETCI
Kaplan Aspect
      Opus Programme
Twin Group

ARGENTINA
BASP (Buenos Aires
      Spanish School)

AUSTRALIA
Acpet
English Australia
Milner International
      College of English
      (Australia, England)

BELGIUM
Ceran Lingua
      International
      (Belgium, England,
      France, Ireland,
      Japan, Netherlands,
      Spain)

BRAZIL
Open English

CANADA
Academie
      Linguistique
      Internationale
Bodwell College
Bouchereau
      International
      Language Centre
Capls Canada
CLC Canada
Centre Linguista
      Canada
College of New
      Caledonia
East Coast School of
      Languages (ECSL)
ELS Language
      Centres
English Bay College
English Language
      Training College
      ELTC
English School of
      Canada
Eurocentres,
      Vancouver
Focus International
Global Village
      (Australia, Canada,
      USA)
IH Whistler
ILAC - International
      Language Academy
      of Canada
ILSC
Intrax English
      Institute
ITTTI
Language Studies
      Canada
Lethbridge College
National School of
      Languages
Omnicom School of
      Languages
PLI - Pacific
      Language Institute
Quest Language
      Studies
Saint Mary’s
      University
Stewart College of
      Languages
Tamwood
      International College
University Canada
      West
University of Calgary
Vancouver
      Community
      College International
      Education
Vancouver English
      Centre
Vanwest College
YMCA Greater
      Montreal
      International
      Language School
Zoni Language
      Centers
      (Canada, USA)

CHILE
Escuela de Idiomas
      Violeta Parra-
      Tandem Santiago

CHINA
Mandarin House

COSTA RICA
Academia Centro-
      americana de
      Español
Academia Latino-
      americana de
      Español
Centro
      Panamericano
      de Idiomas (CPI)
Wayra Spanish
      School

ECUADOR
Quito S.I. Spanish
      Institute

ENGLAND
Bell International -
      Camp Beaumont
Eaquals
Exsportise
ILS English Ltd
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)
Language in London
Liverpool
      International
      Language Academy
Malvern House
      College London
Oxford Intensive
      School of English
      (Australia, England,
      France, Germany,
      Spain, USA)
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga’s
      College
Saint George
      International
St Giles Colleges
      (Canada, UK, USA)
St Mary’s Hall
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
      USA)
Twin Group
University of Essex -
      International
      Academy

FRANCE
Cipel
France Langue
Institut de Touraine
Institut International
      de Rambouillet
Langues Sans
      Frontieres
SILC - Séjours
      Linguistiques
      (England, France,
      Spain)

GERMANY
BWS Germanlingua
Carl Duisberg
      Centren
      (England, Germany)
inlingua Berlin
International House
      Berlin - Prolog

IRELAND
Alpha College of
      English
Centre of English
      Studies
      (England, Ireland)
Dublin City University
      Language Services
EFL-Ireland
Galway Cultural
      Institute
ISI- International
      Study Institute
      Ireland
Liffey Linguistics
MEI-Relsa
Swan Training
      Institute

ITALY
ALCE
Dilit -
      International House

LATVIA
Durbe Ture

MALTA
EC - English
      Language Centres
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
English Language
      Academy
Malta Tourism
      Authority
NSTS

MEXICO
Acalli Intensive
     Spanish Program
International House -
      Riviera Maya

NEW ZEALAND
Christchurch College
      of English Language
Wellington High
      School

PERU
Acupari
Rocio Language
     Classes

RUSSIA
Derzhavin Institute

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and Activity
      Camps
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Town School of
      English
Language Teaching
      Centre

SPAIN
Escuela de Español
      la Brisa S.L.
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispánico SL
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute

SWITZERLAND
Boa Lingua
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
Kaplan Aspect
      Educational Centers
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
Saint Timothy’s
      School
University of
      California Riverside
University of
      California
      Santa Barbara
University of
      California Santa Cruz
University of Illinois
      at Urbana-
      Champaign
Zoni Language
      Centers
      (Canada, USA)

WALES
Cardiff Language
      School Ltd
      (CELTIC School)