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Contents - November 2009

Special report
The global market
Our latest statistics relating to student intake in 2008 in the main English language teaching countries make interesting reading. And further analysis behind the stats suggests that strong visa pathways and a channel to the Middle East were two main reasons for business growth in 2008. Amy Baker reports.

Market Report
Tough year for the USA
A lacklustre year, with declining summer enrolments, has defined the USA’s 2009, although there is hope that autumn bookings will pick up, and China, Saudi Arabia and Libya continue to be consistent provider countries. Amy Baker reports.

Regional Focus
Victoria’s broad canvas
As the smallest, most densley populated state in Australia, Victoria has a flavour all of its own. With a multicultural metropolis offering eclectic inner city suburbs and great natural attractions, it ticks all the boxes. Jane Vernon Smith reports.

A word in the ear

It feels like there is a lot going on in the industry at the moment, as our November issue seems jam-packed with news that is really exciting or interesting; such as various governments getting involved in the sector.

In Ireland, the government is suddenly talking about “capturing a far greater share of the high-growth global market”that is international education (page 7), while in Australia, the entire Esos Act that governs the international education industry is being improved and amended (page 6). And one of our agent respondents in our regular Industry Issues section tells us of a Canadian “Student Partner Program” initiated in India this year that has seen visa processing streamlined and a resultant surge in student visa applications (page 9). Higher education institutions in Canada back up these claims of an upswing from India (page 21).

In the UK, visa issues this year were, on the whole, problematic rather than successful, as the introduction of the T4 visa system hit a variety of hurdles (although our same agent correspondant noted improved processes in India!). However, at seminars held in the UK earlier this year, British schools seemed stoic about delays and teething problems, but were clearly hugely frustrated about the new rule stating that complete beginners cannot enter the country on a student visa (student visitor visa only). This led to some impassioned remarks being made to UKBA officials who faced industry representatives (page 6).

The opportunities organised by English UK and Accreditation UK for sector representatives to speak to UKBA officials might lead to an opportunity for change. I felt that in both seminars, the officials really took heed of the concerns of educators, who are the end-users of government regulation, as are the students.
Likewise, in the USA, AAIEP organised congressional visits in October after meeting with lobbyists during their advocacy day. Members seem to understand the importance of putting a word directly in the right ear.

The Accreditation UK seminar also wanted to engender debate about the future of the unit, as well as take stock of current trends. With accreditation now linked to visa issuance (and so more or less compulsory), there is a danger that being accredited simply does not have the same cachet anymore. I personally think some form of differentiation might help, although this is easier said than done. But if accredited schools share this view, a word in the right ears might help.

A word in the ear

All schools in Australia to be re-inspected
Autumn event season upbeat
Kaplan merges divisions under Kaplan International Colleges
New schools for IH and Rennert
Quality seal touted for Irish language schools

Agency News
New agent members for Italian association
HKOSC buys Guangdong-based agency
CI in Brazil reveals e-training for staff

Agency Survey
Slow year in Brazil
Mixed reports came out of Brazil this year but the overwhelming message was that 2009 was a stagnant business year, although many companies are optimistic that 2010 has better things in store.

Malta Feedback
More Western Europeans and a shorter length of stay are highlights of the trends revealed in this issue’s Feedback survey of the Maltese English language teaching market.

Language plus sports in the USA
Combining language tuition with sports instruction makes for a unique language learning experience. Students interested in studying in the USA can learn to surf in Hawaii or sail in Boston. Nicola Hancox explores this relatively underdeveloped sector of the market.

Course Guide I
Ielts & Toefl in canada

Course Guide II
Executive courses in Australia and NZ

Direction I
Portuguese on the rise
As the official language of 10 countries, Portuguese is estimated to be spoken by around 230 million people worldwide. However, its foothold in the language travel industry has remained relatively modest. But with Brazil’s emergence as a potential powerhouse, it is fast becoming another language to add to one’s repertoire. Nicola Hancox reports.

Mexico’s magic
The sheer richness of scenery and culture, coupled with a welcoming population eager to make visitors feel like one of the family, combine to make Mexico a top language travel destination, as Gillian Evans reports.

Spain 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.

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