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Contents - November 2010

Special report
The Global Market
2009 was a difficult year for language schools in many of the EFL destinations analysed in this year’s analysis of the global market and our results show a decline in student numbers and global revenue for the sector. Yet not all destinations were feeling the pinch, with the USA and Canada in particular showing strong growth in a difficult year. Bethan Norris reports.

Market Report
US thumbs up
After a disappointing 2008 and 2009, providers in the USA report a surge in enrolments over the last 12 months. Strong agent relationships and increased international marketing have impacted positively. Nicola Hancox finds out more.

Canadian style
Canada is a vast country with endless opportunities for outdoor activities, lively safe cities, welcoming towns, and great education and work opportunities, as Gillian Evans finds out.

Statistical evidence

It is no surprise to anyone that the language travel industry has experienced some tough times over the last two years with the global economic decline making things hard for many language schools worldwide. Quantifying this decline however is a difficult process and our Special Report, looking at the global English language teaching market in eight countries worldwide, attempts to do just that (page 46). This global market camparison was first carried out in 2003 for business in 2002 and every year we assess and update our methodology to ensure that we provide the most accurate picture of the market possible.

Our findings this year show a market that is mirroring the global economy – overall student numbers are down along with revenue earned, while student weeks are up as students look for cheaper, longer courses. These findings are in line with what one might expect in increasingly cost conscious times and points to the accuracy of our data analysis.

The importance of monitoring individual, as well as global markets, is very apparent in current times as statistical data can provide an early warning system for some markets that are experincing a sudden decline in student numbers. This is particularly true of Australia at the moment – which has an enviable system of tracking international student visa holder numbers – where some provider countries have declined in numbers in certain sectors (page 6) and education association heads are currently working with the new government to find ways to halt this decline.

The English language travel industry is a growing one and is almost certain to continue to grow in the future. Yet short-term blips in the upwards trajectory can severely hinder progress in some markets and those countries that counteract the barriers to travel into their country are surely the ones that will do best in the future.

One lesson learnt from the figures produced by the OECD this year is that even popular study destinations can suffer in the face of complacency (page 21). The USA, while still attracting the greatest number of international students for higher education, has lost some of its market share again this year, while smaller destinations – such as those in Asia – are creeping up the top destinations chart. One interesting entrant to the top 10 destinations for international higher education students is Russia and it is plain that the major players should not rest on their laurels.

Statistical evidence

New special interest group for English UK,
TUI buys Manchester Academy of English
EF submits plans for UK expansion
Navitas hones in on the US market
New pilot scheme opens door to Turkish students
Flexible new website for QE

Agency News
UK conferences in full swing
Colombian agency association is reprised

Agency Survey
Brazil bounces back
With Brazil emerging strongly from the global recession, the language travel industry has seen a surge in bookings, with Canada leading the pack of top destinations buoyed by its favourable work regulations.

Agent usage was up this year among the students taking part in our Feedback survey on Ireland, and the nationality mix in classrooms was more diverse. Greater numbers of Saudi students meant that European students were less dominant.

Direction I
Valuable experience
Demand for language and work experience programmes is rising but for providers to remain successful they must ensure that they can deliver exactly what the student wants. Gillian Evans reports.

Direction II
Home from home
When it comes to accommodation choices for language students, the benefits of assimilating into a homestay family are often weighed up against the convenience and safety of on- or off-campus residences. Jane Vernon Smith takes a look at developments in this area.

Summer vacation in Australia
When the northern hemisphere prepares for its winter season, the southern hemisphere is gearing up for summer. Australia is a prime destination for internataionl students looking to escape the winter blues and summer vacation courses are ideal for those short of time. Not just limited to language schools, several universities now offer English language courses that cater for students before they enrol on a full-time degree course.

Spanish in Latin America
Spanish is considered the official or co-official language of 18 Latin American countries but how do language providers stave off competition and distinguish themselves from other Spanish speaking destinations? Nicola Hancox finds out.

UK 2009

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