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Contents - November 2011

Special Report
LTM Star Awards 2011
It’s September. It’s London, UK. And it’s the LTM Star Awards 2011. Cue smoke machine and plenty of rapturous applause.

Agent associations – quality first
Like their language school sector counterparts, agent associations play an invaluable role in supporting, promoting and encouraging good practice among their members. Jane Vernon Smith talks to a selection of associations about how they are progressing within the marketplace.

Multi-faceted Malta
The Mediterranean island of Malta, and sister isle Gozo, boast a rich history awaiting discovery. Jane Vernon Smith takes a tour.

Inspirational talk

Learning how to dominate your industry was a topic up for discussion at a recent professional development seminar hosted by the Association of Language Travel Organisations (Alto). While some may have been initially sceptical about listening to a motivational speaker (and relative outsider) talking about strategic thinking in relation to our industry, feedback from delegates following the session proved extremely positive (see page 6), with Alto members learning about how they could plan and execute best business practice and improve communication within their organisation.

In my mind, inspiring individuals and sending them away with renewed vision and a positive mental attitude (hark at me!) can only be a good thing. Our November issue is littered with examples of new and progressive thinking. Case in point, the inauguration of a new agent association – The European Association of Quality Agents (see page 6). A result of interest from 24 agencies from 13 countries in eastern Europe, this proactive grouping set about establishing an associate body after lamenting the fact that there was little market representation in their respective countries. Member agencies now have a unified voice, as well as access to solid market intelligence, and will collectively carry more clout when lobbying their respective governments.

I also found news of a new project to establish an education hub in Bhutan – the rather small landlocked state in South Asia – quite intriguing. An unlikely destination choice, the Bhutanese government were quick to spot a gap in the market of one of their closest neighbours, India. With demand currently outstripping supply in relation to university places – an estimated 1,000 universities will be needed to cope with enrolments in India by 2020 – the “education city” hopes to host the campuses of leading universities from around the world. An interesting prospect indeed.

Elsewhere this month, three rather prominent chain school acquisitions hit the headlines. A US company – with more than 60 locations in North America – has made the leap across the Pacific to establish its first Australian base, while a German-owned operation has taken over the Geos North America network of schools. And finally, fresh from a successful Star Awards campaign (see page 36), this year’s Star Chain School can now count Canada in its portfolio. Hmm can’t help but wonder though, is bigger better?

Inspirational talk

EC opens new US school and purchases LSC
First Alto seminar held
European agency association established
Knight review streamlines Australia’s student visas
Successful UK conference season
Australian registration fees cut

Business Focus
Sprachcaffe and ELS make acquisitions
New language school admin system
Rebrand for ILSC

Advisor Survey
Italy steady
Despite a sluggish economy and the threat of Italy being embroiled in the eurozone debt crisis, the study abroad market notched up some growth in 2011.

Satisfaction levels were very high among the students taking part in our Feedback survey on Ireland, while a large increase of Latin American students led to a more even spread of nationalities.

Portuguese in Brazil and Portugal
With around 270 million speakers, Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language in the world and there are a number of providers in both Portugal and Brazil offering comprehensive programmes.

Trinity exam prep
Conducting examinations since 1877, Trinity is a well-respected examining board offering international qualifications in English language and teaching, as well as other disciplines including performing and creative arts. Nicola Hancox reports.

UK 2010

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