November 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
Regional Focus
Market Analysis

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New Zealand brawn

Revised work rights for students and a new marketing brand are helping Christchurch get back on its feet after last year’s earthquake. Meanwhile, the King Abdullah Scholarship scheme proved a valuable source of long-term students for New Zealand in 2011.

New Zealand’s marketing budget by region (overall %) Student feedback respondents by world region of origin
Asia 49%
W Europe 16%
Latin America 14%
C&E Europe 9%
Middle East 8%
Australasia 4%
Asia 69%
W Europe 15%
Latin America 8%
Middle East 8%

Top nationalites in New Zealand by student weeks – according to schools, 2011 To practise English with native speakers is ....
Japanese 20%
Saudi 18%
Korean 12%
Swiss 8 %
Chinese 7%
Frech 6%
Brazilian 5%
Taiwanese 5%
Thai 4 %
Russian 4 %

Source: STM French school survey

Quite hard 46%
Quite easy 35%
Very hard 10%
Very easy 9%

Commission Student numbers by age range
22% is the average commission paid on a language course

None of the institutions profiled paid commission on accommodation

8-11: 1%
12-15: 8%
16-18: 16.5%
19-24: 36.5%
25-30: 17.5%
30-50: 16%
50+: 4.5%

Means of recruiting students in New Zealand, 2011 (schools) How did you find your programme? (students)
Agents 79%
Internet 11%
Local bookings 6%
Other means 4%
It was recommended by an agent 61%
I found it on the internet 16%
It was recommended by a friend/relative 15%

I saw it advertised 4%
No reply 4%

In my class there are...
...just the right amount of students and mix of nationalities 46%
...too many students 19%
...too many students who speak my language 17%
...too many students from one other country 14%
(No reply 4%)

Total marketing spend by sector and by category in %
Agency costs 48%
Commission 44%
Incentives 2.5%
Agency brochures 4%

Travel costs 37%
Agent workshops 10%
Student exhibitions 4%
Agency visits to school 2%
Entertainment 1%

Trips to agencies 20%
Publicity costs 15%
Agent mags etc. 0.5%
Student mags etc. 2.5%
Brochure, video etc 9%
Internet 3%

Student reasons for school selection included:
“My agent chose it for me and I trusted them. They were good, honest, helpful, sincere and friendly”
“Because of the information given by other people and on the Internet”
“The school has a reputation of focussing on comprehension
and oral expression”
“Modern. Many international students. By the ocean”

New Zealand student feedback at a glance
Total number of students: (female 54, male 48, unknown 1)
Average age in years: 24
Average number of students in class: 12
Participating schools: Worldwide School of English, Auckland; ABC College of English, Queenstown; Aspiring Language Institute, Auckland; Rotorua English Language Academy (Rela), Rotorua; Dominion English School, Auckland; Christchurch College of English, Christchurch; The Campbell Institute, Wellington.

Damage limitation was high on the agenda when we last reported on New Zealand’s ELT industry (see STM, June 2011, page 41). Christchurch, the country’s second largest city, experienced a devastating earthquake that rocked the export education sector. Providers across the country prepared for a fall in student numbers, however, while enrolments in Canterbury post-earthquake were affected, other regions experienced little change in 2011. By year end, international numbers were down by just 0.5 per cent across the board, relates outgoing Chairman of English New Zealand and Managing Director of CCEL, Rob McKay.

The government launched a Christchurch education brand to counter regional downturn, and granted automatic work rights for Christchurch-based students on language courses of at least 14 weeks, while the qualifying course duration for the scheme was six months previously (see STM, October 2012, page 8). Christchurch is an attractive destination, relays Judy Clark, also at CCEL, and having the option to work while studying is an inviting prospect. “We are hopeful that the number of students coming to Christchurch will rise significantly in the next 18 months,” she adds. The scheme, open to institutions that have achieved category one status in New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s (NZQA) quality assurance system, will be piloted over an 18-month period before being reviewed.

Long-term, the hope is the scheme will be rolled out sector-wide, with all English language student visa holders able to earn while they learn. As Jihyun Park at DynaSpeak in Auckland observes, while international students only wanted to travel or study in the past, “nowadays they want to get work experience in an English-speaking country [while making] money living overseas.”

Experiencing a slight increase in student enrolments in 2011, Geoff Butler of Mount Maunganui Language Centre notes that source countries remained largely unchanged at the school last year. “Having said that,” he says, “we are pleased to have hit our highest number of nationalities in 2011 – 22 different countries, and we consistently have a mix of 10 plus nationalities even when the total number of students is low.” Butler adds that the school is interested in new provider markets, “But gaining access remains challenging,” he says.

CCEL, with campuses at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch and in Auckland, experienced a drop in students coming from South Korea in 2011, which, says Clark, was attributable to the recession. Saudi numbers – a good source market for the sector overall in 2011 – also eased off. “The Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission (SACM) put a stop to scholarship students coming to Christchurch following the Canterbury earthquakes,” relates Clark.

The SACM recently approved Rotorua English Language Academy as an ESL partner provider. “This meant that long-term Saudi students increased [in 2011]. A lot of students already studying with us were able to continue their studies under the scholarship scheme,” remarks Jan Clarke. And like Clark at CCEL, she highlights adverse economic conditions affecting business from traditional source market Japan, with numbers “markedly” decreasing.

Southern Lakes English College in Queenstown has utilised its location as New Zealand’s number one tourist destination – famous for extreme sports, outdoor activities and beautiful vistas – by launching an English plus mountain biking course. Also new to last year’s programming was English plus mother and child, accommodating those with children. Mothers study full-time on a general, exam preparation or language plus course while the child studies at a crèche, pre-school, elementary or high school at the same time.

While no new courses were introduced at Mount Maunganui Language Centre last year, Butler relates that the school has reintroduced a Cambridge CAE preparation programme this year and will also start a teacher training programme, highlighting a real willingness to accommodate student and agent requests where possible.

Aside from the earthquake, there were other factors that affected New Zealand’s export education sector in 2011. Butler points out that over regulation is stifling their ability to expand, “It is hard to break into new markets when you have to spend significant amounts of capital on compliance with the bureaucratic nightmare that is NZQA.” The government organisation has imposed a number of reforms, which in turn, says Butler, have had an adverse effect on genuine providers. “Penalising good schools for the sins of unscrupulous operators is a misguided policy. Granting work rights for students in Christchurch is a step in the right direction but the government is still too slow to make long-overdue fundamental changes which would free up our sector.”

Other reasons business decreased in 2011 included the strong New Zealand dollar, says Park at DynaSpeak. She also reports high agency commission rates on offer in rival markets Canada and the USA as being particularly challenging.

Survey snapshot

In last year’s student Feedback survey (see STM, April 2011, pages 38-39), Koreans (14 per cent) were the most numerous nationality on campus, followed by Japanese (13 per cent). Although fewer students were canvassed this year, these two Asian domiciles topped the table again with a 20 and 28 per cent respective share of the student market. Asia was by far the most common regional grouping, representing more than two thirds of all students on campus. Western Europe accounted for 15 per cent of surveyed students, followed by Latin America and the Middle East.

Approximately 74 per cent of students booked a course with an agency, up two percentage points on previous results.

Interestingly, more than a third of all those surveyed had a clear idea of which school to study at before booking their language course either through an agent or a direct booking.

Closer analysis reveals a further 37 per cent of the student sample still booked via an agency, despite being clear on school choice, emphasising the value of agents in the entire application process.

Just under a third (32 per cent) of all feedback students were currently using English for study purposes at home, compared with 43 per cent previously. Twenty five per cent of the sample intended to utilise language skills gained on their course in further studies either in New Zealand or back in their home country. A majority (55 per cent) intended to apply their newly acquired skills in a current or future work scenario.

The top five reasons respondents gave for studying in New Zealand were the language, because it is safe, the people, the lifestyle and the standard of education.

Darren Conway, new Chairman of English New Zealand, talks about the export education sector’s challenges and triumphs in 2011.

“2011 was a tale of two parts for English New Zealand. Overall there was a drop of about eight per cent in business to our members, but this was wholly attributable to the Christchurch earthquake, and schools in other areas were either steady or had an increase as students moved to other parts of the country – particularly Auckland, but also the provincial towns. Schools who are not members of English NZ had a slightly larger fall – about nine per cent overall, meaning English NZ again increased its market share, now nearly three quarters of the market. For most of New Zealand, most source markets stayed fairly stable in 2011. Looking ahead, schools in Christchurch are slowly but steadily rebuilding the market. The bigger challenge that they now face, along with the rest of the country, is a stubbornly high NZ dollar, which has remained around US80 cents for most of the year, more than 15 per cent above its long-term average value. We will not go back any time soon to the days of US50 cents to the NZ dollar, but the cycle will move on, as it always does, to make us more price competitive again.”

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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.






Britannia Student Services  
Generation Estates  
ESL Academy  

CAPS-I (The Canadian Association of Public Schools  
English Australia  
English UK  
Feltom Malta  
IALC International  
Languages Canada  
MEI Ireland  
Quality English  
Study Gold Coast  
English in Chester  

English Australia  
Study Gold Coast  

CERAN Lingua International 

Braemar College  
Calgary Board of Education  
Centennial College of Appplied Arts and Technology  
College of New Caledonia  
Edmonton Public Schools  
Georgian College  
Greater Victoria School District #61  
Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced  
IH Pacific (Vancouver, Whistler, San Diego)  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
Kootenay Lake School District #8  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Mission School District # 75  
Niagara College  
Nova Scotia International Student Program  
Sol Schools International (also IH Toronto)  
St James - Assiniboia School Division  
Thompson Rivers University  
University of Manitoba  
University of Victoria  
West Vancouver School District #45  

iMandarin Language Training Institute  

Camp Beaumont  
Highbury College  
International House World Organisation  
International House Bristol  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Prime Education  
LAL Language Centres Holding Ltd  
Living Learning English  
London School of Business & Finance  
Malvern House College London  
Mayfair School of English  
Oscars International  
St Giles International  
Study Group  
English in Chester  
Twin Group  
University of Essex - International Academy 

SR Events  
English UK  
Feltom Malta  
IALC International  

Cambridge Esol  

Campus de Bissy - Bordeaux International Campus  

Met Film Ltd  

English For Asia  

Active Language Learning  
Clare Language Centre  
Galway Cultural Institute  
Galway Language Centre  
Language College Ireland  
MEI Ireland  
Delfin English School  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

EC English Language Centre  
inlingua Malta  
Malta Tourism Authority  

pay to study  

City Education Language  
EC Cape Town  
EF International Language Centers  
English Language School Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape Town  
Good Hope Studies  
International House Cape Town  
inlingua Language Training Centre Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
Jeffrey's Bay Language School  
Kurus English CC  
LAL Cape Town  

International House Sevilla CLIC  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  
Xul Comunicación Social  

Eurocentres International  
EF International Language Centers  

Malta Tourism Authority  
Study Gold Coast  

Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart 
Glenholme School  
University of Arizona  
Zoni Language Centers  

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