Rennert upgrades facilities and launches new courses
Rennert International has expanded and upgraded the executive facilities in its Professional English Program (Pep) in New York City and South Beach, Miami, and has also announced new programmes at South Beach.
In New York, Rennert has doubled the size of its Pep lounge and built five new Professional English classrooms, featuring interactive and mobile technology. Meanwhile, the opening of a new satellite location, two blocks away, offers new classrooms, a large student lounge area, and an expanded student services section.
The Miami South Beach school has completed a customised refurbishment with Pep classrooms and a lounge equipped with dedicated personal computers, couches, complimentary refreshments, magazine and newspapers.
Executive Vice President, Eimear Harrison, said, “Rennert is dedicated to providing its professional English clients with top-notch courses, one-to-one personal service, and a comfortable and collegial environment for reading, studying and socialising.”
The South Beach school has also announced a new summer family programme available from late June to early August in 2013. Families can live together in Miami’s downtown DoubleTree Hotel, with teens and parents studying separately.
“It’s a unique programme that offers both holidays and education for the entire family in a destination prime for enjoyment,” said Rachel Kip-Johnson at Rennert Miami South Beach.
The school has launched several new courses recently: Vacation and Volunteer, a non-student visa course with four weeks of English followed by a four-to-eight week internship; Business English in Action, a student visa course with 20 lessons per week and 15 hours per week spent in an unpaid work placement and English plus DJ Academy.
CATS College Canterbury expands
CATS College Canterbury, UK, has unveiled a new classroom block and a personalised learning centre. The facilities will provide students with another dedicated study space, a communal area and a new garden and patio area.
The new St Lawrence building block was opened by Councillor Paula Vickers with the Lord Mayor of Canterbury and Principal, Jonathan Ullmer. “We continue to work hard to maintain our excellent reputation through these exciting developments. There have been many changes to CATS College Canterbury in the last few years with significant investment in our facilities,” said Ullmer.
MIT rises to top of QS university rankings
The Association of Language Travel Organisations (Alto) has released the results of its quarterly survey, the Alto Pulse, for Q2 of 2012, with agents reporting more positive business trends than educators.
Forty-five per cent of the 399 contributing agents said the number of bookings had increased over the same period last year, an increase of four per cent compared with the 2012 Q1 survey. Of the 229 language schools, 46 per cent reported an increase of commencements in 2012 Q2 (down from 50 per cent in the last survey), while 28 per cent reported a decline (compared with 23 per cent in the Q1 results).
Schools in Malta recorded the most positive results, with 70 per cent showing growth over the same period last year, while Ireland, Germany and France were all close behind on 67 per cent. Some 75 per cent of schools in New Zealand posted a decline, compared with 62 per cent in the Q1 survey.
Saudi Arabia was named as the top growth market by schools in the USA, New Zealand and Ireland, while Brazil was top for Canada, Argentina and France. Schools in four different countries highlighted Spain as the largest decline market possibly an effect of reductions in the Spanish Becas scholarship scheme this year. The full report is available on the Alto website.
Tieca signs agreements with top study destinations
The Thai International Education Consultants’ Association (Tieca) has signed agreements with the education promotion arms of the top five English-speaking destinations to promote study abroad for Thai students and provide support for agents.
At a ceremony marking the association’s 22nd anniversary, Tieca signed Declarations of Cooperation with bodies including the British Council, the US Commercial Service, the Australian Trade Commission, the Canadian Embassy and Education New Zealand. The nature of each of individual declaration differed, with some including commitments for agent training.
Mark Wood, Trade Commis-sioner at the Australian Trade Commission, said that 15,000-to-20,000 Thai students are pursuing courses in Australia at any one time, and praised the role that Tieca played in providing support to students and parents. He added a programme was being developed with Tieca, which would include regular information sessions for members, advice with joint marketing, and a bi-monthly newsletter for agents.
The Canadian Embassy also said it was producing a training module for Thai agents and welcomed the association’s support in promoting the country as a study destination.
Delfin moves to Bloomsbury Square
After opening in London, UK, earlier this year, Delfin English School has moved to a new location in the city’s Bloomsbury Square, adding to its original Dublin school opened in 2005.
The school, located just a short walk from Holborn Station and the British Museum, is housed in a Georgian building overlooking the historic square and features 14 classrooms, a student library, a computer room, free Wi-Fi, a student room and games room. Courses offered at the London centre include General and Intensive English, Business English and Exam Preparation courses. “Delfin is a new, dynamic English school looking to expand rapidly,” said Gareth Butler, Managing Director.
Maltese school develops interactive city guides
A Malta GPS Tour Guide system developed by Easy School of Languages, with investment from the EU, is being used to guide tourists around the country’s national treasures.
City Explorer is a console that constantly shows tourists their position on a map via satellite positioning technology and contains video and audio content. The technology allows for specific guided tours and for tourists to visit sites at their own pace.
The city guides are also being used to extend the language school’s learning curriculum beyond the classroom and are being marketed at the school.
did deutsch-institut launches junior courses in Austria
German language provider did deutsch-institut has announced details of junior programmes to be held in Austria in 2013, marking the school’s first venture outside Germany.
Courses from two-to-six weeks are being offered for 14-to-17 years old between late June and early August in 2013. Courses will provide 20 or 24 lessons per week, along with afternoon and evening activities. The Vienna residence is in a newly-completed hotel near Belvedere Palace and the city’s new main train station, with double and four-bed rooms available. Entertainment includes billiards, table football, karaoke, a Wii lounge and bicycle rental.
did’s Patrick Semidei said that although the school was committed to only teaching German, the new enterprise represented a “revolutionary change” for the company. “What location could be more suited for this endeavour than the Austrian city of Vienna?”, said Semidei. “This metropolis guarantees an unforgettable language learning experience.”
Acpet focusses on changing tertiary sector
The recent Australian Council for Private Education and Training (Acpet) annual conference in Sydney, Australia, was themed ‘The Changing Tertiary Education Sector’ and saw almost 500 representatives from industry, academia, politics and government gather to challenge preconceived ideas and inspire further innovation in an increasingly globalised marketplace.
“Many Australians still do not fully appreciate that international education is one of our top five exports,” observed Acpet CEO, Claire Field. “As a nation we should be enormously proud of that, and I am certainly proud that Acpet and its members are leading the industry in international education.”
Acpet’s diverse membership was reflected in a conference programme that aimed to highlight the sector’s maturation. “This is the watershed conference for Acpet, not just because it marks our 20th anniversary as the voice of private tertiary education, but also because we have reached a turning point when private providers are moving margins of the tertiary sector into the mainstream,” asserted Field.
The event welcomed a line-up of international and national speakers including Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research (pictured left).
The association also reflected on membership success by hosting its own first-ever awards ceremony. “Many Acpet members regularly enter and enjoy success in state-based and national training, export and related awards run by governments, but this year we felt the time was right for the sector to celebrate its own achievements through a dedicated awards programme,” said Field.
Alpha College launches job seeking skills programme
A new programme developed by Alpha College of English, Dublin in Ireland, seeks to provide English language skills and training in job hunting techniques for unemployed university graduates.
The Intensive English & Job Seeking Skills is a six-week offering that includes workshops hosted by leading occupational psychologists, with advice on writing resumes, strategies to find employers, and acquiring interview skills.
The course, which commences this month, also provides options of General English, Cambridge FCE Preparation, Fluency Development and General Business English.
Stephen Shortt, Managing Director, said the course was devised in response to youth unemployment across Europe. “The financial papers keep referring to recent gradautes as ‘Europe’s lost generation’ and we want to help them avoid that life sentence.”
News in brief
Two new international student residences unveiled in Glasgow
Glasgow International College, an educational collaboration between Kaplan International and the University of Glasgow, has opened two new student residences in the West End of the city. The Globe is a 201-bed residence with en-suite rooms, studios and assisted access studios, while the 75-bed Franklin Point consists of self-catered apartments.
Agency launches brand new interactive web platforms
US-based agency All About Languages has launched two new websites allabout-learning.com and millonesdecursos.com that will promote boarding schools, high schools, universities and vocational colleges to the English- and Spanish-speaking markets. The company established its language website in 2009. Director, Lawrence Morello, said, “This will bring us one step closer to becoming one of the top worldwide agencies and school promoters on the worldwide web and we are excited about embarking on this new project.”
Australian language school opens new examination centre
Langports English Language College, which is based in Queensland, Australia, has officially opened an English exams centre, after recently becoming an authorised centre for Cambridge Esol Examinations. The Langports English Exams Centre (LEEC) is a dedicated open test centre offering computer-based and paper-based versions of the Cambridge Esol suite of examinations, and is also a public testing centre for the Toeic exam. Adam Wright, Academic Director at LEEC, said the centre’s main aim was to be a “one-stop-shop for all English proficiency examinations”.
EU report displays university cost variations
The European Commission (EU) has released a report that details costs of higher education across Europe, including arrangements for international students. The report showed that nine countries do not charge fees for EU citizens, while just two states Iceland and Norway continue to be free for non-EU students.
UK agent helps start-up agencies
A new website developed by a Cambridge-based agency, worldstudysolutions.com, allows new agencies or those without an Internet presence to set up an online enquiry and booking service for free. The service will provide agents with a local url website that they can edit and translate and that will provide access to a database which includes all English UK, English Australia and Quality English members. Commissions will be shared between World Study Solutions and its partners.
Starting next year, UAE carrier Etihad Airways has announced it will turn existing routes from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane and Tokyo into daily flights. The new service to Brisbane will commence from February, and James Hogan, President and CEO of Etihad, commented that this was a “game-changing move” putting the airline in a stronger competitive position, adding that the move will also improve connections to areas including Europe and the Middle East. Meanwhile, the Tokyo service will begin in April 2013. “Japan has been, and will continue to be, a key market for Etihad Airways and we look forward to playing an integral role in strengthening ties between the two countries,” Hogan explained. The daily flight will also improve connectivity in Abu Dhabi by 40 per cent, and to cater for Japanese passengers, there will be Japanese medium in-flight entertainment and cabin crew comprising Japanese nationals and Japanese speakers.
Turkish Airlines will introduce a service between Istanbul and Houston, flying four times a week from April, adding to existing flights to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC. And to cater for the influx of customers during the busy summer period in 2013, the carrier has also unveiled plans to add a third daily flight from Istanbul to New York from May until September.
CityJet, the Irish carrier, has started its first flight from London City airport to Germany’s Münster-Osnabruck airport. The move has increased the airline’s network to 19 destinations across Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK. CEO, Christine Ourmieres, said, “There is strong demand for a direct route to the heart of London from Münster.” Also in Germany, plans to open Berlin’s Brandenburg airport have been delayed further until October 2013, putting additional strain on the city’s Tegel airport.
Through a partnership deal, Air France-KLM and Australia’s Jetstar will offer daily one-stop flights between Australia’s Gold Coast and Amsterdam via Japan. Passengers will fly with Jetstar from Queensland’s Coolangatta airport to Tokyo Narita or Osaka Kansai, and then board an Air France or KLM service. Tom Reeves, Air France-KLM’s Regional Manager for Australia and New Zealand, revealed, “Air France and KLM together offer an enormous global network, including more than 150 destinations throughout Europe. The Jetstar partnership not only increases our offering from this market, it also adds an exciting new option for travellers from the Gold Coast and a new way for European travellers to reach the Gold Coast.”
Qatar Airways has unveiled plans to launch a non-stop service from Doha to Chicago from April 2013, with an approximate journey time of 15 hours. The service adds to existing daily operations from Doha to New York, Washington and Houston. CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, said, “Chicago is a key route, connecting [travellers] from destinations across India, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific with a one-stop service via Doha to the Midwest.”
A number of low-cost southeast Asian carriers are commencing new services to increase connections between their hubs and China. The Singaporean airline Scoot is launching a tri-weekly service between Singapore and the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang from November, with the return leg flying via the eastern seaport Qingdao. Meanwhile, AirAsia recently started flights between Bangkok Don Meung and the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and also plans to introduce routes between Xian, Kunming and Nanning in the future.
The US airline Delta has been treating some frequent fliers to a ride in top-make cars, such as a Porsche Cayenne S worth US$66,000, to their connecting flights, taking only minutes and allowing customers to avoid queues and crowds. The service at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, GA, the busiest airport in the world, is not advertised to customers to avoid disappointment, with a lucky dozen selected by surprise each hour. The airline hopes to drive its Porsche shuttle service to other airports. “It just dovetails nicely into what we are doing: trying to provide the best possible customer service,” said Greg Kennedy, Vice President for the Atlanta hub.