StudyWorld welcomes Kurdish
This year‘s Study World conference welcomed a delegation from Kurdistan for the first time. Comprising representatives from five Kurdish universities, the delegation was a direct result of an agreement signed last year between English UK and the Kurdish Regional Government, and met educators at the conference as well as schools and universities in London and Coventry.
“We weren‘t sure until the last minute that they could come, but they had quite a successful few days and were able to meet educators in private meetings, over lunch and at a formal dinner,” said Jodie Gray, English UK‘s Senior International Manager, who organised the trip. StudyWorld attracted agents and educators to London for three days of meetings and networking. Around 20 per cent of delegates were first-time attendees, and 67 countries were represented by agents. Tony Millns, English UK Chief Executive, said, “We‘ve had quite a number of new agents and new exhibitors as well. There‘s been a very positive feel, and people have been telling me how they like the atmosphere in the halls.”
ATC rebrands as Target English International
UK Summer sch ool pr ovider ATC International has rebranded as Target English International, with a new logo and brochure.
Target English International Director James Hordon said the company structure had not changed and was still part owned by ATC Language and Travel, Ireland. Having grown to 10 centres in the UK in the last four years, he said there was a need to be clearer to agents as courses differ between the two countries. ‘It is an exciting time for us as we have managed to develop links with a wider network of agents around the world and felt the time was right for us to have our own identity so that agents and students would be able to recognise the quality and personal service we pride ourselves in providing.”
admission up in USA
Initial offers of admission from US graduate schools to international students increased nine per cent from 2012 to 2013, but growth in international applications has slowed, according to the latest member survey report by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS).
The nine per cent growth in offers builds on a similar rise in the previous year and marks the fourth consecutive year of increases. However, the number of international applications for fall 2013 rose by only two per cent much lower than previous increases of nine per cent in 2012 and 11 per cent in 2011.
In terms of individual markets, there was a 27 per cent increase in initial offers of admission to students from India, suggesting that students from this source country may be abandoning the UK in favour of the USA (see STM, March 2013, p.7). In contrast, offers to students from Korea, a topthree source market, declined by 10 per cent. Admission offers to Chinese students increased by five per cent, masking an actual decline in applications of three per cent.
LSBF group acquires
Global University Systems (GUS), an international higher education group including the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), has acquired the Hannover-based Gisma Business School, which had been facing insolvency.
According to a statement issued by GUS, the partnership will allow Gisma to further develop its academic profile and management team, while also better supporting students‘ needs and bringing greater opportunities through GUS‘s network of academic partners, agents, international locations, marketing and online learning structures.
Launched in 1999 as an initiative by then Prime Minister Gerhard Schröder, Gisma offers MBA programmes for both local and international students.
“We are extremely proud to welcome to the GUS umbrella a unique institution such as Gisma, which has been at the forefront of LSBF group acquires German school business education in Germany for the last 14 years,”said Professor Dr Maurits van Rooijen, CEO for the group Academic Division. “The GUS development team will be working closely with colleagues in Hannover to provide Gisma with all the necessary tools to expand reach, strengthen its appeal to both local and international students and drive growth.”
Visa approvals signpost Australia‘s recovery
Visa applications and grants for study in Australia are at the highest level for three years, according to data released by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Diac).
Total student visa lodgements increased by 20.9 per cent in the quarter to June 2013 to 74,899, compared with the same period last year. Total grants increased by 4.7 per cent, mostly driven by growth of 18 per cent in offshore grants. Year-on-year 12-month rolling Visa approvals signpost Australia‘s recovery total data for the year to June 2013 showed 290,761 applications and 259,278 grants, the highest since 2009-10.
The higher education subclass recorded the highest grant total since 2008-09, while the postgraduate research sector total for 2012-13 was the highest in the last five years. However, while grants were up for the higher education and Elicos sectors, grants in VET and secondary sectors declined.
Bright World launches new ’blink‘ portal
UK guardianships provider Bright World has launched a web-based communication portal allowing parents and agents to keep up to date with students.
Agents will be able to log in to their pages for all guardianship and placement students, submit flight details and applications via the portal and track the progress of enrolments and guardianship arrangements at any time.
Parents, meanwhile, will be able to see and upload photos, view a timeline of Bright World activity, submit flight details, view transfer and host family arrangements and organise finances as well as access reports and previous email alerts.
Lana Foster, Managing Director of Bright World, said further developments would be added soon, including an app for parents and agents.
Oscars announces new location
UK-based junior pr ovider Oscars International has announced it will be operating a summer school from Kings College London, Hampstead campus in 2014.
The campus offers 150 single bedrooms, modern dining facilities as well as indoor and outdoor recreational activities. Oscars will be running a London-themed programme with English language tuition and daily sightseeing trips to London.
Oscars Managing Director, Andrew Fisher, said, “Oscars is committed to offering high-quality courses which offer superb value in key locations, and the Kings College Hampstead campus complements perfectly our existing centres in Oxfordshire and Edinburgh. Oscars themes its courses according to the location and we are very much looking forward to welcoming clients to London to undertake a programme that will immerse them in the history, culture and attractiveness of our capital.” Courses are available from June 22 to August 31 in 2014.
switches to IH
IH Manchester has been created after Directors Peter Hayes and Michael Brennan withdrew their school from the inlingua international network and joined the International House World Organisation (IHWO).
I have always felt very positive about IH and the genuine warmth exuded by its brand. However, putting our school through the demanding IH application process and rigorous pre-affiliation inspection is more than worth it considering how much we share IHs commitment to quality and innovation. We all feel that this move represents a perfect fit, said Hayes.
Hayes was keen to emphasise that the school was entirely owned by his own company, IJ Tours Limited, and that IH Manchester is moving forward with the same team of staff and school facilities.
The school has recently added an International School Year programme to its suite of junior courses, and has also consolidated its football education programmes under the EduKick International Football Academies banner.
With access to their own Fifa-licensed football agent and his network of global football contacts, more and more of our young student players are securing trials and professional contracts now with football clubs around the world, as well as progressing into further and higher education, said Hayes.
News in brief
EAQA plans future developments
The European Association of Quality Agencies (EAQA) held its AGM during the Alphe UK workshop, and outlined targets that it plans to accomplish in the coming 12 months: providing a quality stamp; enhancing membership and member benefits such as free agent training courses; online discussion forums; webinars for professional development and free market intelligence packages. “It‘s always a pleasure seeing this diverse group of agency representatives from all of Europe interested in having an association,” said Adela Makashi, EAQA Chair, at the opening of the AGM .
New members for English Australia
English Australia has approved three new members: English Language School in Sydney, Lexis English Perth and English Unlimited, QLD , bringing total membership to 102 colleges. Chambers Institute has been accepted for Associate Membership Access, a 12-month category created for colleges in the first year of Cricos registration.
FDSV sponsors language travel vouchers
German agency association FDSV is sponsoring ten language study vouchers worth e500 (US$663) for winners of a contest. Interested students can enter the photo contest until March 2014 with an image related to the country they would like to travel to. Winners will be decided by online voting and vouchers must be redeemed with an FDSV member agency.
Feltom supports drinking age change
Malta‘s language school association Feltom has supported proposals put forward by the country‘s Children‘s Commissioner to increase the drinking threshold to 18 years. In a statement, the organisation said, “Throughout the years, Feltom has taken a number of initiatives to limit the accessibility of minors studying English in Malta to alcohol at events. To this end, Feltom organises weekly non-alcoholic events at venues away from Paceville.”
Burlington merges with King Street
In London, UK, Burlington School of English has merged with King Street College, with the two schools collectively operating under the Burlington brand. Lessons will take place at the Burlington school, with the King Street location providing increased summer capacity. “We have decided to make this change so that we can offer our students and agents even greater choice and facilities and this will give us another fantastic summer London location,”said George Barnbrooke, Marketing Manager. He added benefits to agents would include a wider variety of timeslots, an increased homestay and residence portfolio and a larger workforce with region-specific marketing officers.
Languages Canada renews Scotiabank deal
Language school association Languages Canada has renewed a sponsorship agreement with Scotiabank. Gonzalo Peralta, Executive Director of Langauges Canada, said, “Scotiabank is a great Canadian bank with services in over 55 countries. The Scotiabank StartRight Program is a comprehensive solution that will allow international students arriving in Canada to easily and quickly open up bank accounts, helping them become functional faster.” Financial literacy webinars and advice is also provided for students.
Cambridge OET more accessible
The Occupation English Test for healthcare professionals will have 10 test dates in 2014, rather than the current seven. Candidates will also pay a flat fee of AU S$580 (US$538) regardless of location. The changes have been made as part of a focus on accessibility and quality by Cambridge English Language Assessment and the Box Hill Institute, Melbourne, Australia. The test is currently available in Australia and 20 other countries.
New tools for international students
Visit University, a company providing tours of UK institutions to prospective overseas students, has launched a free e-learning module on Life in the UK, with further guides to higher education and working to follow. The company has also relaunched its website. Meanwhile, International Student Insurance has unveiled a new video to educate international students on the healthcare system in the USA.
Air France and Saudia have extended their strategic agreement and will expand their services, allowing customers more options to fly between Europe and Saudi Arabia. The agreement will allow Air France customers to fly to Abha, Dammam, Jizan, Hail and Jeddah (all Saudi Arabia) on flights operated by Saudia. Likewise, Saudia customers can now travel with Air France to Nice, Zurich, Copenhagen, Dublin and Munich. The renewed agreement is an extension of the previous contract between Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Riyadh and Jeddah airports.
LOT Polish Airlines have announced they will be cancelling 12 international services out of Warsaw Chopin airport effective from October 27. As part of a route rationalisation, the flights to be axed are those to Beirut, Bydgoszcz, Cairo, Dusseldorf, Helsinki, Nice, Rome, Stuttgart and Zurich. Also to be dropped are flights linking Katowice with Munich, Krakow with Frankfurt and Poznan with Munich. The Polish company has said that the reason behind the cancelled routes is that some were seasonal, while others did not provide sufficient long-haul feed or develop its Warsaw hub. The dropped flights are also a precondition for the acceptance of state aid as required by the European Commission.
Easyjet have announced they will begin flying from Belfast to Bordeaux next summer 2014. Two new routes from Belfast have been announced, with the destinations being Bordeaux, France, and Jersey, UK, to celebrate 15 years since the airline began flying into the Northern Irish capital. Seats for the two new destinations are on sale now. Ali Gayward, Head of easyJet in Northern Ireland, said, From summer 2014, we will introduce flights to Bordeaux and Jersey to offer a range of new holiday and business connections to and from Northern Ireland. John Doran, Managing Director at Belfast International Airport, said, Since their first flight from Belfast International Airport in 1998, easyJet has grown rapidly and now carries more passengers into and out of Northern Ireland than any other airline.
Scandinavian airline, Norwegian, has announced it will launch seven new routes to the USA starting in spring 2014. The new services will operate from Stockholm, Sweden, to Los Angeles and San Francisco; Copenhagen, Denmark, to Los Angeles and New York; and Oslo, Norway, to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando. Bjorn Kjos, Norwegian CEO , said, Im very happy to announce the launch of three new intercontinental destinations. Theres great demand for high-quality flights at a low fare between the two continents. As well as currently operating six weekly flights between Scandinavia and New York and five weekly flights between Scandinavia and Bangkok, Thailand, this November will see Norwegian commencing flights from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
London City Airport (LCY) has added more destinations to their collection which are due to start at the end of October. Alitalia currently operate a single daily service (Monday to Saturday) to Rome-Fiumicino in Italy, but will increase this to two flights per day (Monday to Saturday), providing passengers with more flexibility. As well as this, British Airways have launched a service from LCY to Dusseldorf, Germany, which will operate three times daily during the week, once on a Saturday and twice on Sunday. Matthew Hall, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said, With the majority of London City Airport passengers travelling on business, we are delighted that British Airways has launched direct services to the key business destination of Dusseldorf. BA has also added more flights to Stockholm, Sweden, and Madrid, Spain, during the middle of the day, which will begin on October 28.
Air China has decided to suspend its Gatwick, UK, to Beijing, China, service over the winter period, from October 27. Flights to the Chinese capital city already leave from Heathrow, suggesting a lack of demand from two UK airports is to blame. A spokesperson for Gatwick admitted they were disappointed but said, However, passenger numbers on the Gatwick route have been consistently strong since its launch and we look forward to welcoming Air China back next summer.