Contents - October 2008

Special report
Team effort
The evolution, direction and future plans of the industry’s major players are of interest to us all, marking out global trends, individual success stories and, with big corporate money entering the industry, signifying the industry’s validity as mainstream money maker. Amy Baker analyses many of the giant corporations out there and finds out about their business paths to date and beyond.

Market Report
Comme çi comme ça
Mixed reports from France suggest patchy business growth, with some schools faring well this year and last while others are reporting a slowdown in enrolments. All providers are approaching course provision creatively, however, to bolster sales. Nicola Hancox reports.

Time for tea?
England is a country with defining features such as the English rose, the cup of tea, William Shakespeare and cricket. Nicola Hancox explores some of England’s most picturesque and historic counties that give life to some of these emblems.


Badges of honour

When I was a Brownie I used to collect badges to show my skill in a particular domain – I think I excelled in the home-making department, although I’ll have to ask my boyfriend if he agrees now! (Brownies are the female equivalent of cub scouts).

Throughout life, there seems to be a temptation to display badges or symbols that help give definition to what one is or what one has achieved. The car stickers announcing a Greenpeace supporter, the restaurants displaying a Zagat rating, for example – and it is no different really in the international education industry. Schools are keen to display their membership of a quality club, such as English Australia or Ialc. We find out what such school associations have been up to in our Special Report this month and often, working on those quality credentials is one definite area of focus.

In Ireland, the government has decided that a quality mark for schools will be part of the remit of a new International Education Board of Ireland that is being created. So, in addition to possible membership of schools’ association, MEI~Relsa, another quality benchmark will join the rollcall in Ireland – many such logos and testaments can be seen worldwide displayed by language school operators keen to impress upon potential clients their badges of honour.

Agents are not immune from such worthy professional posturing either, with country-specific training delivered by export education agencies leading to various possible certificates of recognition. These are qualifications that agencies can gain on top of agency association membership – and New Zealand is the latest country to offer such a quality training initiative.

As well as associated kudos that comes from testaments to achievement and quality, a strong track record and brand name is the holy grail of marketing – and as one agency points out in Korea, once a strong brand name is achieved, it has to be maintained carefully. We investigate the use of sub-agencies in this issue and find out that an issue of trust is the main concern for agencies considering this as a means of expanding business. For this reason, licensing an agency to use a brand name is less common than setting up a simple working partnership.

Strong working partnerships define this industry, and a quality-label adornment may be the best way to initiate such a partnership in the first place.

Badges of honour

Student life assessed in NZ
Australia riding wave of popularity for ELT
Irish to promote education internationally
New school in South Africa
English UK makes headway in Russia
Saudis can access legal aid overseas
Bell International’s new teacher focus

Agency News
Education New Zealand launches agent training
Pro Linguis sold to Kaplan Inc.

Agency Survey
Brazil’s bias
Brazilian students clearly favour North America when considering where to study English, while higher education placements are also increasingly sought after.

Malta Feedback
Agent usage among students going to Malta appears to be on the up. Meanwhile, a shift in the top nationalities has made way for a new market leader.

Junior courses in Canada
Characterised by the inclusion of many activities and picking up language skills in a fun way, junior language programmes in Canada are popular with a range of nationalities. Schools also work hard to keep them up-to-date and interesting.

Course Guide
US internships
Internship programmes are a popular venture for a variety of clients, such as university students looking to acquire extra university credits or those wanting to gain valuable work experience in the USA. Some providers offer a language component as part of the package – whereby students can brush up on some much needed linguistic skills – while others are purely work placement specialists, matching candidates with potential employers. Internships come in various guises and some have the added benefit of offering a salary.

New Zealand 2007
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.