||New special interest group for English UK
A national grouping, comprising language schools, colleges and universities in Scotland, has been created under the English UK umbrella.
Following the lead of existing special interest group, English in the North, 17 institutions, which were all members of SELTIC the independent Scottish consortium of accredited language centres will collaborate on areas such as training, events planning, marketing, while endeavouring to lobby government on industry matters.
Rupert Lezemore, appointed Chairman of English UK Scotland and Principal of member school, Regent Edinburgh, noted that the benefits of being part of a large and well-organised organisation such as English UK were extensive. “It was a very simple decision really: we thought it would be better to be part of a bigger group rather than independent.” He added, “From a marketing point of view English UK is much more of an internationally recognised name, and that will be very helpful. This makes very clear what we do.”
Formally welcomed into the fold by English UK back in April, Lezemore noted the SELTIC brand had become a less effective means of promotion as more would-be students searched for language schools online. A dedicated new website, which makes full use of the English UK and English UK Scotland branding, is now underway.
The Scottish contingent of schools includes Capital School of English, Clydebank College, Dundee College, EAC Language Centres, ECS Scotland, Edinburgh School of English, Fettes Centre for Language and Culture, Glasgow School of English, Hamilton School of English, IALS University of Edinburgh, Kaplan International College, Langside College, Live Language, Perth College, Randolph School of English, Regent Edinburgh, Stevenson College Edinburgh and Telford College.
TUI buys Manchester Academy of English
International leisure travel group, TUI, has announced the acquisition of the Manchester Academy of English in the UK. The Education Division, part of the Activity Sector of TUI Travel Plc, now owns four language providers in the UK, and is the largest division in the UK student travel market with over 30 brands in school expeditions, sport, ski, activity, gap and experiential travel.
Managing Director of Manchester Academy of English, Celine Cameron, will continue in her role while Kevin McNeany, retiring Chairman, will remain in a consultancy role.
Ian Finlay, Managing Director of TUI’s Education Division, said, “Providing a high quality travel service to students is vitally important and with EAC’s schools in Edinburgh and Hastings, [as well as] the Hampstead School of English in London, the Manchester Academy complements the school programme giving us the opportunity to offer a unique programme where overseas pupils can stay in four very different locations over a year thus enhancing their overall learning experience in the UK.”
Based in the city centre, the school boasts 19 classrooms with a capacity for 200 students. As an official exam centre for the Cambridge suite of examinations, the academy welcomed approximately 1,500 last year.
EF submits plans for UK expansion
EF International Academy in Torbay part of the EF school chain has submitted a planning application to Torbay Council in the UK to demolish a former gymnasium and build a complex of new classrooms in a UK£3 million (US$4.7 million) revamp of the premises.
Reine Beltzer, a spokesperson from EF, said, “The present main building will be redesigned to make room for a caféteria, library, study hall, reception and administrative offices.”
The Torbay campus has welcomed over 200,000 students since it opened in 1967 and the new proposal, which includes plans to add an extra 871 square metres to the site, will equip the school to cater for an additional 45 students at any one time, “...so the upcoming investment is primarily aimed at creating a top quality building and school,” stated Beltzer.
The new school annexe will accommodate 20 additional classrooms, science labs and lecture halls.
Another EF representative noted that the Torbay expansion was part of a much bigger plan. “To cope with increasing demand this is part of an overall plan to upgrade and expand existing sites as well as adding destinations. Especially for the A-level schools it is essential to have top notch labs and classrooms. This upgrade will make it a flagship school.”
Navitas hones in on the US market
With four new colleges in the USA, and with plans to open two-to-four more in the next five years, Navitas a private education provider has cited the USA as its potential growth market.
Posting annual net profits of AUS$64.3 million (US$57.5 million), up from AUS$49.2 million (US$44 million) on the previous corresponding period, Rod Jones, Chief Executive, stated that the company had the potential to double in size if they played their cards right in the USA. “The USA is almost relatively untouched when it comes to international students,” said Jones, adding that the organisations focus was to ensure the new US centres performed strongly due to potential collaborative opportunities with US universities.
Offering English language training, workforce training and migrant settlement services, demand for education services, particularly university preparation, is proving to be a major driving force for the company. Seven new university programme colleges are due to open in the next 12 months, with each intending to break even within 18 months of opening, said Jones.
New pilot scheme opens door to Turkish students
A new initiative, driven by language school association Marketing English in Ireland (MEI), has been given the go ahead by Irish immigration officials. David O’Grady, association CEO, stated that from June 2010 to June 2011, Turkish university students would be granted a 90 day visa to study and travel within the Irish republic.
The visas, which will be processed at the Irish Embassy in Ankara in a three-day turnaround, would enable Turkish students to study at one of the 57 MEI member schools for up to 90 days. However, students would not be able to work during their study abroad vacation, nor would they be able to extend their stay while in the country.
Students will need to produce necessary documentation including a letter of intent from MEI, stated O’Grady, as well as certification that they are a bona fide university student. “We are looking to attract top end students to benefit and enjoy a study abroad experience in Ireland and then return to Turkey to resume their university studies,” he said. The scheme will be reviewed in 12 months time.
Flexible new website for QE
Language school grouping, Quality English (QE), has launched an innovative new website designed to streamline browser usage and improve communication links between users.
Member schools, corporate partners and partnering agents can now access and contribute to shared data via a highly customised Content Management System (CMS) which will enable them to “easily enter their own course information into structured templates”, vouched Carolyn Blackmore, QE Chief Executive.
Designed by web solutions company, ebxp, the website will also feature handy add-ons including an English language level test and a mini recruitment agency for QE schools.
Blackmore noted that the grouping was also tapping into social networking to expand its outreach. “We have started by using Twitter as a quick and easy way to tell our followers what’s new and what’s happening at QE and in the QE schools. Look for @qualityenglish,” she said.
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