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October 2011 issue

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News
Business Focus
Advisor Survey
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Market Report
Direction
Special Report
Course Guide
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Irish colleges open and close

While the Institute of Business and Technology College (Ibat) has opened a new Dublin campus, the nearby Abbey College, which provided vocational and English programmes, has ceased trading, leaving hundreds of students needing to be placed with alternative providers and leading to calls to protect colleges as well as students.

Ibat’s campus in the trendy Temple Bar area will offer courses in Business and Management, Accountancy, and IT design, as well as English language programmes. “We are delighted that construction is completed on our new campus,” said Ibat Director, Shane Ormsby. “Students will now have the opportunity to enrol in an internationally accredited programme within a state-of-the-art facility in the centre of Dublin. From the MBA debating chamber to the penthouse library overlooking the [River] Liffey, students can expect a superior experience with us,” Ormsby added. International students make up around 40 per cent of the student body at Ibat’s other campus in Swords, County Dublin.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Further Education and Training Awards Council (Fetac) has confirmed that the majority of students at Abbey College are covered by Protection for Learner arrangements after the school’s closure. Colette Harrison from Fetac advised that around 300 students on Fetac courses have been assigned with alternative providers without cost. Harrison said that procedures were robust in protecting students and that schools have been “very supportive” in offering to take in the students, many of whom have yet to arrive in the country as the closure occured during the summer holidays.

In light of recent closures, the Irish Course Providers Association (ICPA) has proposed a bond system to protect colleges when another provider ceases trading. ICPA Chief Executive, Harry Walsh, advised that under the plans, members would pay a contribution into an account for each enrolment so as to indemnify students. In the event of closure, colleges that accept students can draw on the reserve funds. Walsh added that the current system, which requires Fetac providers to secure a course completion guarantee from two registered colleges, is “prohibitive” and can cost guarantors thousands of Euros in teaching costs, documentation and examination charges. Abbey College had itself been a guarantor when the Dublin Business and Language College closed in May (see STM, July 2011, page 7).


Mixed second quarter results for Kaplan and Navitas

Kaplan Higher Education has reported a decline in its second quarter figures, with revenue of US$628.7 million down 15 per cent on the US$742.9 million recorded in the same period last year. Operating income fell from US$112.4 million in 2010 to US$20.5 million, a drop of 82 per cent.

However, Kaplan International Colleges, the English language school division of the company, recorded an increase; its second quarter revenues of US$166.1 million were a 21 per cent increase over US$137.4 million in 2010.

The declines were blamed on “generally lower demand” as well as tighter restrictions introduced by the U.S. Department of Education, which punish programmes for graduating students with heavy debt burdens by eliminating access to federal financial aid dollars. New student enrolments in the USA dropped 47 per cent year-on-year. The Washington Post Company, Kaplan’s parent company, suffered a 50 per cent fall in profits.

Meanwhile, Navitas has announced an increase in revenue by 15.6 per cent to AUS$644 million (US$666 million) and in net profit by 20 per cent to AUS$74.4 (US$77 million) for the second quarter of 2011, despite a decline in student numbers. An overall drop of seven per cent in worldwide student enrolments for the second semester of its University Programs Division included falls of 14 per cent in Australia and 16 per cent in the UK. However, declines were partially offset by large enrolment increases in Singapore and Canada – 44 per cent and 36 per cent respectively – and profits were boosted by the acquisition of SAE Institute, a video and audio college. The falls in Australia were attributed to tighter visa requirements and the strength of the Australian dollar.


Ministry corruption restricts Belta

A corruption scandal in Brazil in which 35 officials from the Ministry of Tourism, including the Deputy Minister, Frederico Silva de Costa, have been arrested, has impacted on the operations of Belta, the Brazilian agent association.

Federal police are investigating the alleged embezzlement of US$9 million of public funds earmarked for professional training schemes in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Belta operates a marketing agreement with Embratur, the Brazilian state tourist board, whose former president, Mario Moyeses, is among those arrested. As part of the Ministry of Tourism, Embratur decided to suspend all agreements for 45 days from August 15, meaning that Belta was forced to cancel participation in several events, including Alphe UK in September.

“Embratur knows how important it is for the promotion of education programmes to foreign companies and has already asked us to update the marketing plan to include all the events for 2012 that we had to cancel now,” said Maria Eglantine Gabarra, Executive Director of Belta.


Australia announces scholarships to assist tsunami affected Japan

Australia has launched the Prime Minister’s Education Assistance Program for Japan, a one-off programme of educational exchanges between the two countries worth AUS$500,000 (US$517,500). The programme provides opportunities for students, academics, researchers and professionals from areas affected by the tsunami to study or enhance their educational collaboration in Australia, and for their Australian counterparts to do the same in the affected areas of Japan. Applications are welcomed for language studies, vocational training and university studies.

“The scholarship programme reflects the strong education ties between Australia and Japan, and Australia’s support for those most affected by the earthquake and tsunami,” said Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education. The Japanese government has also launched initiatives to encourage students back to Japan (see ET news, page 21).

Meanwhile, the state premiers of Australia have proposed that three-year work visas should be offered to international students who graduate with a university degree or an equivalent vocational qualification. The plan was put forward at the Council of Australian Governments meeting and is aimed at alleviating skills shortages.


Indians top cancelled visas in Australia

Figures released by Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) have revealed that over 150 international students were intercepted by immigration authorities and had their student visas cancelled when returning to Australia from overseas in the last financial year. Indian students accounted for 55 of these, with 37 coming from China.

Failure to maintain an enrolment or no longer attending classes was cited as the most common breach leading to a cancellation. It is estimated 84 of the cancellations were for vocational education visas, with 66 being higher education visas. During 2010/11 around 9,000 students were questioned by immigration officials, according to the data.

Some immigration lawyers have objected to the manner in which students have little opportunity to appeal against cancellations at the airport. Chris Nyland, a Professor at Monash University, has advised that students planning to go overseas should be able to get a document from their institution showing that there were no problems that could lead to visa cancellation.


New Zealand considers linking visas to tertiary quality ratings

High quality tertiary institutions in New Zealand may get powers to make student visa decisions, according to proposals announced by the Chief Executive of Immigration New Zealand (INZ), Nigel Bickle.

INZ is considering linking immigration to the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s quality ratings system, which will be introduced next year. In an interview with The Australian, Bickle said students applying to high quality institutions would find it “significantly easier to get a visa”. Student working rights, health requirements and processing times could all be linked to ratings.

INZ also plans to speed up student visa processing. Current service standard is 80 per cent of applications processed within 30 days, which they hope to improve to 90 per cent within 25 days. “We need to be in a position where low-risk customers are encouraged to self-serve, high-value customers are expedited and high-risk customers are channelled to assisted service,” Bickle said. Visa application centres are being established in India and China.
Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

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.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMMODATION
Britannia Student Services  
Milhouse Hostel  
Nido Student Living  
Smart City Hostels  

ASSOCIATIONS/ GROUPS
AEPLE  
English Australia  
English UK North  
Feltom Malta  
Groupement FLE  
NEAS Australia  
Perth Education City  
Quality English  

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  

EXAM BOARDS
IELTS  
Cambridge Esol  
TOEFL Educational Testing Service  
Trinity College London  

INSURANCE
Dr. Walter GmbH  

SERVICES
InTouch  
LTM Digital  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism Authority  

WORK EXPERIENCE
Professionals UK  
St Giles International  

AUSTRALIA
Dental Nursing Australia Kingston  
English Australia  
Language Links  
Lexis English  

BELGIUM

CERAN Lingua International  

CANADA
Bow Valley College  
Braemar International College  
Niagara College  

ENGLAND
Absolutely English Young Learners  
Camp Beaumont  
International House London  
InTuition Languages  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Language Studies International  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of English  
Malvern House College London  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Spinnaker College  
Study Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  

FRANCE
Accent Francais  
AGISEFE - Université de Savoie  
Alliance Française Paris Ile de France  
Ecole Suisse Internationale  
Idiom  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  

GERMANY
Goethe Institut  
International House Berlin - Prolog  

ITALY
Dialogo Language Services  

MALTA
Clubclass Residential Language School  
EC English Language Centre  

SOUTH AFRICA
Garden Route Language Centre  

SPAIN
INTURJOVEN  

SWITZERLAND
EF Language Colleges Ltd  

USA
ELS Language Centers  
UC Berkeley Extension  
Zoni Language Centers  



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