Acpet China officially launches
Work rights extended in Christchurch
London Metropolitan University loses right to sponsor international students
Quality English launches complementary brand
Record numbers of overseas students in Germany
UK announces full Tier 4 inspection cycle details
Record attendance at Alphe UK 2012
News Round Up
Sprachcaffe acquires school in Florence
Into Newcastle Centre nears completion
Alto Pulse Q2 results released
International students worth CAN$8 billion to Canada
Twin launches new graduate vocational programme
Regent’s College gains degree awarding powers
LAL teams up with ELM Education
Kaplan expands school and launches new apps
News in brief
Inside The Industry
On the move
Q&A Educator association: Education South Africa
Industry issues- advisors speak out
On the move
Q&A Advisor Association: KOSA
Agency of the month
Junior programmes in Malta
The microcosm of the Mediterranean and an established ELT destination, it is no surprise that Malta’s junior programmes are popular. A number of providers offer agent commission on accommodation, meals and activities as well as on tuition.
Student visas in the news
by Bethan Norris, Senior Editor
The busy autumn agent workshop season is in full swing as I write this and a report on Hothouse Media’s flagship London conference can be found in our news section, as well as pictures in Grapevine. Over the last and next few months, thousands of industry colleagues gather together to reaffirm old ties and forge new ones at many industry conferences and workshops throughout the world.
And while important business relationships are established during this time, the getting together of important association heads also means that decisions are made and new ideas are discussed that may have a direct bearing on the way the industry develops in the future. One issue that was discussed during the annual Felca/Gaela meetings at Alphe UK this year was commission payments on extensions an area that is clearly important to many agency businesses around the world and something that was discussed in our special report on agency challenges in August.
Making decisions to benefit the industry as a whole is a tricky business due to the size and global outreach of the study travel industry as a whole. And issues can only be addressed if they are known about in the first place. Which makes our Special Report this month surveying international students on their experiences with agents essential reading for agents wanting an independent evaluation of how students view their services. One outcome of this survey is that students in the same classrooms often report vastly differing experiences with their agencies, from the amount of time spent counselling a student to the different services on offer. It is clear that no two agencies are the same and when it comes to regulating this industry, outside government bodies may have little idea of the complexities involved.
Communication between association heads, as well as with outside government regulatory bodies, is vital therefore if the industry is to move in the right direction. A clear example of this is the recent news regarding the removal of London Metropolitan University’s highly trusted sponsor status, leaving thousands of international students in the UK having to find a new institution in order to complete their studies. All UK universities were automatically awarded highly trusted sponsor status when the new visa regulations were introduced, to the concern of many who feared this would result in unfair competition. The first removal of this status from a UK university will surely bring up questions regarding the right of public institutions to be automatically included on this list in the first place.