Sprachcaffe acquires school in Florence
Global language school chain Sprachcaffe has announced the acquisition of Italy’s oldest private language institute, Centro Linguistico Italiano Dante Alighieri in Florence.
Dante Alighieri, founded in 1965, is located in a 19th century building overlooking the Piazza della Repubblica in the centre of Florence. The classrooms are located on the second floor and student residences are offered within the same building. Computers and Wi-Fi access are available. Beside a range of language and academic preparation programmes, computer training is also provided, along with cooking and design courses.
“We are very proud to count the oldest language school of our home country Italy as part of the Sprachcaffe family,” said company CEO, Alberto Sarno. “With three decades of experience in teaching Italian to foreigners, we will contribute our expertise to the high teaching standards at Dante Alighieri.”
Sprachcaffe was founded in 1983 and offers seven different languages in 31 language centres around the world.
Into Newcastle Centre nears completion
A new city centre UK£74 million (US$115 million) building for international students at Newcastle University has opened. Around 800 international students at the Into Newcastle Centre will benefit from facilities including science laboratories, computer labs, a lecture theatre and social areas.
Accommodation is provided nearby, with 537 brand new, high-quality student bedrooms spread across two buildings. Three styles of room are available: shared studios, single study bedrooms, and single bedroom studios. Social areas include flat screen TVs, iPod docking stations and couches.
Into partnered with Newcastle University in 2007 and has prepared over 4,000 overseas students for study. Prior to the opening, Tom Stevenson, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Planning and Resources at Newcastle, said, “Our successful partnership with Into is something we are very proud of. Soon, we will have a brand-new, purpose-built building of the highest standard which will match the quality of the teaching and learning on offer. Our partnership means we benefit from the addition of students from all over the world on our campus, which makes our university a more vibrant place.”
Alto Pulse Q2 results released
The Association of Language Travel Organisations (Alto) has released the results of its quarterly survey, the Alto Pulse, for Q2 of 2012, with agents reporting more positive business trends than educators.
Forty-five per cent of the 399 contributing agents said the number of bookings had increased over the same period last year, an increase of four per cent compared with the 2012 Q1 survey. Of the 229 language schools, 46 per cent reported an increase of commencements in 2012 Q2 (down from 50 per cent in the last survey), while 28 per cent reported a decline (compared with 23 per cent in the Q1 results).
Schools in Malta recorded the most positive results, with 70 per cent showing growth over the same period last year, while Ireland, Germany and France were all close behind on 67 per cent. Some 75 per cent of schools in New Zealand posted a decline, compared with 62 per cent in the Q1 survey.
Saudi Arabia was named as the top growth market by schools in the USA, New Zealand and Ireland, while Brazil was top for Canada, Argentina and France. Schools in four different countries highlighted Spain as the largest decline market possibly an effect of reductions in the Spanish Becas scholarship scheme this year. The full report is available on the Alto website.
International students worth CAN$8 billion to Canada
International students contributed more than CAN$8 billion (US$8 billion) to the Canadian economy in 2010, according to a report released by the Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast.
The Economic Impact of International Education in Canada estimates that international students spent CAN$7.7 billion on tuition, accommodation and discretionary spending in 2010, supported over 81,000 jobs and generated CAN$445 million in government revenue. Additional tourism revenue from international students and their families took expenditure to over CAN$8 billion.
There were 218,200 long-term (six months or over) overseas students in Canada in 2010, according to the report. Using Languages Canada data, the report showed there were 110,157 short-term language students at member institutions in 2010, at an estimated value of CAN$788 million, sustaining 10,780 jobs.
A report by a government advisory panel said Canada should target 450,000 full-time overseas students by 2022, while 50,000 Canadians should study abroad. Increased inbound and outbound scholarships and recruitment focus on developing nations were among 14 recommendations.
Twin launches new graduate vocational programme
Twin Group has announced an opportunity for select agents to place non-EU students in a Work Skills sandwich programme in London or Eastbourne that includes a professional work placement in a wide variety of sectors.
The Higher Educational Vocational Development Programme (HEVDP) gives recent graduates from around the world the chance to study towards a UK nationally recognised Edexcel qualification covering key work skills, before completing an internship that will test those skills in the real world. The HEVDP is available in five-, six- or nine-month options.
Joe Solomon, Twin Group Business Development Director, said, “We are very pleased to now be able to offer a Work Skills course to our non-EU students which allows them to study key areas of work and then test their new skills through practical experience in a professional environment.” HEVDP internships can be completed in a number of sectors including marketing and sales, travel and tourism, finance and accounting. Twin’s professional advisors will work closely with HEVDP students to source an internship placement that matches their career objectives and continue to monitor students’ attendance for the duration of their placement.
Regent’s College gains degree awarding powers
Regent’s College London has been granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) by the UK’s Privy Council, giving the college the right to accredit its own degrees.
The move allows all courses to be brought under a single set of academic regulations, and will mean that UK/EU students will be eligible for state-funded tuition fee loans. The award comes after an 18-month review by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Regent’s College became only the sixth private institution in the UK to be granted TDAP, and is the largest undergraduate provider outside the state-funded system.
QAA Director of Review’s, Stephen Jackson, said, “From the assessment that we have carried out of Regent’s College, we found that the college has effective leadership and management, and its arrangements for support, both academic and personal, are well-received by students.”
Regent’s Principal, Professor Aldwyn Cooper, said, “The next step is to apply for university title to reflect properly the kind of institution that Regent’s has become and to better enable us to fulfil our charitable mission to serve education.”
LAL teams up with ELM Education
LAL Language Centres has signed a contract with ELM Education to act as an education agent for the company in China. The deal will see ELM sourcing agents and training them about LAL’s products.
Alex Perkins, CEO of LAL Language Centres, said, “LAL has been under-represented in China for too long, so we have teamed up with ELM to partner with us for both inbound and outbound operations. ELM has strong credentials in educational management in China as well as in the UK, and while we confidently predict a significant increase in Chinese students and Chinese teachers travelling to LAL centres in 2013, we are also looking into the potential for sending students to China in the not too distant future.”
Shaun Carver, CEO of ELM Education, said, “ELM is very pleased to be working in partnership with the LAL Group in providing Chinese youth and adult learners with the opportunity to experience the variety of fantastic programmes offered through the LAL Language Schools and Summer Language Camps around the world.
“Having spent the last week visiting the year-round schools in London and Torbay, as well as having met their staff and students at several of their summer school locations, we are very confident that LAL will be very appealing to the Chinese market.” ELM Education is welcoming enquiries from agents interested in working with LAL.
Kaplan expands school and launches new apps
Kaplan International Colleges has launched the My Kaplan app, which provides students with essential information such as contact details for banks, doctors and police, and residence information. The app features the first day schedule, travel details and details about every UK and Ireland Kaplan school.
Kaplan has also developed a new English app for children aged three and above, which provides preparation for the Cambridge Esol Young Learners Examinations. Both are available as free downloads through iTunes.
Meanwhile, the Kaplan Edinburgh school has re-opened after expanding from seven to 20 classrooms, all featuring interactive technology. The school has two computers rooms, PCs in the student room, and Wi-Fi has been upgraded and installed.
News in brief
UK Study Packs for Chinese students
Unipacks and UK Work Study have partnered to provide unique student and worker starter packs for Chinese students coming to the UK. The Study Pack will include a guide and applications forms for opening a bank account before arrival, a pre-paid MasterCard cash card, free international money transfer, a UK telephone number, a comprehensive living guide, travel essentials, National Insurance assistance and other discounted items. Unipacks provides pre-packaged starter kits for students and has extensive links with the Chinese market, while UK Work Study specialises in assisting international students and workers to settle in the UK, and has also launched a fully localised Chinese website.
IH Sydney purchased
Tim Eckenfels has purchased International House Sydney from former owners, Julie Styles and Leonie Greenwood. The Elicos and teacher training college is located in the heart of the Sydney central busines district. Eckenfels has been in the international education industry for more than 20 years, working for Aspect and Study Group, and was a former minority owner of Ability Education. He plans to add new courses and locations in the near future.
International Baccalaureate could be offered in Japanese
The International Baccalaureate (IB) may soon be available in Japanese. An Education Ministry official said negotiations had been taking place with the IB organisation for the IB Diploma for 16-to-19 year olds to be offered in Japanese. At present the IB Diploma is provided in English at 23 institutions across Japan. The ministry has set a target of 200 high schools to offer the programme within the next five years.
Denmark eyes English vocational courses
Danish government ministers have called for more vocational training courses to be taught in English in order to attract international students. Trade and Investment Minister, Pia Olsen Dyhr, said international competitors “have an advantage because of their language, so we need to make an extra effort to teach in English”. Teaching and nursing were highlighted as successful vocational areas. The move follows recent calls for international students to be given three years to find work in Denmark after graduation.
Solutions found for Waiariki nursing students
International students that had been studying on a Bachelor of Nursing programme at Waiariki Institute of Technology and Universal College of Learning will now have clear pathway options to meet the Nursing Council’s educational requirements, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority has announced. The students’ status had been in doubt after a tightening of Nursing Council regulations (see STM, August 2012, page 8). The students can attend additional programmes to reach the required level at no extra cost.
A number of airlines are adjusting their flight schedules this winter, including British Airways (BA) and Singapore Airlines (SIA). BA will begin a three-times-weekly flight from London Heathrow to Spain’s Alicante at the end of this month and to Rotterdam in the Netherlands in December. However, seven flights to underperforming routes, such as to Amritsar in India, have been suspended. SIA, meanwhile, will add a Perth (Australia) to Mumbai (India) route this month, flying three-to-four times daily, while routes to Athens (Greece) and Abu Dhabi (UAE) from its Singapore base have been axed.
The German airline Lufthansa has been forced to relocate its busy Cape Town night service from Frankfurt to Munich airport, following the introduction of stricter night time curfews at Frankfurt. The new curfew prohibits departures after 23.00, allowing little leeway should the flight from Frankfurt, departing at 22.15, be delayed. “We can’t leave our passengers stranded,” said Kay Kratky, Passenger Manager, in an announcement to the media.
Air Berlin, meanwhile, has announced the launch of flights between the German capital and Chicago in March 2013, becoming the first direct non-stop flight between the two cities. The carrier recently launched a service from Berlin to Los Angeles, and Chicago will become the seventh US destination for the carrier. Feeder flights will be available from eight German cities, as well as from Vienna, Zurich, Budapest, Helsinki, Gothenburg, Oslo, Stockholm and Russia.
Emirates recently started flights from Dubai to Lisbon, following a trend of growing links between Portugal and the UAE. Tim Clark, President of Emirates, said Lisbon had been on its European wish-list for a while, and that the airline will be the only Middle Eastern carrier operating services to Portugal. In addition, the airline has also begun daily services between Dubai and Barcelona in Spain. Clark said the new service reflected a “very significant investment” in Spain, adding, “To announce a new destination and a doubling of services to an existing gateway at the same time demonstrates our belief in the market and our commitment to the country.”
Air Canada is boosting the frequency of flights from Vancouver to Sydney from December, bringing the total up to 10 weekly flights and catering for demand during the Canadian ski season. Marcel Forget, Vice President of Network Planning at the airline, said, “We are always looking for opportunities to further build our presence in key international markets.”
SAS, the Scandinavian airline, has unveiled plans to start a six-times-weekly flight from Copenhagen to San Francisco from April 2013, as well as a three-times-weekly service from the same base to New York. It will be the only direct route between Northern Europe and San Francisco, and the airline hopes to carry 125,000 passengers per year on it. In an official statement, the carrier said, “A large number of international and Nordic companies have expressed a strong desire for a direct service between the US West Coast and the Nordic countries.”
The Swiss carrier Skywork has launched a service, flying three times daily from London City Airport to Switzerland’s Bern airport, connecting passengers to the Serbian capital Belgrade, the Croatian port cities Split and Rijeka, and the Greek hub of Thessaloniki. In total, there will be three weekly flights to Belgrade, two to Split and Thessaloniki and one to Rijeka. “[These] four new destinations open up a wide range of travel possibilities for both business and leisure,” said Tomislav Lang, CEO of Skywork. “Passengers connecting in Bern can avoid the inconvenience and stress of the major airports.”
The Japanese carrier ANA is to increase its Tokyo Narita-New York service to twice daily from this month, adding to previously announced network additions including Delhi, India, launching at the same time.
Following on from last month’s news that Air New Zealand released a star-studded in-flight safety video (see STM, September 2012, page 14), the airline has announced that it will fly ‘hobbit’-themed aircraft to and from the UK and USA as part of a partnership deal with the two soon-to-be-released Hobbit movies. In the run up to the screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in New Zealand next month and The Hobbit: There and Back Again in 2013, a special edition of the safety video will be played, plus there will be a series of promotions and on-board experiences. Mike Tod, General Manager of Marketing and Communications of Air New Zealand, said, “New Zealand is clearly established as the home of Middle Earth and Air New Zealand will bring the magic for travellers.”