October 2013 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agency Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus

Special Report
Course Guide
City Focus
Market Analysis

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On the move

Ingeborg Loon has joined Academies Australasia in Australia as Assistant General Manager, Partnerships, where her main areas of responsibility will be the establishment and growth of partnerships with other educational institutions in Australia and overseas. Ms Loon’s professional career in international education spans 20 years. She has held senior international marketing and business development roles at TAFE Queensland International, the University of Queensland and Griffith University before joining Acpet as International Engagement Manager.

Sandro Humann has taken up the position of Sales Manager at Estudio Sampere in Spain. Mr Humann will be responsible for sales and marketing at the school and will be the major contact for all agents and associations abroad. Mr Humann’s career in international education began in the Spanish department at the Sheffiled Centre where he organised large groups for summer centres in Spain.

Maria Cigrina has been appointed Accommodation Manager at London Nest in the UK. Ms Cigrina has worked in the student property sector for the last three years, previously at Mansion. By paying attention to details and taking each and every requirement seriously, Ms Cigrina said, “I’m very much looking forward to meeting language schools, agents, further education colleges and universities to see how we can assist their student accommodation needs.”

Rachel Keogh is the new Stakeholder Relations Manager in the Business Development Team at Cambridge English Language Assessment in the UK working on building and maintaining recognition of the Cambridge exams with key stakeholders around the world. Ms Keogh said, “I am really looking forward to helping to ensure that the excellent range of products Cambridge English has on offer remains globally recognised.” Before joining Cambridge English, Ms Keogh worked as Marketing Manager at St Giles International in London, UK.

Mark Raven has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Neas in Australia, replacing interim CEO, Stirling Benson. The move coincides with recent changes to sector regulation and new challenges for the organisation. Mr Raven was previously CEO of Academy Holdings, which he helped grow before it was acquired by Kaplan International. Neas Chair, Denise Taylor said, “Mr Raven has a proven track record...I am confident he will bring relevant experience, direction and innovation.”

Q&A Educator association

This month, Shaun Fitzhenry, Chief Executive of Education South Africa (EduSA), talks about the association‘s quest for government recognition and a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the country as a study destination.

Full name: Education South Africa
Year established: 2002
Number of members: 20
Type of members: Full and associate members
Association’s main role: Quality assurance, marketing and lobbying
Government recognition: About to change with an accreditation process through the South African Qualifications Authority
Code of practice: yes
Complaints procedure: yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: no
Contact details:
E: edusa@saytc.co.za
W: www.edusouthafrica.com

What has your association been up to in the last 12 months?
The past year has been quieter in terms of growth and providing development opportunities for teachers. We welcomed one new associate member, and some members attended workshops and expos such as COEX in Seoul, Korea. We have not hosted any fam trips, but are looking to arrange two over the next year. Our recent focus has been on the issue of government recognition and study visas, which go hand-in-hand. A great deal of work and research has been done, with presentations and meetings with government. We realised we had to pursue alternative strategies, therefore, most EduSA members will shortly be accredited by the Services Sector Education and Training Authority, which is mandated, in terms of the Education Act, by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to accredit training providers for short, skills-based courses. We believe this will help us overcome issues of government recognition when it comes to obtaining study permits for our students. In addition to this, we will be submitting EduSA for accreditation by SAQA as a professional association, which will then also give us the right to accredit members for recognition purposes. If you like, one bird with two stones! EduSA members are also working hard to create a joint marketing venture that will raise awareness of South Africa as a destination. Given that we are a smaller language travel destination and by implication, organisation, budgetary issues sometimes make this difficult. However, we will make it happen.

What challenges are your member schools currently facing when it comes to recruiting new students?
Probably the greatest challenges we still face are the ongoing study permit issue, and the perceptions of South Africa as a less safe destination. Many students are turned off by bad press, which is not necessarily always a true reflection of what is happening.

You recently secured a meeting with the South African Department of Home Affairs. Were there any significant outcomes? Please explain.
Unfortunately this meeting was frustrating to the extreme, as it produced a rehash of old arguments around registration with the Department of Education. The meeting was actually a waste of members’ money, as the department could have discussed what they had to say on the phone. There was no discussion of the key issues of accreditation or quality in relation to visas; it was more of a meeting to tell us what our place was. However, the doors were not shut completely and the battle continues.

What marketing activities do you have planned for the near future?
We are working hard to create viable joint marketing structures, which will see EduSA established as a brand in its own right, with all member schools participating and benefiting. South Africa remains an unknown quantity in our sector and we need to change that. We are hoping to start having association representation at some major events in 2014/15.

Q&A Agent association

This month we interview Alina Kononenko at KAEA in Kazakhstan.

Full name of association: Kazakhstan Association of Educational Agents (KAEA)
Year established: 2004
Number of members: 8
Government recognition: yes
Code of practice: yes
Complaints procedure: yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: yes
E: event@intellect.kz

What has been the main focus of KAEA in the last 12 months?

KAEA has welcomed new partners – new educational institutions from different countries. In the first few years the association’s main work was on the UK system of education. Today KAEA is happy to provide consultation on educational questions in every region of the world. KAEA has become more recognised among Kakakhstani citizens.

Are you aware oF the Federation of Education and Language Consultant Associations (Felca)?
Recently, KAEA was honoured to receive an invitation to become a member of Felca. Our association is highly motivated to become a member, as it creates more opportunities for global development and wonderful connections in the global education sphere.

What challenges do member agencies face over the next 12 months?
With the rapidly growing number of other educational agents and organised fairs, it becomes harder to be innovative and maintain the leading position in the market. Other foreign companies started to operate on the territory of Kazakhstan as well, making the competition very intense. Members of KAEA are proud to hold leading positions in local and educational markets. We follow world emerging tendencies and quickly react/adopt to changes in the market. Today, we are ready to modify our existing events.

What marketing projects does the association have planned for the future?
Every year, KAEA members organise the Education Abroad – KAEA Exhibition – a very productive event. It is a perfect opportunity to both introduce an educational institution, establish a concrete understanding of the Kazakhstani educational market and strengthen already existing recognised positions. This year it will take place in October.

Industry issues - agents speak out

Q. How do international payments affect your business?

Sibel Akkaya, Deca Study Abroad & Visa Consultancy, Turkey
“We generally transfer the payments of our students to the partner schools abroad through online banking. Our agency pays the transfer charges because we give students gross invoices. Students usually make their payments in the foreign exchange rate stipulated on the invoice. However, students who come from smaller towns prefer to pay in the local exchange rate and thus fluctuations affect agency profit. We do not use a payment company. We generally make payments to partner schools using bank transfers and a sum of money is always cut and the full amount is not received due to the transfers between the banks, or less money is transferred to the bank account although we pay the transfer charges octarately. Therefore, schools deduct this amount from the next student payment, or they demand the shortfall from us. This transfer period can sometimes be problematic; some schools do not give confirmation before the money is transferred even though we send them a statement. This can cause distress in urgent cases. We would prefer to use a system which would solve these inconveniences.”

Kate Clarke, Al Ahlam Training Services, Oman
“We’re a small, highly successful agency, family owned, and whilst we obviously work to make a profit (and do very well) we don’t have the same pressures that other agencies suffer. Yes, the exchange rate affects us but it doesn’t stop us continuing in business, and for language placements we work to the gross and net invoice system, where the student pays us (against the gross invoice) and we then transfer the funds to the school (using the net invoice). We’re prompt payers. We never stop to see what the exchange rate is. Students like being able to pay us in local currency and we just calculate the amount according to the exchange rate of the day. As soon as the funds are received from the student, they are very promptly transferred to the school so there’s rarely an exchange rate issue. We looked at Paypal and other [payment systems] but decided we wanted the security of handling our own money ourselves. If we transfer the funds to the schools ourselves, then we know it’s done. Yes, there are bank transfer fees but they’re not exorbitant, we can live with it.”

Stephen Wittig, NRCSA, USA
“We use forward contracts to stabilise future payments. We price our programmes annually. For five major currencies, we purchase forward contracts for 75 per cent of projected need. On a monthly basis, we may adjust prices and add forward contracts. Our objective is to stabilise our costing, not speculate on foreign currency. For minor currencies, we make spot purchases (which can be the most problematic). Bank wires are cost effective – but an administrative hassle. Our cost to receive payment by international wire is US$20; to send an international wire, US$10. By comparison, customers paying by credit card cost an average of four per cent. Accepting payment by credit card incurs more fees (on average) than payment by wire transfer. As a result, we accept (but discourage) credit card payment. Payments by cash and cheque incur no bank fees. Receiving and sending electronic transfers (ACH) incurs virtually no bank fees but that is mainly for domestic transactions. On an annualised basis, our cost of “moving money in and out” is budgeted at 1.8 per cent, i.e. US$18,000 per US$1 million gross sales.”

Agency of the month

In a series appearing each month in Study Travel Magazine, we ask a different teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or advisor partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.

This month, Linguaviva in Ireland nominates EMY Cursos en el Extranjero in Spain. Paul Barton at the school explains this decision

“We have been working with EMY Cursos en el Extranjero for a few years now, and they are simply fantastic. All of their students come to our school having had a massive amount of preparation given in advance. The communication from their staff is always extremely efficient and very clear. They have also remained loyal to our school throughout the tough times we are all facing in the industry. Every year the agency also hosts a large event where schools, parents, group leaders, and students are all invited to learn more about the agency offerings. Recently one of our staff members attended this event and she said it was a super success and that the personal service illustrated by all at Emy Cursos is unrivalled by most.”

“It is an honour to be nominated by such a great school. They provide great service to students and are absolutely on top of everything. From the agency point of view it is extremely easy to work with them since they are great professionals and wonderful people to deal with.”
Emy de Lema, EMY Cursos en el Extranjero, Spain

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.






Britannia Student Services  
ESL Townhouse  
Sakura House  
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  
UK Guests Ltd  
Urban Nest Accommodation  

English UK  
English Australia  
Groupement FLE  
International House World Organisation  
Quality English  

English Australia  

CERAN Lingua International  

Algoma University  
Centennial College of Appplied Arts and Technology  
Peace Wapiti School Division  
Pickering College  
York University English Language Institute  

Mandarin House  
Sino-British College, USST  
Xi'an jiaotong-Liverpool University  

English UK  
Chichester College  
GSM (Greenwich School of Management)  
International House Bristol  
International House World Organisation  
INTO University Partnerships  
InTuition Languages  
Kaplan International Colleges  
The Language Gallery  
London School of English  
Quality English  
Queen Ethelburga’s College  
St Giles International Brighton  

Alphe Brazil  
Alphe Brazil  

Accent Francais  
Alliance Française Lyon  
Groupement FLE  
ILCF Institut Catholique de Paris  
Institut de Touraine  
Institut Linguistique Adenet  
IS Aix-en-Provence  
ISEFE - Université de Savoie  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  

Carl Duisberg Centren  
F+U Academy of Languages  
Goethe Institut Berlin  

IMLC (Inter-Media Langues Caraïbes)  

English For Asia  

Cistercian College  
Galway Cultural Institute  

Manabi Japanese Language Institute  
Yokohama International Education Academy  

Oscars International  

EC Cape Town  
EF International Language Centers  
English Language School of Cape Town  
Eurocentres of Cape Town  
Good Hope Studies  
inlingua Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
IH Cape Town  
Jeffreys Bay Language School  
Kurus English  
LAL South Africa  
Language Teaching Centre  
Oxford English Academy   

EF International Language Centers  
Malta Tourism Authority  

Brown University Continuing Education  
ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Global Language Institute  
University of Arizona  
University of California Berkeley  
University of Maryland Baltimore County  
Zoni Language Centers  

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