September 2012 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Agent Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Direction I
Direction II
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus
Market Analysis

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Thai tactics

Despite severe flooding affecting the northern, northeastern and central provinces of Thailand last year, agent business remained healthy with a significant uptake in higher education opportunities abroad.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the 11 agencies in our survey was 867 (one agency declined to give this information)

Individual agencies placed between 28 and 174 students on courses per year

The average length of stay for Thai students was 14 weeks

Overall, 47 per cent of Thai students preferred host family accommodation when studying overseas

A higher percentage of agency clients were studying abroad for further studies overseas, namely 43 per cent

Language learning is the most lucrative sector of the study abroad market for Thai agents

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. Australia 43%
2. UK 23%
3. USA 17%
4. New Zealand 7%
5. Canada 4%
6. Singapore 3%
7. Ireland 1%

8. France 0.5%
Other 1.5%
1. General language 39%
2. Under/post graduate 25%

3. Intensive language 11%
4. Language plus work exp 8%
5. Summer vacation 7%
6. Junior 4%
7. University foundation 2%
8. Academic/exam prep 2%
9. Business 1%

10. GCSE/A-Level/IB/Pre-U 1%

Reasons for studying overseas Average percentage agency business
1. Further studies overseas 43%
2. Future work 26%
3. Further studies at home 14%

4. Current work 13%
5. Pleasure 1%
Other 3%
1. Language programmes 44%
2. Higher education 36%
3. Secondary education abroad 11%
4. Work & travel 4%

5. Internships 2%
Other 3%

How do agents recruit students?
How do agents find new schools to represent?
1. Word-of-mouth 52%
2. Website 25%
3. E/online marketing 10%
4. Mail shots 4%
5. Seminars to students 3.5%

6. Advertising in press 2%
7. Advertising on TV/radio 0.5%
Other 3%
1. B2B conferences
2. Internet 29%

3. STM 12%
4. Language fairs and student expos 9%
5. Other press 1%
Other 16%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 40%
English Australia 80%
NEAS 30%

Languages Canada 30%

Groupement FLE 10%
Souffle 10%
L’Office 10%
Unosel 0%

MEI 20%

Asils 0%
Italian in Italy 10%

Feltom 0%

New Zealand
Eng NZ 60%

Aeple 0%

South Africa
EduSa 0%

Fedele 10%

Abls 0%
British Council 80%
English UK 90%

Accet 20%
CEA 30%

Eaquals 20%
Ialc 20%
International House
World Organisation 10%
Quality English 0%
Tandem 0%

Market growth
Small-to-medium sized players sending between 28 and 174 students abroad in the last 12 months characterised this month’s survey. When comparing student weeks, agents gave a mixed response. Two reported stability, three recorded an increase, three a decrease and three did not answer. Despite the country experiencing some of the worst flooding in decades, average business growth was a commendable 10 per cent, down on the 18 per cent recorded previously (see STM, September 2011, pages 30-31).

Language and destination trends
Australia is one of the nearest ELT destinations for Thai students, accounting for a quarter of requests in 2011’s survey. This year, this country was by far the most popular, requested by 43 per cent. The USA, first in our last survey of the Thai market, dropped to third place with a 17 per cent share. The UK, meanwhile, was the preferred destination for 23 per cent. An emerging ELT market in its own right, Singapore is another choice for Thai students, with a small but noteworthy two per cent share of student bookings, up one percentage point since last year.

Student and course trends
In keeping with previous years, there was a shift away from intensive language study. These programmes were requested by 11 per cent, compared with 34 per cent previously. Under or postgraduate degrees – not tracked in our last survey – were the most requested programmes with a quarter share of the market. General language programmes also received a 25 per cent share. A differing sample of agencies could well explain the differences in course trends (see top right pie chart). The average Thai student’s length of stay has been consistently high in the past, but this year it has dipped from 17 to 14 weeks. Agents reported 43 per cent of clients were learning with further study overseas in mind.

Advisor business
On average, agents worked with 48 different schools in five countries. Agency websites proved fundamental in marketing services (25 per cent), however referrals from previous student clients were the most likely source of new business, up nine percentage points to 52 per cent. A good proportion of new school partnerships (29 per cent) were formed on the Internet, compared with 42 per cent previously, and one agent noted all business was sourced via this means. A significant number of new working relationships (33 per cent) were cultivated at b2b conferences, although this was down 22 percentage points on previous results. Again, one agent noted 100 per cent of business was generated face-to-face at conferences. Language learning was the mainstay of agency business (44 per cent).

Looking ahead
The general consensus among participants was that business will increase over the next year. Several agents mentioned the efforts of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) – a group of 10 Asian countries including Thailand – that supports collaboration in a number of areas including education, suggesting that alternative ELT destinations such as Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines (all Asean members) could grow in popularity among Thai students. One agent related that political upheaval over the last six years has made people nervous about studying abroad. However, they outlined a wide belief that English speaking skills in Thailand are insufficient.

Economic overview

• Thailand’s economy expanded in the first quarter of 2012 as factories resumed production and domestic consumption revived after last year’s floods.

• Gross domestic product increased 0.3 per cent in the three months through March from a year earlier, after contracting 8.9 per cent in the previous quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Board said.

• Bank of Thailand Governor, Prasarn Trairatvorakul, said the monetary authority will not cut rates again because the pace of recovery is exceeding expectations, even as Europe’s debt woes and higher oil prices pose risks to growth.

• “The post-flood rebound is progressing nicely, with a stronger-than-expected rebound likely to keep Bank of Thailand focused on future inflation risk,” said a Senior Currency Strategist in Hong Kong at Scotiabank. “We are going to see recovery ramp up. However, it’s not going to be at such a massive rate of growth.”

• The baht rose 0.5 per cent against the US dollar in May.

Source: Bloomberg

Thai agents named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Impact English College, Melbourne, VIC; Holmes Institute, Melbourne, VIC; The Education Group (TEG), various; Raffles College of Design and Commerce, Sydney, NSW. In Canada: Tamwood International College, Vancouver, BC. In New Zealand: The Campbell Institute, Wellington; Language Studies International (LSI), Auckland; Roncalli College, Timaru; Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Palmerston North. In Singapore: James Cook University. In the UK: Centre of English Studies, Wimbledon; English Language Centre, Oxford; Language Studies International, Portsmouth; Language Studies International, London; LTC Eastbourne, Eastbourne; Southampton University, Southampton; Twin Group, London; University of Kent, Kent; University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth; In the USA: FLS International, Pasadena, CA; Language Studies International, San Francisco; Zoni Language Centers, New York, NY. International: Sprachcaffe Language Plus.

Thank you to the following advisory centres for taking part in this survey: Hearts & Minds Education, Gateway Inter Study, The Mastery UK, i4GS, Centory Co, S&K International Education, Infolearning Company, Kinetics Education and Training Centre, Union Plus, IDP Education Services, Insight Education Consulting.

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

English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Quality English  
Study Gold Coast  
English in Chester  

Impact English College  
Access Macquarie Limited  
Bond University  
English Australia  
Flinders University  
ILSC Australia  
International House Sydney Teacher Training & Prof  
Language Studies International  
NEAS Australia  
Perth Education City  
Study Gold Coast  
University of Newcastle Language Centre  
UNSW Global Pay Limited (University of New South W  

CERAN Lingua International  

GTMI Global Tailor Made Idiomas  

Bow Valley College  
Connect School of Languages  
East Coast School of Languages (ECSL)  
English School of Canada  
Global Village  
Hansa Language Centre of Toronto  
Humber College  
ILSC - International Language Schools of Canada  
ILSC Australia  
ITTTI Vancouver  
Omnicom School of Languages  
Languages Canada / Langues Canada  
Niagara College  
Ottawa International Student Programmes (OISP)  
Study Abroad Canada  
Vancouver English Centre  
Guard. Me  
Ingle International  

Latin Immersion  

iMandarin Language Training Institute  
Mandarin House  

Barnsley College  
Bell International  
Cambridge Education Group  
Camp Beaumont  
d'Overbroeck's College  
Study Group  
International House Bristol  
International House London  
International House World Organisation  
INTO University Partnerships  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Prime Education  
LAL London  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of Business & Finance  
Malvern House College London  
Mayfair School of English  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
St Giles International  
Sussex Coast College Hastings  
English in Chester  
Twin Group  
University of Essex - International Academy  
Westminster Kingsway College  
Wimbledon School of English  

British Boarding Schools Workshop  
IALC International  
IEFT- International Education Fairs of Turkey  

Cambridge Esol  
City and Guilds Branch Office in Europe  
Trinity College London  

Tadra Institute  

Accent Francais  
Alliance Française Paris Ile de France  
Ecole Suisse Internationale  
France Langue  
French in Normandy  
ILCF Institut Catholique de Paris  
Langue Onze Toulouse  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu International  
Paris Langues / Club CEI des 4 Vents  

Sprachcaffe Languages Plus  

English For Asia  

Active Language Learning  
ATC Language & Travel  
Clare Language Centre  
Galway Cultural Institute  
Galway Language Centre  
Horner School of English  
IH Dublin  
Language College Ireland  
MEI Ireland  
MLI International Schools  
University College Cork Language Centre  

Yokohama International Education Academy  

EC English Language Centre  
inlingua Malta  

Pay to Study/FELCA  

Good Hope Studies  
EC Cape Town  
inlingua Language Training Centre Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape Town  
English Language School Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
Jeffrey's Bay Language School  
LAL Cape Town  
Kurus English CC  
International House Cape Town  

International House - Sevilla CLIC  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  
Xul Comunicación Social  

EF International Language Centers  
Eurocentres International  

Malta Tourism Authority  
Study Gold Coast  


Besant Hill School  
California State University San Marcos  
ELS Language Centers  
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart  
Glenholme School  
Liberty University  
New York Military Academy  
Saint John's University  
University of Arizona  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Language Centers  

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