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Read the digital September 2012 issue of
Study Travel Magazine here









Contents - September 2012


Special Report
Industry powerhouses
While the language training industry still has plenty of independently owned language centres, there are some notable giants in the market that have grown through external investment, expansion and acquisition. Gillian Evans looks at the recent developments of the big players and how this is shaping the language training market.


Agent Survey
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.



Tertiary Focus
MBA USA
Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes in the USA tend to have a practical and experimental teaching approach, equipping international students with the skills they need in the world of work. Claire Twyman investigates.
n scene, as Nicola Hancox finds out.


Vocational Focus
Nursing back to health
With regular career opportunities at home and abroad, nursing courses have enduring appeal with international students, as Matthew Knott discovers.


Secondary Focus
UK sixth form prep
For international students starting further education programmes in the UK, their transition into the country’s education system is not always smooth. Pre-sixth form programmes can help students overcome academic or linguistic difficulties, as Claire Twyman discovers.


Secondary Focus
Accommodation trends
UK schools keen to attract international students are developing more sophisticated boarding and homestay arrangements in order to meet and exceed the expectations of parents and students. Bethan Norris reports.


Destination
Dragon adventures
As China’s growth continues unabated, more and more dynamic study travel destinations are opening up across the country, as Matthew Knott discovers.


Regional Focus
Queensland’s surf
The Australian state of Queensland promises lots of sunshine, surf, tropical beaches and fantastic natural attractions. As Bethan Norris asks, what more could a student want?


Direction
Payment issues
How to effect international payments by the simplest and most cost-effective means is a question close to the hearts of study travel sector organisations. Jane Vernon Smith takes a look at the difficulties, and some of the potential solutions.


Market Analysis
Passionate Spain
Western Europe proved to be a rich source of students for Spanish language schools in 2011. However, schools are also looking to target emergent economies.


Spotlight
Volunteering in South Africa
As students look to add some value to their study trip abroad, English plus volunteering courses in South Africa are booming, discovers Matthew Knott.


Opinion
Student visas in the news

News
Chinese agency responds to UK newspaper claim
Bell launches Cambridge redevelopment and new websites

UK interviews ‘high-risk’ students
New Zealand uncovers student visa fraud
Australia’s Tuition Protection service moves forward
CEG launches CATS Academy Boston
Study Group launches rebrand and new website

News Round Up
Satisfaction levels up at Australian language schools
English UK launches East England sub-group
UK universities spend UK £60 million on commission
New online marketplace for language travel launched
Mayfair school opens new campus
Italy launches bilingual higher education website
Aviation English test approved
Britannia to open Study Hotel in Brighton
News in brief
Travel update

Inside The Industry
On the move
Q&A Educator association: English New Zealand
Industry issues- advisors speak out
On the move
Q&A Advisor Association:
European Association of Quality Agencies
Agency of the month

Course Guide
English plus work
In an increasingly competitive global job market, international students who have completed English language plus work experience courses have that extra edge. We profile a selection of schools in Australia and New Zealand that offer this course option.

Grapevine



Opinion
Student visas in the news


by Bethan Norris, Senior Editor

I have worked at Study Travel Magazine for over 14 years now (!) and one of my favourite Special Report topics is a focus on the industry’s major players which charts what business developments have occurred in the last few years. It is possible to gauge many of the major trends of the industry by plotting the activities of these large chains, as well as being inspired by the individual histories of schools that were often set up by visionary pioneers many decades ago. This month’s Special Report on the ‘Industry Powerhouses’ does not disappoint and is essential reading for anyone in the industry wanting a précis of the behind-the-scenes activities of our big name colleagues. It is also interesting to note that while many of the largest companies involved in language travel are now owned by vast, big money international corporations, a significant few such as EF, OISE and St Giles are still privately owned by the original founding families.

A key trend revealed in our Special Report feature this month is the development of the academic preparation sector which has grown significantly in the last few years and has proved to be very lucrative for many big chains. There is clearly no shortage of international students wanting to bridge the gap between language and academic studies both in their own country and the country where they wish to study at higher education level. The majority of these students will go on to complete three- or four-year degree courses and contribute significant finances and time in their chosen study destination.

So it is interesting that the UK press has recently run a series of negative news reports questioning the validity of international student visa holders in the UK and implying some sort of wrong doing on behalf of agents advising students on university study overseas. One UK newspaper has gone to great lengths to send reporters posing as representatives of students to visit agencies in China in the hope of uncovering a major scandal. The best they could come up with however, was an agent in China advising a reporter that a student stood a good chance of being able to study at a particular UK university when their academic qualifications where one point below that required by the university. Is this scoop worthy of all the time and effort that must have gone into this undercover operation? I don’t think so. It just confirms, sadly, that international students remain a political issue in the UK.



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