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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On the move

Genevieve Abela has become Chief Executive Officer of Maltese language school association, Feltom, further bolstering the organisation’s setup. Occupying the post of Private Secretary to the Minister of Tourism within the Ministry for Tourism, Culture and the Environment, for the past four years, Ms Abela has a degree in Psychology and a postgraduate certificate in Education, focusing on training and development and organisational management. Over the past 15 years Ms Abela has been involved in various public sector initiatives mainly in the field of education.

Jason Flaming (top) has taken on the global role of Director, Pathway Partnerships and Online Learning at ILSC-Vancouver in Canada. Mr Flaming will be leading the evolution of ILSC’s pathway partnerships with global colleges and universities and building ILSC’s online learning capabilities. Mr Flaming has a wealth of experience, having spent 3.5 years as the School Director of ILSC-New Delhi in India, and prior to that, as the Academic Director at ILSC-Montréal, Canada. Roderick Harding (bottom) has started as the new School Director at ILSC-New Delhi in India. He has extensive past experience in the education sector, as a teacher, academic director and campus director for several private colleges in the USA and was campus director for a university in New Delhi in 2002.

Rosie Gerrard-Wright has recently been promoted to Principal at Ovingdean Hall ILC in Brighton, UK. She will initially combine her role as Director of Studies with the new position, gradually assuming more responsibilities for the college operations. Bringing more than 20 years of experience to the role, she said, “My first major task will be to assist in gaining British Council accreditation for Ovingdean Hall ILC, having been operational for a year. Looking to the future, we can see our academic year offerings taking off and are looking to forge links with universities for foundation pathway courses.”

Having previously worked in the Admissions Department and then as a Business Development Manager at Twin Group in the UK, Mehmet Tepeli has joined the ELC Group as Business Development Manager. The role will entail maintaining and developing current business relationships with partner agents, growing the ELC partner portfolio and developing new programmes. In addition to the Far East and European markets, Mr Tepeli will focus on agent relations in Turkey, the Middle East and Africa.

Q&A Educator association

This month, Rob McKay, Chairman of English New Zealand, answers our questions about the association’s recent activities and future plans.

Full name: English New Zealand
Year established: 1986
Number of members: 23
Type of members: English language providers – private and public
Association’s main role: Advocacy, marketing and quality assurance
Government recognition: yes
Code of practice: yes
Complaints procedure: yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: yes
Contact details:
Kim Renner, Operations Manager, English New Zealand, PO Box 35283, Christchurch 8640, New Zealand. T: +64 3386 1222,
F: +64 33861225
E: admin@englishnewzealand.co.nz
W: www.englishnewzealand.co.nz

What has your association been up to in the last 12 months?
We’ve had a busy year. Our marketing activities were aligned with the Education New Zealand Pace programme for the first time, instead of us running our own independent agent workshops offshore. We’ve continued to advocate for positive policy settings for English language providers. Work rights for English language student visa holders remains a key policy area for us and we continue to advocate for automatic work rights, without the need to have a minimum Ielts level and length of study period, as is the present requirement. A lot of time and energy has been spent on challenging the raft of rules and regulations NZQA is putting in front of us – compliance issues have become counter to achieving the industry growth objectives the government is seeking. Over the last year we have had 24 membership enquiries. However, applicants must meet our quality assurance standards on application, over and above NZQA requirements.

What challenges are member schools currently facing when it comes to recruiting new students?
I know that despite the earthquake international numbers remained steady in 2011, down just 0.5 per cent across the board which is phenomenal. It’s been a tough year particularly for our providers located in Christchurch. There has been a decrease in revenue from the ELT sector based on government statistics and we’re always subject to global factors. It’s critical that members are not impeded by overly excessive compliance costs which could be better used for marketing.

The New Zealand government pledged NZ$5 million (US$4 million) to help with various marketing initiatives, relaxed medical assessment criteria for international students and has just given priority processing times to New Zealand Specialist Agents. How welcome have these initiatives been? 
Obviously we support these initiatives and the support and leadership that the new Education New Zealand is giving. The specialist agent programme is a positive move but we need to remember that we have many long standing and loyal agents who are not yet part of the programme. Visa processing times and requirements need to be positively perceived by all students and agents so New Zealand is reinforced as a welcoming destination. The government assistance to Christchurch providers is a positive move as Christchurch rebuilds its position as New Zealand’s second most important study and tourism destination.

What marketing activities do you have planned for the near future?

We will be reassessing our marketing activities in November following this year’s trial of participating in the Education New Zealand Pace programme. We need to ensure that our brand remains strong and that the extra level of quality assurance members are required to meet is recognised by agents worldwide.

Industry issues - advisors speak out

Q. Which is the most popular suite of language exams with your student clients?

Garry Littman, The Language House, Switzerland
“The Cambridge exams, both general and business are definitely the exams of choice in Switzerland. Many Swiss companies recognise the Cambridge exams and our students want the exam initials; FCE, CAE and BEC Vantage or Higher on their CVs. Five-to-10 years ago, the FCE (First Certificate in English), which is a high intermediate level, was sufficient. The Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) is low advanced level and rising in popularity as companies demand a higher level of English. Ielts is becoming more popular as more Swiss students study overseas and it seems to have eclipsed Toefl as the preferred academic English exam. We test almost all our exam students before they leave, so that they and our partner schools have confidence in their study plan.”

Brunella Belluomini, Language Data Bank, Italy
“The exam prep request depends on the client’s age. The most popular among juniors and teenagers is the Trinity exam. Among our adult clients Ielts is, at present, the most requested, although it wasn’t known until a few years ago, while Toefl was already popular. Our website contains one page dedicated to the international certifications with a detailed description of each exam and I am sure that this helps students get more familiar with them. We receive many enquiries, our staff are well trained and can give advice. We were a Toeic exam provider for a while but we had to stop as this was too engaging for a small agency, but I would like to consider a partnership again. I would rank the exams in the following order of preference: 1) Ielts, 2) Cambridge Esol, 3) Toefl, 4) Toeic, 5) BEC Vantage, 6) ILEC, ICFE and Bulats and 7) GRE and GMAT.”

Francine Mendonça, London Help4U, UK and Brazil
“In the first quarter of 2012, 32 per cent of our students travelled for an exam preparation course, and many had already done so before. The most well-known exams among Brazilians are Ielts and Toefl. Toefl seems to stand out (still) because Brazilians have always gone to America more than Europe. But times have changed, and Ielts has grown in popularity. In Brazil, students are looking for it much more due to the fact that many universities do recognise its validity. We are now a City & Guilds testing centre in São Paulo, Brazil, and will be working to foster the quality of this exam, and help. Students do require some kind of prep course to apply for their English qualification, and this will happen either in their home country or abroad. Now we are able to help them due to our partnership with City & Guilds.”

Karen Ong, Language International, USA
“Overall, test preparation courses for exams such as Toefl and Ielts are not as popular as general language courses. Only three per cent of all our bookings are for test preparation programmes. This number has stayed the same over the last three years. Because test preparation courses are such a small part of our business, we have not explored offering preparation courses for exams other than the widely accepted Toefl and Ielts. It’s interesting to note that students booking test prep courses are a lot younger than the average student (23 years old versus the average student age of 28). The reason is that these students need to take these exams for university or graduate school admission. Most universities in the USA and the UK only accept Toefl and Ielts scores, making it unnecessary for us to offer less widely accepted exams to our students.”

Boelo van der Pool, Babel Idiomas, Spain
“We mainly have standard course clients. It is true that I do encourage long-term students to organise their dates in such a way that they can finish their course with an official exam. Most of them haven’t even thought of it when they come to our office, but I explain to them the importance of having an official diploma. I always encourage them to sit the Cambridge Esol exams, mainly FCE and CAE. Some of them do FCE halfway through their programme and finish with the CAE exam. I think it is very important that students are aware of the fact that a simple course certificate is usually not enough to certify their level of English.”

On the move

Following the opening of its fourth language teaching centre in Canada, Sol Schools International has made changes to its management team, resulting in Houman Nikmanesh moving into a strategic role focusing on the development of new destinations and programmes and Sam Stephen joining the team as Marketing Director. Ms Stephen has over 10 years of experience within the industry, as both a teacher, business development and Marketing Manager and more recently School Director with International House Dubai.

Paul Thwaites has joined Melton College, York, in the UK as College Manager. The position is new and is in response to the steady expansion of the college and its courses. Mr Thwaites will be in charge of the day-to-day management of the college, including its Ielts department. Principal Andrew Hjort will be concentrating on marketing, promotion and course development. Mr Thwaites was previously Group Operations Manager at Partners in Training and before that was a teacher and management consultant.

English language teaching accreditation and quality assurance body Neas has welcomed Independent Director, Denise Taylor, as Chair following Professor Millicent Poole’s retirement after four years of service. Ms Taylor, who joined the Neas board in February 2012, is an experienced CEO and director with a background in quality assurance both in the private and government sector, including TIH Child and Family Services, Uniting Care Children’s Services and the National Childcare Accreditation Council.

Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association (Belta) has elected Carlos Robles, Director of IEP Brazil, as the new association President. Mr Robles aims to support the work of its members and build brand recognition among Brazilian consumers. The association also recently announced a new board of directors for the triennium 2012-2015 that comprises Fred Tiba as Finance Director, Silvia Bizatto as Operations Director and Betty Woodyatt as Director of Institutional Relations.

Danny Bartlett is the new Media and Public Relations Manager for Into University Partnerships (IUP) working across the UK, USA and China. Mr Bartlett will be responsible for engaging with the press on stories relating to IUP, promoting partner universities and commenting on issues around international tertiary education.

Q&A Advisor association

This month, Saijai Srijayanta, Manager of Tieca, tells us about the association’s recent activities.

Full name of association: European Association of Quality Agencies
Year established: 2011
Number of members: 5
Type of members: Education consultancy agencies in Europe
Association’s main role: The mission of EAQA is to assure a quality brand for its members, to guarantee high standards, and to promote the trustworthiness and quality of European agencies.
Code of practice: yes
Complaints procedure: yes
Contact details: Jozefina Krnacova, EAQA Secretariat
E: office@eaqa.eu. W: www.eaqa.eu

What has been the focus of EAQA in its first year?
EAQA was established in 2011 with the main goal to empower cooperation between European agencies. There are numerous national agency associations, although not all countries have one. EAQA filled this void and seeks to create a platform for better communication, quality standards, and know-how between the players in the sending education sector in Europe. The main focus was to create a well-established system with a code of practice that would guarantee the quality of EAQA members. We have also supported EAQA activities among European agencies. We currently have five members and welcomed two new members in the past year. We also have admission applications being processed that we hope to finalise soon. Our expectations until the end of 2012 are to have 10 new members, and to start promoting to government bodies while raising awareness in this developing market. We are also striving to increase our profile at workshops...and we released a market intelligence report with critical information and insights about the industry. The secretariat organised a webinar that presented an overview of this report in June. We believe that the first year of EAQA has been very successful in increasing the number of member agencies, as well as acting as a support for members.
Where do you stand on accreditation?
As we aim to be a ‘quality mark’ guarantor, EAQA has created its own code of practice which is very strict for every associate or full member. It is based on the Felca Code of Conduct which EAQA strongly respects. EAQA has applied to become a Felca member. We firmly believe that there is a strong need for industry support and with Felca as a partner we will achieve EAQA’s goals in a shorter timeframe and more constructively. As agencies work with young students, their accreditation is the prerequisite sign of quality.

How important ARE agency training schemes?
Agent training is crucial and must be of good quality. It prepares agency staff to be prepared for all eventualities, to understand the market and education systems better, and to develop accordingly. Every agent needs to be well prepared for the job and its related activities, as well as having the knowledge and insight to identify optimal training opportunities. We believe that it would be beneficial to have one accredited training [scheme] that is respected by the majority of agency associations, which would avoid agencies having to choose the most suitable training from the diverse market range. In the past year it has been up to our agents to select the most suitable training system individually, and this is still the case.

What challenges do member agencies face?
The industry is growing and becoming more competitive as information increasingly goes online. This is creating opportunities for every kind of agency to be established and created easily. In the case of members...it will be increasingly difficult to get the rights to be able to send students abroad, both in the agents’ country of origin and the country where the agency is sending students. Exchange rates will present a challenge and accreditation via international bodies and governments will make the survival of agencies more difficult if they don’t develop and adapt.

Agency of the month

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

This month English Language Academy (ELA) in Ireland nominates Silvia Utrini Intercambio in Brazil. Therese Fagan from the school explains this decision.

“I would like to recommend Silvia Utrini Intercambio in Brazil for Agency of the Month. Silvia and her team have worked with us since 2008 and we find them extremely professional from the initial order, right through to efficient payment and administration matters. They always match their students with the right course and accommodation and offer a personal service to each and every student. Furthermore, they inform their clients about what to expect as a student in Ireland. They are quite adept at flagging any special requests in relation to courses and accommodation with us, so that there are no surprises or disappointments. I also notice that they remain in touch with the students long after their arrival in Ireland. Their loyalty to ELA is exceptional and we have received many quality students from this agency. It is for these reasons that I would like to nominate Silvia Utrini Intercambio as Agency of the Month.”

“We have had several students attending English Language Academy (ELA) in Ireland [and they have given] very positive feedback [about the school]. They have told us that studying at ELA Ireland is like being among friends. There is nothing more rewarding for an agent than hearing from the client how grateful they are of our advice. That makes ELA Ireland our number one school in Dublin.“
Silvia Utrini, Silvia Utrini Intercambio, Brazil

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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