On the move
English Australia is pleased to announce its new Membership & Communications Officer, Michelle Troxler. Ms Troxler’s role has a particular focus on membership management as well as the delivery of membership services. Marketing and communication of these services to members, non-members and other stakeholders, and membership feedback and measurement systems also fall within the scope of this role. The position is also responsible for the affiliate programme and the StudentConnect and MemberConnect programmes. Ms Troxler has over 12 years’ experience in the EFL industry, including in English language teaching, resource development, workplace English and literacy training and teacher training, both domestically and overseas.
Delfin English School in the UK is pleased to announce that Rory Curley has been appointed Sales & Marketing Director, UK, with overall responsibility for developing and growing Delfin’s UK school. Mr Curley brings with him almost 10 years’ experience of the international education industry, having worked with schools in Ireland, the UK and Asia in both academic and sales and marketing capacities. He said, “I’m delighted to be joining the Delfin family, and look forward to working with their dynamic team in this exciting new role”.
Parrish Robinson has been appointed Director of International Sales for IH Dublin and Independent College Dublin in Ireland. Having worked in the education field for over 10 years in numerous capacities all around the world, Mr Robinson will focus on recruiting international students to Dublin for both third-level and English language courses at the college, while continuing to be based in Mexico City. “This appointment will further add to our strategy of growing our international student base, for both English language and our wide range of quality undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses from our campus in Dublin,” said Padraig Houigan, Managing Director of Independent College Dublin.
Churchill House School of English Language in the UK has appointed Rosario Surace as Business Development Manager of its summer junior business. Having recently worked in a business development role for EAC in Edinburgh and previously with Hampstead School of English in London, Mr Surace has a wealth of experience in the language industry and will be responsible for growing existing relationships and developing new ones. “I am delighted that Rosario has joined Churchill House and I am confident that his experience in this market will help us grow the business even further,” said Greg Patton, Sales and Marketing Director.
East Coast School of Languages in Halifax, Canada, is pleased to announce changes within its management structure. Brandon MacNeil (top) has assumed the role of Director of Academic Services, while Joel Kelly (bottom) has accepted the newly created position of Director of Marketing and Enrolment Services, where he will drive the school’s marketing and enrolment strategies while focussing on diversity. East Coast School of Languages recently celebrated its 15th birthday and is proud to be the only Quality English school in Halifax, Canada.
Charles Pizzey has joined UK-based Varsity International a new venture providing English language and sports programmes for 10-to-16 year olds, as Managing Director. Mr Pizzey worked for British Study Centres for 11 years as Director of their Oxford business school, Marketing Manager for the group, and then became Head of Operations for the junior vacations division. “I am delighted to be joining this new group of premium summer schools. We see a gap in the market to deliver a top-quality activity/sports programme, complementing our English language classes.”
Steve Phillips has been appointed Director of Regent’s Institute of Languages & Culture (RILC) in the UK, incorporating all English language programmes (formerly Internexus) and foreign language teaching that the institute offers as part of Regent’s University London business degrees. He said, “These are exciting times for Regent’s University London and for RILC with the development of bachelor’s and master’s programmes, and externally examined and accredited teacher training courses.”
Stephanie Bon has joined the Brooklyn School of Languages in the USA as Sales & Marketing Manager. Based in Bordeaux, France, she will be responsible for developing business for the school which opened in May and is already a success with more than 15 nationalities represented this summer. Her extensive knowledge of the industry, thanks to her previous experiences in the UK agency Cactus Worldwide and the French group of schools France Langue, is a real asset for this new role, she said.
Q&A Educator association
This month, Darren Conway, Chief Executive of English New Zealand, discusses new members, the importance of policy alignment and marketing activities in Asia.
Full name: English New Zealand
Year established: 1986
Number of members: 25
Type of members: English language providers both private and state tertiary
Association’s main role: Peak body/voice for the English language sector. We provide advocacy, marketing and quality assurance benefits for members
Government recognition: yes
Code of practice: yes
Complaints procedure: yes
Agent workshops/fam trips: yes
T: +64 33861222
What has your association achieved recently?
We have continued to build on relationships with government agencies while representing our members’ views on key industry issues, for example integrating the Code of Practice responsibilities in the NZQA system. Non-commercial policies, such as NZQA’s English language requirements for international students continue to be a resource-hungry challenge and these types of battles don’t lend themselves to the achievement of aggressive government growth targets. We’re continuing to work with Education New Zealand (ENZ) on industry and marketing initiatives. Members attended the ENZ Conference late 2012, the ANZA workshop in April and the IECHE in Saudi Arabia. We’re also developing a closer working relationship with Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIANZ). Over the last year we’ve increased our professional development for members. Events have included an EER (NZQA evaluation) workshop, a CEFR workshop in conjunction with Cambridge English, and an English NZ Professional Development (PD) Workshop. We had one new member join late 2012 and have had a significant number of enquiries over the last year. Prospective members need to meet our prescriptive quality assurance standards (over and above NZQA requirements) on application so many don’t proceed to the next stage.
What challenges have member schools faced over the last 12 months?
The sector has taken a bit of a hit, but it’s reassuring that English NZ member schools attract around 80 per cent of the students studying English at PTE specialist providers (this figure doesn’t include members who offer English plus or are state tertiary providers). Christchurch numbers are improving but nowhere near where they were pre-2011. Improving policy settings (in particular work rights) will put us on a more level playing field with Australia.
The New Zealand government plans to invest millions in the promotion of the country’s education industry. Has this been welcomed by the industry?
It’s certainly welcome. The government has set very high growth targets which will be hard to meet with the dollar continuing to trade so strongly against other currencies. ENZ will need to manage this investment wisely, but even more important is getting policy settings aligned with the growth objectives. The trial of work rights for English language students is proving successful in Christchurch, and has been well received by agents. It’s critical that ENZ supports our advocacy for a nationwide rollout in 2014, as well as for more sensible immigration risk assessments, policies and processes.
What marketing activities do you have planned for the near future?
We’re offering members a hybrid-style marketing calendar with some market activities coordinated by ENZ and some solely with an English NZ focus. Our contestable funding applications to ENZ for 2013 marketing activities in China and Indonesia were successful. English New Zealand’s quality brand is well-respected but we need to raise our profile. We used to hold agent workshops in nine different countries each year before we aligned with ENZ’s activities. We’ve had mixed success with this new approach, but our focus continues to be on offering students and agents the best possible English language learning experience.
Q&A Agent association
This month, Penprapa Vudhivate, President of Tieca in Thailand, talks about the association’s main focus and the buoyancy of its outbound student market.
Full name of association: Thai International Education Consultants Association (Tieca)
Year established: 1990
Number of members: 78
Association’s main role:
• To encourage members to provide accurate information and helpful advice and assistance for students interested in studying at an overseas educational institution
• To provide support to overseas institutions in the Thai education market
• To support and develop the opportunity for students to acquire an education abroad
• To increase the standard of the education sector in Thailand to the highest possible level
• To provide Thai market information and relevant support to overseas institutions abroad
What has been the main focus of TIECA in the last 12 months?
We have welcomed 10 new members. We have attended several events including OCSC International Education Expo, Nafsa, English UK Fair, ICEF, Beta and Alphe, promoting our association and its members. We held our annual AGM and have you been working with government bodies to promote study abroad opportunities for Thai students.
What did you achieve as an organisation in 2012?
Tieca signed declarations of cooperation with the British Council, the US Commercial Service, the Australian Trade Commission, the Canadian Embassy and Education New Zealand.
For an agency, what are the benefits of being a member of Tieca?
On an annual basis, Tieca conducts familiarisation trips to overseas learning institutions with the support of various education organisations. The goal of these trips is to visit universities, colleges, secondary schools and other facilities in order to gain more knowledge and information on new educational approaches, policies and developments. This is also an opportunity for exchanging opinions and coordinating with institutions to meet the challenges that have arisen through interaction between the institutions and Thai students. We offer training sessions: in close cooperation with foreign embassies, Tieca organises training forums about education opportunities abroad for its members in order to update latest information and changes in educational areas overseas. We also have strategic alliances with local educational partners in both the public and private sector to raise awareness of Tieca members’ professionalism and disseminate overseas institutions’ information to partners including external educational counselling services.
How do you ensure standards are maintained among member agencies?
The association keeps a close watch on the media to assure that members are not being highlighted for any kind of malpractice. There is no inspection process as such, however, we keep a keen eye on member activities, in terms of advertising and promotion in particular, to ensure that members are not misrepresenting themselves or their institutional clients.
What are market conditions currently like?
The market is still quite buoyant. The strongest outbound markets are still the UK, USA and Australia. There are however new markets developing and these include China, Malaysia and Singapore. There are also increasing numbers of international programmes on offer through local Thai universities, both government-funded and private.
What challenges do member agencies face over the next 12 months?
Members will have to adapt to the changing nature of the market, inform themselves of new destination opportunities and keep abreast of the ever-changing student visa regulations.
What marketing projects does the association have planned for the future?
We have the Tieca Study Abroad Expo in February. We will be visiting schools and universities to raise awareness of Tieca members’ professionalism. We will be updating visa information with the embassies (Canada, UK, New Zealand and the USA). And lastly we will be collaborating with the Ministry of Education on summer courses in the UK, Australia, Canada, the USA and New Zealand.
Industry issues - agents speak out
Q. Why and how did you first start in the study abroad industry?
Fernando Aguilar Bajo, Astex, Spain
“I have been working at a consultant agency for the last 15 years. Right after my law degree in Madrid, I joined Astex. I believe I have gone through every single stage you can go through as far as learning a language is concerned. I was a summer course student for the first time at the age of eight, when I was sent to a language programme in Hastings. In my late secondary education, I studied at a high school in the USA. During my university studies, I was a group leader for four summers. And lately, for the last three years, I have seen the ‘father’ side of things by sending my older son to the UK. All this experience gives me a wide perspective and allows me to understand how schools work, how students feel and what parents expect. This has definitely helped me in my role as a consultant and as a sales manager.”
Anastassia Romanenko, Insight-lingua, russia
“Our agency business was started by my mother when I was about 14 years old. When you ask her why, she says she needed to educate her daughter and that seemed like a very good solution. At that time Russian people had just started travelling abroad, and going to study English in the UK was something completely unbelievable. I had all sorts of experiments tried out on me language courses, au-pair and volunteer programmes, internships, etc. When I was at school and university, every summer I would spend one or two months helping in the office. Two weeks after I graduated, I went to Malta to work as a group leader supervising our underage clients. After that I had a one-year internship in a Canadian college as a marketing assistant. Basically, all the work experience I ever had in my life is about international education. I had a few moments thinking about a different career, but nothing was good enough to change for.”
Jarurin Chayapajuk, Wisdom House Education & Travel, Thailand
“I have been working in the education industry for 14 years. This career is very respectful from the parents’ and students’ point of view (especially in most Asian cultures). There is no doubt that working with students and their parents is a real pleasure. We work together with our students for years, and then become close friends. Not every job offers many friendships over time like this one. Knowing that I can fulfil dreams of the young ones through educational investment proves that I have done something right. When first entering into this industry, direct experience as an overseas student was the best way to get a realistic picture of life as a student. Working with an industrial-based company also helped to store up a number of experiences. Rotating roles within the industry is a great opportunity to understand more about the industry.”
Olga & Evgeni Govor, Meridian Group/Baltic Council for IntL’ Education
“My husband and I founded our first company Meridian Group in 1994. Latvia gained independence in 1991 so it was a brave step and quite risky. Having graduated from the Linguistic University (English and German) we both felt privileged at the time when our country was taking its first steps towards a market economy and building relationships with western countries. Our big advantage was languages and although I worked at a state school at that time as an English teacher, I was bombarded with requests to help with translation and give private lessons. There was an enormous demand for languages and the idea of our future business was in the air. Evgeni had experience of being an exchange student at the University of Manchester, and while studying it was his dream to make it possible for people of all ages to be able to learn languages and go to school or university abroad. We opened a language centre in Ventspils and very quickly we became the talk of the town. We signed contracts with a lot of companies to teach their staff English. The next step was sending students abroad and in a year we sent our first group of juniors to Oxford, UK. Meridian Group is now the biggest education abroad agency in Latvia, sending junior groups to England on a weekly basis in summer. We send the biggest number of students in the Baltic to boarding schools worldwide, we work with language schools for all age groups in many countries and university placement is also a big part of our business. Soon after opening an office in Ventspils, the one in Riga was opened. In 2004 we launched the Baltic Council for International Education, the main mission of which was to organise education abroad fairs in all three Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia).”
Susan Boyle, English Language Consultancy Service, Italy
“I have always been involved in education in some way. I trained as a drama teacher and followed an elective course in teaching English as a second language. I left the UK in search of the sun and spent two years in Tripoli, Libya, and four years in Freeport, Bahamas. On my return to Europe I taught businessmen, organised summer courses at the university in Canterbury and ran a language school in Madrid. I initially came to Italy to find clients for Linguarama’s English language courses in the UK and subsequently set up their Italian subsidiary in Milan. Even when running the school, I continued counselling students for courses abroad and that was the part I liked best. I was considering setting up my own consultancy when the opening came up at the British Chamber of Commerce for someone to run the English Language Consultancy Service. Not being linked to one company, I have a wide portfolio of courses and try to have “something for everybody”.
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 Genki Japanese and Culture School (GenkiJACS) in Japan nominates Andeo International Homestays in the USA. Evan Kirby at the school explains this decision.
“We would like to nominate Andeo International Homestays as Agency of the Month. We’ve worked with Andeo since shortly after we opened our first school. As one of our very first agents, they helped us greatly in understanding the needs of agencies, and they always hold a special place for us. They take particular care with their clients, interviewing them before they come to Japan, and sending us student-made photo collages and self-introductions written in Japanese. They make sure that all students they send have some prior Japanese experience, and are suitably prepared for the incredible experience that coming to Japan can be. They also take in students from abroad for homestay programmes in the USA, and I think that experience gives them great insight into what their clients need when doing a homestay programme in Japan. We feel they really understand that coming to Japan can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for people, and they do their best to help us make sure each student has the best experience they possibly can.”
“Many thanks to GenkiJACS for nominating Andeo as Study Travel Magazine’s Agency of the Month! For the past seven years, we have enjoyed a relationship of mutual respect, clear communication and excellent support from them. Working together seamlessly, we are able to facilitate life-changing language and cultural experiences for our teen, gap year and adult students who study Japanese in Fukuoka, Japan.”
Melinda Samis, Andeo International Homestays, USA
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.