The Alicante partner school is overlooking the sea and harbour, according to Antonio Anadon at Enforex, and has the latest innovations and facilities, including wireless Internet connection, with the same quality standards as all Enforex centres. He claims that the new Valencia branch is one of the most modern schools in Spain and it also has state-of-the-art facilities.
In South Africa, Good Hope Studies has opened a new school in the city centre of Cape Town, to complement the current school in the suburbs of the city. Wolfgang Graser at the school explained that the additional school was opened because we regularly had agents mentioning the fact that they lose clients who insist on studying in the city centre. Students can now study at both centres during their stay, he added.
In Australia, EF has opened a new branch in Brisbane, situated in the former Museum of Contemporary Art. Again, the school boasts modern facilities including a multimedia language lab and wireless Internet connection. The building is also a heritage-listed art deco villa dating from the early 1900s. EF School Director, Kate Bailey, said, I am very proud of our new school.
Meanwhile, EC Group has unveiled its third school in the UK, which adds London to the network of Brighton and Cambridge schools. It acquired the Cambridge School of English (CSE) in Covent Garden, which was established in 1969. It is extremely exciting for us to open an EC school in London and to work with such great like-minded people, said Andrew Mangion at EC Group, which also has a school in Malta. The London school has 11 classrooms and offers free email/Internet use, a large subsidised cafeteria with two pool tables and a home cinema.
Australia wants greater quality control
A review of policy relating to the Education Services for Overseas Students (Esos) Act has been published in Australia. Proposed amendments include the provision that institutions inform the Immigration Department of concerns over any education agent and have formal written agreements with all agents.
A peak body of Australian education agents, with provisions for overseas membership, would also be created and charged with self-regulating the local agency industry.
The report broadly calls for greater focus on uniform quality, although it does acknowledge that the Esos Act has been appreciated across all education sectors for presenting a consistent approach to welcoming international students. Suggested amendments also encompass new rules relating to course refunds and pastoral care for younger students, and a call for student contact officers or advisers to be on hand to assist students with adjusting to life in Australia.
The 288-page document was finalised with the help of industry representation on the steering committee. It notes there is a strongly held view that the Esos legislation and framework are major improvements over the situation that prevailed prior to 2000.
The Esos Act led to specified levels being given to each education sector according to nationality, leading to a transparent visa system that assured entry if applicants could meet the appropriate conditions (see Language Travel Magazine, September 2001, page 6).
At English Australia (EA), Sue Blundell said, EA welcomes the thoroughness of the evaluation process and looks forward to further discussions as to how consumer protection and quality assurance measures can be developed while, at the same time, allowing the industry flexibility to grow and respond to changing needs.
Dodgy colleges in the UK
Two people bringing Malaysians into the UK illegally have been jailed for seven and nine years respectively. Industry association, English UK, was instrumental in bringing the people smugglers to justice and provided a statement of support for the prosecution.
Joolee Torto pretended to be a school principal and obtained visas for 70 Malaysian nationals by giving a fake address as the premises of Croydon Tutorial College; in fact a legitimate institution in the same town with no connection to her whatsoever. Once in the country, the immigrants were housed by Tai Chuan Low who received the nine-year jail term and worked illegally, with their salaries paid directly to Low. Pat Mohan of the real Croydon Tutorial College told newspapers that he would sue Torto for using the college's name.
Meanwhile, an unaccredited school in London, trading as Bite, folded earlier this year, leaving students out of pocket. The Oxford Street school was previously part of the Lite group, but it split from the group and became Bite months before closing unexpectedly. Tony Millns at English UK said the case underlined that students had to study at an accredited school for peace of mind.
Beta wants government attention