Cyprus launches language school association

September 16, 2013

The English Language Schools Association of Cyprus (Elsac) has been established as a self-governing body to ensure quality assurance in the country’s burgeoning ELT industry.

The association has been founded by three well-established providers in the sector: Malvern House Cyprus, Xenion Language School and Pascal Summer Camp. Elsac commits to ensuring all member schools are licensed by the Ministry of Education and follow firm procedures in academic (defined as qualification of teachers, educational materials and quality of the schools and facilities) and non-academic (accommodation, leisure activities, entertainment and excursions) issues.

“Due to organic growth of the industry and an increase in the number of language schools, the newly set up self-regulating body of Elsac recognises the need for quality in the provision of English language and aspires to ensure that students get the best possible learning experience,” said a statement from Elsac.

Chairperson of Elsac, Yiota Kontoloucas, added, “Elsac promises that its member schools will offer students a high level of education and a meaningful experience.”

In its mission statement, Elsac outlined the expansion of education exports. “The growth in the educational sector is evidence that Cyprus is on its way to becoming an educational hub. This can be seen with the increase in the numbers of language providers, boarding schools for international students, private English schools, colleges and universities, and a British university offering a degree from the UK.”

It added that all English teachers are English language/linguistic degree holders, as this is a prerequisite from the Ministry of Education, which is working alongside the Ministries of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and Immigration along with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation to grow the industry.

As previously reported, language schools have been lobbying the government for changes that would allow the English language sector to significantly expand, with predictions that the with investment the industry could be worth €45 million (US$60 million) by 2020.

“The education industry is becoming a volume niche for the tourism sector,” said Elsac. “It is recruiting visitors from both traditional and new markets with its word-of-mouth growth as a destination. That reputation is being supported by quality education providers who seek to constantly expand and develop programmes that are quality controlled.”

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