Felca seminar highlights key agency data

02, September, 2014

The Federation of Education and Language Consultant Associations (Felca) gathered in London, UK, last week to deliver key data from member associations, highlighting study abroad industry trends and the market share of the national agency associations.

Scott Wade, Director of Hothouse Media, welcomes delegates to the Felca presentation

The presentation was delivered following the Felca annual AGM, and prior to the Alphe UK conference, at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel to a select invited audience of school directors and major industry players.

Carlos Robles, President of Brazilian association Belta, said the association had around 90 per cent market share and expected to increase the number of language students sent overseas to around 200,000 in 2014, compared with 175,763 in 2013.

Taiwanese association IECA has 105 members currently, said Representative Jenny Tu, and she advised that the UK, Australia and Canada are growing destinations. The increases are driven by visa-waiver arrangements and are eating into the dominance of top destination USA, which accounted for 47 per cent of bookings in 2013.

Eren Goker, President of Turkish association UED reported on an expected 15 per cent decline of students in the 2013-14 academic year, mostly caused by unfavourable currency exchange rates against UK pound sterling and the US dollar in the first quarter of 2014 affecting the sales of summer courses.

President of Spanish agency association Aseproce and President of Felca, Juan Manuel Elizalde, explained recent changes to membership of the association, with members obliged to pass an audit and demonstrate that they pay VAT. He estimated that Aseproce members have around 40-50 per cent share of the study abroad market in Spain, with members accounting for around 100,000 language students in 2013.

The new Chief Executive Officer of Japanese agency association JAOS, Yoshikazu Ueoku, said it was a very good time of Japanese agencies now, with JAOS actively involved in government projects to promote study abroad. He highlighted the Philippines as an emerging English-language study destination, accounting for around 10,000 Japanese students in 2013.

The Mexican agency association, AMTE, was also unveiled as the newest member of Felca, having been formally accepted at the Felca AGM. President Ulises Ortega said there was strong market growth in Mexico, predicted to be around 15-20 per cent in the last year. The association was negotiating a key role in government plans to increase Mexican students heading to the USA.

The Felca event included presentations by the national agency associations of Brazil, Europe (pan-national), France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

Felca was formally established in 2000, with the founding concept that agents and industry leaders from all countries should meet to discuss their businesses, agent to agent – an idea first conceived by several representatives of national associations of study abroad organisations in the mid-1990s. The organisation currently has 15 member national/pan-national associations.

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