Gaela commits to measures to support industry

08, October, 2014

The Global Alliance of Education and Language Associations (Gaela) has issued a communiqué committing members to measures such as improved communication and collaboration, improved transparency and initiatives focused on young learners.

Members of Gaela at the annual AGM, which took place prior to the Alphe UK Conference in London in August

Representatives of Gaela members, which include 13 national language school associations, four international school associations and related quality assurance/accreditation bodies, met at the alliance’s annual AGM in London recently to discuss matters of common interest, share student data and identify challenges confronting all destination countries.

Gaela has subsequently issued a statement of the agreed points and commitments from the meeting.

Members agreed on the need for improved communication and collaboration between members and governments, particularly in critical areas of industry regulation and access to visas, and in a separate point asserted the importance of national regulatory frameworks that “recognise and incentivise providers of quality language training and have the capacity to deal effectively with low-quality providers”.

On the issue of visas, the communiqué states, “Gaela members acknowledged that visa regimes need to balance integrity with access, but stressed the need for equity for language students in access to visa and work opportunities.”

With regards to ethical practice, members asserted that “improved transparency and adherence to ethical practices by all stakeholders including education providers, agents and students, will ensure a sustainable and credible industry”.

In other measures, Gaela members noted the welfare concerns related to the growing youth language travel market and agreed to share initiatives and strategies focused on young learners, committed to acting in concert to protect the global reputation of the language travel industry for the benefit of all stakeholders, and confirmed that the current flexible and informal structure of the alliance allows for an “inclusive, adaptive and responsive approach” to evolving issues at a global level.

During the AGM, Jan Capper of the International Association of Language Centres (Ialc) and Gavin Eyre of Education South Africa were confirmed as Co-Convenors for the coming year.

Gaela was established in 2000 and includes national language school associations from the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Malta, Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa, Italy and Canada.

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