Quality English explores Latin American agency markets

19, February, 2015

The Quality English (QE) and Quality Education (QEd) brands have explored new agency markets in Latin America with first-ever missions to Peru and Ecuador, along with a return visit to Colombia.

Meetings taking place at the Quality English/Quality Education Mission in Ecuador. Pictured is Dirk Figueiredo (R) of London School of English, UK, with Cristina Carvajal and Maria Melo of Ecuadorian agency International Study Programs (ISP).

Carolyn Blackmore, Chief Executive of Quality English (for English language schools) and Quality Education (for independent colleges delivering courses in English), said, “The QE Missions are often quite pioneering as they visit markets where some agents are new to the workshop culture.

“This was the case in Lima (Peru) and Quito (Ecuador). The agency sector in both countries is still in its relative infancy compared to other countries in South America such as Colombia, Mexico and Brazil. It was the third time we have held an agent workshop in Colombia and the brand is now strongly recognised in this country.”

Regarding future growth potential in both markets, QE Agents and Missions Manager Frances Pottschulte, who ran the Latin America missions, said, “You can say that previously study travel had been reserved for the better off, but now with the concept of study abroad becoming part of the culture, and a growing middle class (plus various government scholarships and loans), this has opened doors to new sectors of society. 

“Based on research we have carried out in Peru and Ecuador, these growing markets show excellent potential as education and internationalisation have become key priorities for the governments.”

The event in Quito was supported by the Ecuadorian agency association COICEC, and Blackmore said discussions were underway with the association on how to build stronger links between their members and QE and QEd institutions.

Establishing a connection with COICEC last year was one of the factors in choosing Ecuador and Peru for the latest rounds of missions, Blackmore explained, along with requests from schools, increasing agency presence from the two markets at international fairs and a growing body of market research.

In Bogotá, Colombia, educators were invited to a presentation on a government project to build English language teaching capacity in the country and how they could participate in the scheme. Ingrid Prieto of Go Study Travel agency, based in Bogotá, said the mission was “extremely well organised, with clear information, the institutions were wonderful, and we finally have something new and different to offer to our students”.

In total, 11of the QE and QEd schools and colleges from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and the USA, met with representatives from forty-four agencies in the three countries. The next round of QE missions will be held in Italy and Spain in November.

Study Travel Magazine recently interviewed Angy Vinueza, General Manager of Ecuadorian agency Xplorer, about the activities of COICEC and market trends in Ecuador.

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