10th ST Star Awards celebrates study travel sector

07 September, 2015

The international study travel industry gathered in London at the weekend to celebrate excellence in performance at the unique, peer-voted StudyTravel Star Awards 2015.  

The winners of the StudyTravel Star Awards 2015

Recognising quality across 23 international education categories covering study travel agencies, language providers, vocational colleges, secondary schools and service providers, the ST Star Awards were presented during a red carpet event at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel in front of an audience of over 850 major industry figures.

Three winners were inducted into the StudyTravel Super Star Hall of Fame at the event, recognition of companies that have won their category five times, bringing the total of Super Stars to 16.

The newest ST Super Stars are: GLS Berlin for ST Star German Language School; the International Association of Language Centres (IALC) in the ST School Association category; and Embassy English for ST Star Chain School.

Jan Capper, Executive Director of IALC, said, “We’re so proud to join five IALC member schools as an ST Super Star. IALC received over 20 nominations again in 2015, and this recognition by our partners inspires us to work even harder to give students the best possible study abroad experience.”

She added, “The ST Awards are a unique and valuable chance to publicly acknowledge the great work of study travel business partners worldwide!”

There were also eight first-time winners in the 2015 Star Awards, four each in the agency and school categories.

Kerstin Firnges of Hispania Escuela de Espanol, a debutant winner in the ST Star Spain Language School category, said, “The school was founded in 2002 with two classrooms and has grown since. Last year we were nominated for the first time, and this year we have won, so it is very flattering that agents voted for us.”

She added, “If you are convinced about what you are doing and your heart is in it, it is beautiful to have something objective like this award to support that.”

Haitam Giat, CEO of Yes Atlas, winner of the ST Star Agency Middle East & Africa, said, “We have been working for six years, and this award means we are doing the right thing and that schools believe in our business model.”

A special outstanding achievement award was also presented to Sue Blundell, who is retiring this month after 13 years as Executive Director of language school association English Australia (EA).  

Scott Wade, Director of StudyTravel, presented the award and said that Blundell had made an inspirational contribution to the study travel industry during her time at the helm of EA and as an active member of the Global Alliance of Education and Language Associations (Gaela).

This year’s event was the 10th edition of the StudyTravel Star Awards. Nicola Hancox, Editor of StudyTravel Magazine and one of the hosts of the evening, said, “During this time the Star Awards have become a keenly contested mark of excellence in the industry. They are also a much-needed opportunity for industry partners and peers to gather, network, socialise and let their hair down.”

She added, “As always, this year’s event was a wonderful evening of celebration, glamour, fine dining, dancing and camaraderie.”

First held in 2006, the ST Star Awards gather thousands of votes from professionals within the international education industry; agents vote for schools and service providers, while schools and providers cast votes for their agency partners.

The StudyTravel website features a full list of the StudyTravel Star Awards 2015 winners and nominees as well as the updated ST Super Star gallery.  

Matthew Knott
News Editor


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