This week, we interview Gerardo Carranza, Director General of EduLynks and Vice President of Mexican agency association AMTE, about the activities and membership of the association, which was established in 2012 and recently joined Felca.

Asociación Mexicana de Turismo Educativo (AMTE) recently joined Felca. Why did you decide to join, and what are the benefits of membership?

We joined to expand our horizons, share our knowledge and experiences and learn from other International colleagues. We benefit from economies of scale and membership contributes to our mission.

 What is the membership structure of AMTE?

AMTE is formed by 21 Members, divided into: nine agencies; 10 government bodies (honorary members) and two industry providers

What else has AMTE been up to in the last 12 months?

In 2014 AMTE has organised and/or participated in the following events:

We held the second AMTE educational fair in April, “Expo Estudia en el Extranjero”, with the participation of 36 institutions and the members of AMTE, and the attendance of 3,400 visitors in two days.

At the moment, we are negotiating with the Government the project: PROYECTA 100,000 to contribute, together with the US, to grow the market from Mexico to that country 10-fold in the next four years.

We held three bimonthly meetings with the education division of the government bodies from Spain, France, Canada, Holland, United States, Germany, Argentina, Australia, United Kingdom and the European Union, which collaborate with AMTE, organizations like DAAD, Imagine Canada, Education USA, Nuffit, Neso and others.

In these meetings, AMTE serves as a platform where both government bodies and Mexican agencies work together to pull together the statistics of the industry, trends of the market, organise promotional campaign of each country, like country of the month and so on.

We also participated in ICEF Vancouver in May 2014, making a presentation about the Mexican market and the ICEF Mexico City event in February 2014.

What is the application process for a prospective member?

The process is as follows:
1.  Get in contact with an AMTE representative.
2.  Have an informal interview with an AMTE member.
3.  Fill in the application and references form.
4.  Accept AMTE’s code of ethics.
5.  Have a formal interview with the AMTE members.
6.  Pay AMTE’s membership fee.

What are the prerequisites for membership?

A prospective member must: be a well-established company in Mexico under the Mexican laws; have at least two years of operations in the country; have a recognised reputation in the industry; and provide a list of the schools that they work with (AMTE checks random references).

How is business going for Mexican agents at the moment?

The variables in the equation for the Mexican agents are looking pretty good this year: a general growth in the numbers of students recruited by the agencies, the incursion of new student fairs such as BMI Brazil with Expo Estudiante and specialised fairs in boarding schools and higher education, all these together combined with a good recovery of the Mexican economy, a stable political atmosphere and growth in the youth population in the country.

On the other hand is the incursion of a big player like Kaplan with a direct sales channel, that will be shake the market conditions in the next coming months.

What are the main student trends in Mexico?

The main destinations for the Mexican students are North America, followed by Europe and then Australia and New Zealand. The interest in the higher education programs in growing fast every year, especially for the degree programmes in universities abroad.

According to recent market research, the main reasons that Mexican students choose to travel abroad are because they are looking for the ‘experience’: the experience of living abroad, to travel, learn about other cultures, meet new people, etc. These attributes appeared over academic interests, learning new languages, getting better job opportunities and others.

What future activities does AMTE have planned over the coming 12 months?

We plan to enlarge our member base up to 30 during 2015, and we will contribute with Felca in the federation’s projects. We plan to implement the PROYECTA 100,000 project, and also hold AMTE’s first annual member conference in October.

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