By Matthew Knott, News Editor of StudyTravel Magazine

It is always a pleasure to be out at events to meet agents, educators and other players in the industry, so the last week has certainly been a treat.

I was lucky enough to be invited to make a data presentation at the annual workshop of Spanish agency association Aseproce last week, and must take this opportunity to thank the association for welcoming me, the delegates for listening and all the agents that came to speak to me afterwards.

As per the association’s request, I used StudyTravel Magazine’s wealth of agency market intelligence to make a comparison of our most recent questionnaires of European agency markets, with Aseproce keen to benchmark Spain’s performance against its neighbours. My news report on the workshop is now live.

Agents in attendance gave me a number of insights on how the market has performed in 2015. Several told me it was a good year for the junior business, with Ireland particularly prominent and benefitting from the strong pound in neighbouring UK.

But as a couple of agents told me, companies must be wary of courses with too heavy a concentration of Spanish students – as such a situation can create complaints from parents thinking they are not getting the multicultural experience for their children that they believe they have invested in.

The other key area of growth among younger students was the high school/secondary sector, which Oscar Porras, President of Aseproce, told us was expanding year on year. On the other hand, the adult market was still flat but had thankfully not declined further this year for members, he told us.

Following this, I headed to Amsterdam in the Netherlands for the Class of 2020, a conference dedicated to student accommodation in Europe.

A few key themes emerged during the fascinating day about how to address the shortage of quality accommodation for students, and in particular providing for the international students that are more dependent on being able to find good lodging.

The need for joined up approaches and greater private, public and municipal collaboration was one recurring theme, and the requirement for greater flexibility in accommodating shorter stays and more specific requests was another. Look out for my full news report in the next couple of days. The dangers of not being able to provide this could prove fatal for destinations, said one accommodation provider speaking at the conference.

Elsewhere, you have hopefully received the November issue of StudyTravel Magazine by now. But just in case, here is a link to the digital version.

This issue, of course, contains a report on the StudyTravel Star Awards 2015, providing a chance for those that were there to relive the glamour and thrills of the evening, and those that weren’t there to catch up with how their peers and preferred partners fared at the ceremony.

Elsewhere in the issue, we have an agency survey on the relatively buoyant Japanese market, a look at Turkey and the Brazilian city of São Paulo as study destinations, and our latest Industry Faces interview, this time with Markus Badde, CEO of ICEF.

Happy reading!

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