Category Archives: Language Schools

Australia’s Tougher Visa Rules Bad for Business – a Fate for UK?

The decline of Australia’s international education industry over the past 12 months has received lots of press coverage of late and certainly, some language schools in the country report that they have been noticing a decline in student numbers.

“Embassy has experienced a decrease in terms of enrolment to Australia,” says Emma Khan from Embassy CES, which has schools in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast. “This trend goes in line with the overall decrease of students choosing Australia as an education destination. These changes can be attributed to the high value of the Australian dollar as well as recent changes to immigration policies.”

Fiona Davidson from Ability Education, which has language schools in Melbourne and Sydney, agrees that changes to immigration legislation, as well as the growing strength of the Australian dollar, have contributed to 2010 being a rocky year. However, she observes that 2010 was far from being all doom and gloom. “Our numbers plateaued in the past year compared with 2009,” says Davidson. “In terms of enrolments, 2010 was a rollercoaster of a year. There were steep declines in some markets and strong increases in others. We saw a huge increase in [students from Western European countries] in 2010, especially students travelling on working holiday visas.”

Some areas of business certainly continued to grow last year. David Hurford from Port Douglas English Language Centre in Port Douglas, QLD, which specialises in exam preparation and executive business courses, relates that student numbers doubled at the school in 2010. Top nationalities include western Europeans (German, Swiss, Italian, French) and some eastern Europeans (Polish, Russian and Estonian). “We’ve consolidated our existing courses and upgraded the resources, rather than introducing new courses,” he says.

At Byron Bay English Language School in Byron Bay, NSW, Michael O’Grady also reports that European student numbers are holding firm and puts this down to the school’s location and quality programmes. “Europeans have always enjoyed good schools at beach locations – Swiss, Spanish, German, Italian,” he says. “French numbers are down, possibly due to the weak euro,” he adds.

However, for schools relying on Asian student markets, the last 12 months have proved testing. “[We] experienced a significant drop in student numbers from China, Korea and Japan,” says Davidson. “The change in Australian government legislation affected the Chinese markets. The strength of the Australian dollar has driven students from Korea and Japan to the relatively more affordable US and Canadian schools.”

She adds, “Changes in the Saudi King Abdullah Scholarship programme, which no longer applies to stand-alone Elicos providers, also negatively impacted our numbers.”

Khan from Embassy CES also reports a decline from Asia. “We have experienced a decline from the Vietnamese market. This can be attributed to recent changes on their assessment level for the vocational sector. Vietnam is predominantly an academic market, few students actually come to Australia on a stand-alone English visa,” she says. “We have also identified a decline from the Chinese market which goes in line with the national trend.”

In hard times, providing a quality experience is more important than ever. Davidson says that they have invested heavily in their teachers’ professional development. “As a result, we have a strong team of teachers with a long-term commitment to the college. We believe this is the main reason we have seen an increase in students choosing to extend their courses.”

Sussex Language Schools Under Threat from Student Visa Cap

Sussex’s language schools could be under threat from the Government plans to drastically cut the number of student visas.

Home secretary Theresa May today set out measures to fulfil the Government’s pledge to reduce net migration from 196,000 to the tens of thousands by 2015.

She told the House of Commons the number of non-EU migrant workers would be capped at 21,700 – and said that student visas, particularly for below degree level courses – would also be targeted.

This would mean Sussex’s language schools – which are estimated to contribute £150m to the county’s economy each year – would have to rely on EU students.

Mrs May said: “I will consult on restricting entry to only those studying at degree level, but with some flexibility for highly trusted sponsors to offer courses at a lower level.”

She added: “Nearly half of all students coming here from abroad are actually coming to study a course below degree level and abuse is particularly common at these lower levels – a recent check of students studying at private institutions below degree level showed that a quarter could not be accounted for.

“Too many students, at these lower levels, have been coming here with a view to living and working, rather than studying. We need to stop this abuse.”

In September, Peter Tamkin, academic director of the English Language Centre in Hove, told The Argus a crackdown on student visas will cost the school a third of its £1.5 million-a-year business. He said: “I suppose if you lump students into immigration figures then it is relatively easy to cut them and then turn around to the people for whom immigration is a problem and say we have cut immigration.”

And today, John Mountford, international director of the Association of Colleges, warned that non-EU students coming to the UK on courses below degree level “subsidise UK universities and UK students” by going on to degrees later.

“Cutting them out will ultimately mean that UK citizens will have to pay even more for a university degree,” he said.

“The cap is a clumsy approach – to cut numbers most effectively the Government should simply administer current policy properly.

“This would reduce student numbers by removing bad practice, clamping down on ‘chip shop’ providers while supporting highly trusted providers like Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges, which specialise in high-quality education to genuine students.

“Introducing a cap will punish reputable providers to the benefit of the bad, as the unscrupulous will continue to look for loopholes.”

“Restricting student numbers in this way will harm UK economy and reputation.

“Students turned away from the UK will study in America or elsewhere in Europe and our reputation as an international educator of excellence will be severely damaged.”

Mrs May said there will also be a new minimum salary of £40,000 for firms using intra-company transfers (ICTs) to bring their own people into the UK for more than a year to do specific jobs.

But firms will still be able to bring non-EU workers into the UK on ICTs for less than 12 months as long as they earn £24,000.

The number of skilled workers with job offers, who enter the UK on tier two visas under the points-based system, will be capped at 20,700 and will also be limited to graduate-level jobs, Mrs May said.

But the number of highly-skilled workers without a job offer – the old tier one route – will be limited to just 1,000 and to those with “exceptional talent”, which will include sports people and scientists.

The inclusion of scientists in this new route will help address the concerns of universities who fear that the cap could make it harder for the UK to attract the world’s best researchers.

St Giles International – New Programmes

We are delighted to announce a SPECIAL OFFER for our University Foundation Business Course (UFBC) at St Giles Brighton and St Giles London Highgate.

St Giles now has partnerships with four British universities offering guaranteed places to successful UFBC graduates and we have placed students at over 30 other universities throughout the UK. This, combined with our record of excellent results, makes St Giles your choice for students looking for successful university placement.

We have places still available for our September 2009 UFBC intake; so please contact us as soon as possible to reserve your places and avoid disappointment. We are also delighted to welcome applications for the January start date now.

  • Stronger Foundations: Our University Foundation Business Course (UFBC) continues to mature with the Universities of Chichester, Plymouth and Sussex, joining Oxford Brookes and Brighton as our partners.  These universities now welcome successful graduates from our UFBC onto a wide choice of undergraduate degree programmes.  We continue to strengthen our reputation with 100% of our students gaining access to the university of their choice.   Foundation courses are available at our Brighton and London Highgate Colleges.
  • More Availability:  The acquisition of new premises just opposite our San Francisco College, in the heart of downtown Market Street, means even more availability for your students in 2009 and beyond.   We offer bright modern classrooms with lively recreational spaces and cafe, combined with on-site Customer and Academic Services teams.  Our Brighton, London Central and Eastbourne Colleges have also expanded in 2009.
  • Academic Summer:  The launch of our new fast-track 6 and 8 week intensive FCE preparation course for the summer of 2010 will now offer a focused, results-orientated programme for ambitious learners at our Brighton and London Central Colleges.
  • New Beginners Courses: All of our Colleges now offer dedicated Beginner Level courses with dedicated start dates throughout the year.  These are designed to ensure a supported learning programme for those studying for the first time.
  • Superior Accommodation: Now includes, as standard, internet access and TV in large well-furnished rooms.  We are delighted to also launch a new Superior private bathroom option for all our UK Colleges with Platinum Centres.
  • New London Central Residence:  Our modern year-round residence, only minutes from the London Central College, offers modern, single en-suite rooms, ideal for the more independent learner.   This residence is also available to students studying at London Highgate.

  • New Vancouver Residence: Our new Vancouver residence (available from April 2010) offers the modern, independent living experience, within easy travelling distance of our city-centre College and downtown. 

  • Junior Summer Camps:  2010 is looking to be an exciting year of expansion, with new centres joining our portfolio of residential summer camps for young learners.  More details to follow.

I hope that you will find this information useful and, as always, please feel free to contact us should you have any questions – we are very happy to help.

Want to Learn English in London?

Want to learn English in London, England, the home of English?We all know how important English is today. It is spoken in many places around the world and so much business is also being done in English. Many people who want to learn English are combing their studies with travelling by taking part in a study abroad programme. You can then really immerse yourself in British life, getting to practice and experience the English language much more than you would otherwise. London, being the UK’s capital city, is a very popular destination for students who want to learn English. There are many different courses that people you can choose from. We’ve bought you 6 of the best study abroad in London programmes perfect for everyone who wants to learn English in London.

London is a fantastic and vibrant city. You will often hear people refer to the different parts of London as north, south, east and west. Each are of London has its own feel, character and atmosphere. London is a very diverse city and you will find a range of cultures all over the city. London is a popular tourist destination and there are many tourist attractions, such as the London Eye and Big Ben. If you study abroad in London, England you will be able to experience this cosmopolitan city for yourself. You’ll be able to walk in the many beautiful parks, haggle in our bustling markets and dance till the sun comes up at some of the best parties the world has to offer.

With so many different language schools to choose from, we’ve decided to bring you a hand-picked selection. 6 of the best schools of some of London’s most popular areas, this guide should help anyone wanting to learn English in London. We’ve included some links to where you can find out more information to help you to study abroad in London – for example information on the location, jobs etc – as well as how you can speak to someone about these schools. All the schools on this list are fully accredited by the British Council and full English UK members. You are safe in the knowledge that teaching standards and the schools themselves are of exceptional quality.

Central London

There is so much to see and do in central London it really is incredible! Not only is it home to some of the world’s most famous landmarks but also the best shopping and entertainment. You’ll spot many celebrities whilst you learn English in central London and even while you are partying too! Here are two great schools that offer study abroad in London programmes.

Waterloo School of English
Study abroad in Camden, London, England with Waterloo School of EnglishIf you want to learn English in the heat of London then Waterloo School of English is the school for you. Located just a short walk from Oxford Street, Waterloo School of English offers many different types of English study abroad courses. There are six levels of English courses available as well as specialised exam preparation courses for programmes such as IELTS and Cambridge. If you want to learn English in a modern environment you should put this school on your short-list. Joining the Waterloo School of English’s study abroad in London programme will give you access to the school’s computer room and language lab too. The study abroad in London programme at Waterloo School of English has been designed to a very high standard, meeting the requirements of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

You can read more about Waterloo School of English here.

You can ask a question about Waterloo School of English here.

St Giles International

Want to learn English in a lovely environment?If you want to learn English at a school that has a rich history and beautiful buildings, then you should take a look at St Giles International. The school is very close to Covent Garden, a very famous and fashionable area of London. If you want to learn English on a study abroad in London programme that really offers you everything – excellent school, excellent surroundings and wonderful memories – we suggest that you consider the St Giles International study abroad in London programme. St Giles International, central London offers a wide variety of courses. You’ll find plenty of choice and there is something for everyone who wants to learn English. St Giles also offers tailored courses for professionals and executives, covering a wide range of areas such as law and accounting. The facilities at St Giles International really are amazing. Everything you could possible need to support your study abroad programme in London is at your fingertips, from a computer laboratory to fully interactive language labs and specialist libraries.

You can read more about St Giles International here.

You can ask a question about St Giles International here.

West London

West London is a very beautiful part of London and is perfect for people who want to learn English in an environment that offers balance; balance between being able to concentrate on your studies in a peaceful environment and have great places to socialise nearby. West London is home to famous landmarks such as Portobello Market and Chelsea Football Club. Many students want to learn English in this part of London as it is so trendy, so popular and so cool!

Wimbledon School of English

Want to learn English in a nice area?Wimbledon School of English is a beautiful school. The school building is large and there is a wonderful garden which study abroad students can enjoy. If you want to learn English in a modern, relaxed and fun environment then you should definitely look at Wimbledon School of English. The schools’ study abroad in London programme will give you access to an impressive self-study centre, the internet lounge, snack bar and table tennis game. Wimbledon School of English offers really great General English courses with the added benefit of being able to add specialist areas to your studies. On this study abroad in London, England programme you could combine your English course with either English for film making or legal English for example. Wimbledon School of English has 20 classrooms, fantastic outdoor space to enjoy the sun and has a really friendly atmosphere.

You can read more about Wimbledon School of English here.

You can ask a question about Wimbledon School of English here.

Stanton School of English

Choose a study abroad in London, England programme with good facilitiesThe study abroad in London, England from Stanton School of English is appropriate for all learners of English as a foreign language and can accommodate you, no matter what your level. If you want to learn English in a fabulous part of London – near Queensway, Bayswater and Notting Hill – you should think about learning English in London at Stanton School. If you want to learn English for exams or every day use, there will be a course for you, or, if you wan t to learn English in more personal or specialised way, one-to-one lessons can also be arranged. Stanton School of English provides great facilities for you to use during their study abroad in London courses. There are a wide range of video facilities, as well as a great lounge area with coffee and snack facilities.

You can read more about Stanton School of English here.

You can ask a question about Stanton School of English here.

North London

Tti School of English

Camden is a very popular area for study abroad in London studentsIf you love bustling markets, trendy people and are looking for a wonderful experience of London life, then you want to study English in Camden. The Camden area is famous for Camden Market and the many trendy nightspots, bars and cafes. A great study abroad programme in Camden is with Tti School of English. Lessons take place in really comfortable classrooms, in small groups and with great use of modern technology and resources such as DVDs. Tti School of English has English courses for everyone at every level. The school is really flexible about the hours you can study and often tailors courses to fit the needs of study abroad students. Tti School of English has a lovely roof terrace that gives you great views of London and they even provide free tea and coffee!

You can read more about Tti School of English here.

You can ask a question about Tti School of English here.

London Meridian College

London Meridian College is set up to provide great English language courses to international students from all over the world. The study abroad in London programmes from London Meridian College offer students the opportunity to learn English in a wide variety of ways. You can learn English in the classroom and you can also learn English in the workplace, on the excellent workplace scheme that the school also offers students on the study abroad courses. London Meridian College has wireless Internet around the whole school and has great facilities so you can sit down and relax with your friends after learning English for the day.

You can read more about London Meridian College here.

You can ask a question about London Meridian College here.

English Learning Courses in London

England is the home of the English language and London is the capital of England. So where better than to study English. London is a vibrant, busy, leading international city with fine fashion, media, arts, entertainment and of course education. London is a hugely popular destination not only for tourism, but also for education. As you can imagine, there are many classes to learn English in London. With London being so large and there being such differences between north, south, east and west, we though we’d bring you a guide to English learning classes in London and the school’s surrounding area.

Tti School of English in Camden, North LondonCamden, in north London is a very famous area; trendy bars, clubs and restaurants and Camden Market are just two examples. There is also something going on from art and food festivals to all night parties and no wonder it is a very popular area with students. You can experience this vibrant atmosphere whilst taking classes to learn English. Tti School of English is located in the heart of Camden and embraces the friendly local atmosphere. Tti School of English offers fantastic English learning courses for people at all levels. Tti also offers fantastic General English courses for every level which can be studied from 15 – 35 hours per week. Your English learning classes in London at Tti School will take place in very comfortable classrooms and with only a small number of students. There is even a roof terrace for you to relax and enjoy views of this wonderful part of London from the roof terrace, as you take a break from your English learning classes.

Another fantastic provider of English learning courses in London can be found in the heart of London, South Kensington. With the world famous Harrods, Hyde Park, Natural History and Science museums right on the school’s doorstep, it certainly is an excellent place to attend English learning classes. With over 30 years teaching experience, Language Link is perfect for international students. Language link is set up so well and is structured in such a way as to give international students a great balance of learning and social time. English learning courses are very flexible and at Language Link you can pretty much study any combination you like, for example, General English and IELTS examination preparation.

Wimbledon School of English in West LondonOr you may wish to learn English at classes in London somewhere more picturesque. Somewhere that’s still London, with plenty to explore, but away from the hustle-and-bustle, away from loads of tourists and cars. Perhaps you want to go to English learning classes in a more peaceful environment so you can seriously concentrate on your studies? West London is famous too, being the home to Chelsea Football Club, Twickenham Rugby Ground and of course Wimbledon All Tennis Club. Wimbledon School of English has a wide range of English learning courses for you to choose from. You can learn general, business or academic English classes or perhaps you are looking for something different in London; Wimbledon School of English also offers English learning courses for law, film making and work experience.

For a comprehensive way to find classes to learn English in London click here.

Tti School of English Video Review

Tti School of English is fully British Council accredited and offers a wide range of courses for complete beginners through to advanced English speakers.

Tti School of English was recently reviewed by a company called the Blackie Report. Their aim is to catelogue and grade English language schools in the UK. They have produced this video that has interviews with students. Do take a look and find out all about Tti School of English in trendy Camden.

Reviews from students about the lessons, the school and the local area. Fantastic interview with Tti School’s Director of Studies, who explains the teaching system in place and outlines how the school really encourages students to develop. There’s also some fantastic footage of classes so you really can see Tti School of English in action.

Tti School of English even has a lovely roof terrace where students can enjoy the sunshine and great views of London. We have lots more information about this fantastic family run school so found out about Tti School of English now.

UK Language Schools Attract an Impressive Mix of Nationalities

A breakdown of respondents in a survey investigating nationalities of students at UK language schoolsA recent survey was carried out in May 2008 which wanted to investigate the current mix of nationalities at UK language schools. Several aspects of UK language schools were looked at, from student nationality and reasons for studying, to the standard of schools and how students enrolled on their course. It was found that their is a very healthy mix of nationalities at UK language schools, with no one nationality dominating, providing an ideal environment for learning English as a foreign language. In fact, many students will choose a UK language school that has a small number of students from their own country.

Nationality Mix at UK Language Schools

The study found that students at UK language schools represented a total of 32 different nationalities. This number has dropped compared to 2007, when a total of 40 nationalities were represented. However, the mix of nationalities has continued to remain diverse, with no one nationality accounting for more than 9%.

A more significant finding was a significant fall in students from the Middle East. In fact, in 2007 Libya was the 4th most popular nationality, with 6.5% of the student population. Middle Eastern students together accounted for 15% of all students in 2007, but only 2% this year. We wouldn’t like to make any suggestions as to why, but perhaps the current political climate has had an effect.

A breakdown showing the top nationalities of students at UK language schools

This year, students from Thailand replaced Chinese students as the joint-top nationality with 9% of the total population. Thai students shared top-spot with students from Korea. 2008 saw a significant drop in the numbers of Chinese students, down from 7% in 2007 to just 1% in 2008.

Types of Student at UK Language Schools

Having looked at what nationalities are represented at UK language schools, we now turn our attention to their reasons for studying in the first place. Specifically, what types of student are they and how long are they studying for?

Over 37% of students who took part in the survey described themselves as being full time students. However, this is down considerably from the 53% who described themselves as students in 2007. The rest of the respondents were described as professionals – such as doctors and lawyers for example – at 19% and business people at 9%. Despite the drop in numbers of full time students, the average length of study at UK language schools actually increased from 15.9 weeks in 2007 to 23 weeks in 2008. The majority of students – 38% – are studying for between 20 and 39 weeks and a total of 14% of students are studying for 40 weeks or more.

An interesting finding of the study was that the numbers of students who were already using English at either work or higher education are equal, at 38% showing that many people have chosen to study at UK language schools to further their professional or educational development. Considering that the length of study has increased significantly, it is surprising to note that only 20% of respondents were studying for the purposes of going on to further education. 43% of students were studying English in order to better their current or future employment opportunities.

How have Students Chosen their English Language Schools?

A breakdown showing if UK students knew where they wanted to study

While the use of education agents was down this year against 2007 a significant number of students still found agents a useful and reassuring method for finding a UK language school. This year 36% of students said they found their language school through an agent as opposed to 53.5% in 2007. Clearly, students appear to be carrying out their own research on UK language schools before approaching an agent to make the booking for them. 50% of students booked their place through an agent this year, down slightly from 60% in 2007. Most interestingly, there has been significant growth in the recommendation of UK language schools by friends and family as a means of finding a school, up from 26% in 2007 to 36% this year.

What do Students Think of UK Language Schools?

Despite a wide range of class sizes from 4 to 16 students, an average of 10.6, 20% of respondents expressed their opinion that class sizes were too large. And even more surprisingly, despite the rich diversity of nationalities at UK language schools, 9% of students polled complained that there were too many students from their own country at their school. Students from Turkey, Korea, Japan, Columbia and Thailand were the most likely to pick up on this issue.

What do you Think?

What do you think about these recent findings? Please do share your comments with us.