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What happened in 2008 (1)

December 30, 2008

Hello again,
With many countries facing economic instability, the mobility of international students is showing some signs of ...

...slowing down. Language Travel Magazine reports evidence that the strength of the Euro of is making European destinations too expensive for some. But then it’s an ill wind. Europe may be suffering, but the US is gaining, as the dollar’s weakness during 2008 represented good value for Europeans.

Tightening of visa rules in the UK may be making students reluctant to choose the UK. From January all visitors entering the UK on a visa were required to submit biometric data in person when applying for their visa. In future, the UK will require all non-EU students to have a biometric identity card. A similar system was also introduced in Ireland. While these moves may make the visa system more reliable, there are teething troubles.

The UK government is making language schools pay a £10 fee per student when enrolling students from outside the EU, as well as a one-off sponsorship fee of £400. The USA and Australia are also changing their visa systems. As the changes settle, students will probably see that no particular country offers laxer rules and so the impact in the long run may be small.

Technology has continued to impact language training, with more and more schools offering online and e-learning programmes, testing too can be done online. Increasingly booking courses is done online and the glossy printed brochure of the past is fast becoming obsolete as a marketing tool. A really informative website is now the marketing tool of choice for schools.

How these issues will develop in 2009 remains to be seen but as yet ELT seems to be holding its head above the choppy economic waters.

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  1. Julie Says:

    I've read that much of Western Europe was in trouble much earlier this year. The issue with the UK is that Cambridge learning styles are thought to be superior and have been demanded throughout the region. A simple TEFL Certificate is not enough. Additionally, talking to various Universities in the US, Europe has claimed that it was to expensive to bring students in and are now working with their own. Eventually this will happen in other places and there are only a handful of places left that pay well. I have been following the job boards. Although there continue to be positions, the bulk are in Asia. You just have to be cautious as contract language is often vague and interpretation is generally up to the school.

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