Campaigning and lobbying

Big Ben clock tower 600x230

Last updated: Wednesday 23 July 2020

Campaigning for UK ELT

Campaigning and lobbying on behalf of the English language teaching industry is a key focus of English UK's work.

Value of the UK English language teaching (UK ELT) industry

550,000 students bring in £1.4bn annually, creating 35,000 jobs. What's more, English language teaching underpins our £20bn international education sector.

80% of students told us they planned to return to the UK after their courses ended, for travel or further study.

value to UK English UK 600w
Infographic UK benefit and number of jobs 600w


How the Government can help kickstart UK ELT after Covid-19: our policy paper

UK ELT was hit earlier by the Covid-19 crisis than other sectors and we only expect a moderate level of recovery in confidence among student travellers and their families in 2021.

We are also facing potential disruption – the perfect storm – from the unintended consequences of post-Freedom of Movement immigration regulations. Our asks of Government are focused and targeted. They will help UK ELT to weather this storm, kickstart recovery and retain our position as the number one global destination for students to learn English.

English UK is asking the Government to

Help UK ELT survive with short and medium term business support:

  • Provide ongoing support for ELT, including an extended furlough scheme for staff until March 2021
  • Extend business rates holiday and associated grants to ELT

Help UK ELT compete with a supportive immigration system:

  • Extend visa validity periods for those unable to travel during the pandemic
  • Keep ID-card travel for under-18 EU/ EEA/Swiss group trave
  • Enable students already studying in the UK to apply for a new visa for further study without leaving the country
  • Require all English language providers to be accredited and recognise Accreditation UK on all visa routes
  • Restore work rights of up to 20 hours a week for adult students on ELT courses with accredited providers
  • Support ELT centres to recruit the qualified seasonal staff they need

Help UK ELT thrive with promotion on a national scale:

  • Drive and measure success by the inclusion of a growth target for UK ELT in the International Education Strategy
  • Increase government support for the Study UK campaign
  • Increase available financial support for education exporters
  • Offer innovation and enterprise grants to UK ELT
  • Maintain Erasmus+ relationships and funding while the Government negotiates with the EU

Read our full policy paper, published Wednesday 22 July 2020 +


Campaign for business rates relief for UK ELT during Covid-19 pandemic

The English UK public affairs team is focused on getting our members through the Covid-19 crisis as well as working on longer-term issues to ensure the survivial of our industry.

While some local authorities have offered relief to our members, government guidance has been inconsistently interpreted and many language centres have missed out on this vital financial support. 


Our response to the new Immigration Bill

Last updated: Thursday 21 May 2020

On Monday 18 May the Immigration Bill had its second reading, passing by over 100 votes. 

The Bill is now committed for public scrutiny and English UK has prepared a memorandum and proposed amendment emphasising our key concerns around the Bill, the changes to the immigration rules we would like to see, and requiring the government to commit all future proposals around the rules to expert scrutiny before making changes.

We have also indicated that we are willing to appear before the scrutiny committee to present our concerns.

Lobbying toolkit for members

We encourage members to lobby their MPs to raise awareness and support for our valuable industry:

Contact us at for any support or to tell us what you've been doing.


Who we work with

We work with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for international students; participate in the Home Office Education Sector Forum; attend Home Office international education group meetings; promote international student mobility through our membership of the Department for International Trade (DIT) working group; and keep in close touch with MPs, officials and key industry stakeholders.

We are also a founder and Board member of the Tourism Alliance, the industry voice for the UK's tourism sector.