English UK's new-look student statistics report helps members and partner agencies build business
4 August 2015

This summer sees the publication of English UK's reformed student statistics report, as part of our drive to provide wider and more robust data to help our members make well-informed business decisions.

This year's report is based on a wider range of market information from our members, and compiled and analysed by travel specialists StudentMarketing to give a much more comprehensive picture of trends affecting UK ELT centres and a level of detail which was previously impossible.

English UK Chief Executive Eddie Byers says this is only the first step. "In the coming years, the availability of historic trends for a comprehensive list of source markets will help us to gain a better understanding of development in a wide array of countries and will provide grounds for individual members to benchmark their performance.

"We intend that further refinements to student data collection and the reporting system will enable us to improve further. To this end, we are establishing a new advisory committee of member centre representatives to inform the continuing development of our UK ELT statistics and insights."

Annie Wright, deputy chief executive for business services, says the findings are being used to shape English UK's promotional activities. "Highlights of English UK's plans include our autumn road show and summer inward mission targeting agencies in the competitive Chinese junior summer school market; English UK Fairs in China, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Vietnam; the launching of new market reports on Mexico and the Gulf States in partnership with the British Council; and direct channel and agency-facing campaigns in Brazil, other Latin American countries and Western Europe." She was confident that this and future reports would help English UK refine its international strategy "and achieve our ultimate mission of helping the UK ELT sector to succeed."

The report shows that while the USA has the largest number of student weeks thanks to its strong pathways, the UK retains its lead on student numbers: approximately 580,618 students enrolled at English UK's 479 member centres in 2014. Around 64 per cent of the students at private sector schools come from Western Europe. Average length of stay rose slightly in 2014, up to 5.67 weeks for adults and 3.3 weeks for juniors. For adults, this was the first increase after five years of decline.

Student weeks taught in English UK's private sector centres rose very slightly, by 0.2 per cent. State sector members saw a student week decline of 14.95 per cent, but there were also four fewer members in 2014 than the previous year.

For the first time, the report includes information on more than a hundred source markets for English UK members, from Italy in first place, responsible for over a quarter of our students, to "other Australasia" in 114th place with 0.01 per cent.

It identifies interesting trends, including the continuing rise of the Middle East as a sending market and the increasing importance of juniors, who now represent 47 per cent of all students in private sector centres, compared with just under 25 per cent a decade ago.

"The major trend of travelling abroad at a younger age is bringing new opportunities within the entire youth and student travel industry, and the UK seems to be benefiting," says one of the report's conclusions.

For more information, please contact Jodie Gray, head of market development on jodie@englishuk.com

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