English UK's ambitious data project revealed at ICEF Berlin
4 November 2018

Details of English UK's pilot programme to create what would be the world's leading ELT data reporting scheme have been announced.

Maria Cervenanova of English UK's insight partner StudentMarketing, outlined the aims and methods of the pilot programme in a seminar at ICEF Berlin 2018.

The initial pilot is complete and being considered by senior staff and trustees at English UK and StudentMarketing, as well as participating centres – 20 English UK members in the North of England.

The report's introduction outlines English UK's ambition to become the provider of the world's leading ELT data, in terms of market measurement and reporting and provide UK ELT centres with second-to-none business intelligence in the industry, better facilitating their needs.

It adds that the enhanced reporting scheme would support the success of UK ELT centres through targeted recruitment, increasing operational effectiveness and delivering a better student experience as well as working with English UK's own market development activities.

"It's very exciting to read the new data in the report," said Annie Wright, English UK's marketing director. "There is so much in there that we believe would be incredibly useful for our members, and in helping us to support our members if and when the scheme is rolled out regionally and nationally. Our priority now is to evaluate what we have, and what our next steps might be."

Maria Cervenanova, who led on the project for StudentMarketing, told ICEF delegates that the aim of the project was to demonstrate the new data collection approach while assessing the feasibility of member reporting on the multiple areas covered in the questionnaire.  

She said the reporting went beyond mobility and source market data. "The in-depth questions explore the efficiency of centres in terms of occupancy and allocation of academic and administration staff, with analysis of their marketing and recruitment activities. The initiative is also a knowledge-sharing platform in terms of future outlook, which will help English UK to navigate its activities and tailor them to members.

"The ambition of the project is to equip UK ELT centres with an unprecedented tool to drive their development and success, and meet English UK's commitment to attract investment into the sector with the help of data prepared to international standards."

The new data covered in the pilot report includes key performance indicators, information on students being taught for under ten hours a week, relative popularity of different course types, capacity and occupancy, cost and type of marketing activity, booking channels, staffing, revenue and cost, plans and opportunities.

New findings include the statistic that 73% of students previously taking an ELT course in a state institution progressed to an academic FE or HE course, compared to 14% (11% of students progressing from private institutions to HE + 3% progressing to FE). Ten per cent of adult students returned for a further English course in the subsequent academic year.

A section on centres' capacity shows  the highest in the first week of August, and lowest in December. Occupancy rates fluctuated similarly, with centres ranging from 80%full at the end of July, 65% full at the end of August and at 40% in December.

The report says that if this data is considered with other new data on marketing activity and running costs, it would "equip centres with new intelligence and allow for comparisons and a benchmarking exercise in these areas."

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