English UK launches new policy position paper
16 April 2023

English UK position paper April 2023 news email 02

English UK's new policy position paper: Help us become the world's premier ELT destination again

Our new position paper sets out how the UK government can support the UK's ELT sector to recover its position as a world leader.

We are launching our new position paper at the English UK Parliamentary Reception on Thursday 11 May - the day before our members' conference. We encourage English UK members to join us and invite their MPs at the earliest opportunity. You can use our template invite.

English UK is asking the government to:

  • Expand and reform the Youth Mobility Scheme
  • Introduce a Youth Group Travel Scheme for children
  • Recognise the List of Travellers Scheme
  • Enable students to apply for a new visa for further study without leaving the country
  • Restore work rights for all students on a Student Visa
  • Recognise Accreditation UK on all visa routes
  • Help ELT centres to recruit the qualified seasonal staff they need
  • Set a national growth target for ELT students in the UK
  • Support our international UK ELT marketing efforts

The paper says:

"Our language schools are resilient and innovative, but UK ELT is competing with one hand tied behind its back.

All the benefits ELT has brought to the UK can be ours once more. A few simple tweaks by the government could create a level playing field between us and our global competitors. Then we can do the rest."

It adds:

"Attracting English language students back to the UK needn't be hard or expensive – but the sector cannot do it alone.

The good news is simple, cost-neutral solutions that would allow UK ELT to carry on doing what it does best: attracting the world to study here.

Enable us to do that once more and ELT alone can bering £1.4 billion into the UK economy, with up to another £825 million in lost youth travel." 

Direct campaigning by members with your MPs is a very powerful tool. We encourage everyone to invite their MPs to the reception and share the position paper. We will be initiating a letter-writing campaign after the paper's official launch, and will share templates to make it as easy as possible for members to join in.

What's happening with our current campaigns?

Our current campaigning focus is on repairing the damage to our sector caused by the end of freedom of movement. The ID card issue is beginning to gain some traction: we are working with industry partners and there have been several recent news stories about problems for EU school groups.

However, progress on most issues is slow as the government and Home Office in particular is focusing on its own immigration priorities.

Under-18s group travel

School group travel and the possible return of the government's (withdrawn) List of Travellers Scheme is being considered by a specially-convened group at UKVI.

Youth mobility scheme

We are part of a cross-industry working group pushing the government to expand the youth mobility scheme to EU countries and increase numbers. The group will initially prepare a report for the Department of Culture, Media & Sport to consider.

Educational Oversight

We are pushing for the Accreditation UK scheme to be recognised by the government as an educational oversight provider on the sponsored student visa route, as it already is for short-term study visas and visitors. This would enable our members to offer a wider range of courses.

We continue to raise this issue using all channels and there is another meeting later this month, but we are disappointed by the lack of progress.

Turkish visa problems

We are hoping to meet with Turkish agent associations before the ALTO (Association of Language Travel Organisations) Conference which takes place in Istanbul at the end of May. We also hope to meet staff from the British Consulate in Istanbul to discuss our concerns. We encourage you to challenge any visa refusals and share your communications with our student visa specialist Naadiya Rawat.

Contact us

Our external relations manager, Susan Young can be contacted on susan.young@englishuk.com  

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