New initiative exploring the business potential of Italian scholarship funds for members proves a hit
5 June 2015


English UK's Conference & Workshop in Naples was designed to help English UK members explore the business potential of the PON (Programma Operativo Nazionale) project and other Italian scholarship funds, in order to strengthen their existing links in Italy and to help them establish new ones. The 40 member centres involved all follow the 2015 Accreditation UK standard on 'Care of under 18s'.

In addition to raising the profile of the UK's national association of language centres in Italy, the participants themselves benefited from a seminar programme, 12 one-to-one appointment slots with Italian tour operators and school representatives plus additional networking opportunities. The seminar subjects were diverse- ranging from how accredited schools safeguard under-18s, to the role of agents in managing Italian groups - whilst the panel discussion sparked lively debate amongst agents and educators alike on the challenges and issues they face when delivering government funded projects. There were many areas of consensus and, as Milena Galbiati from Inter Studioviaggi advised, 'it was interesting knowing that all Italian tour operators had, and have, the same problems managing PON groups!'

The event proved very popular, with representatives from 40 English UK language centres, six Italian schools and more than 80 Italian agents and tour operators taking part. Spencer Fordham from Capital School of English, Bournemouth felt that it was a 'great initiative and fabulous insight into how PON operates'. And feedback from the Italian agencies and school representatives echoed this view. 'The English UK conference was very good, I really enjoy (sic). The new contacts I got will improve the quality I offer to my students. The information I received regarding PON was excellent' enthused Ricardo Bonal from Direct Studies.

View the English UK Conference & Workshop, Naples 2015 image gallery and photos on our facebook page.


Notes to Editors

  1. English UK is the world's leading language teaching association, with more than 480 accredited centres in membership. It covers university and further education college language departments, international study centres in independent schools, educational trusts and charities, and private sector colleges. English UK is a UK registered charity (
  2. The Italian Ministry of Education's Programma Operativo Nazionale (PON) scheme is financed by the European Social Fund (ESF). It is a scholarship scheme funding study abroad to secondary school students learning European languages in various regions including Basilicata Campania, Calabria, Sicily and Puglia.
  3. A growing part of English UK's work is to take strong positive messages and information about what English UK member centres offer to agents and/or students where they live and work. Most of these one-off 'outward missions' promote the variety, scope and above all, quality of courses offered by English UK members. They usually include presentations by staff on specific subjects, such as visas or quality assurance, and the opportunity for English UK member centres to meet local agents and/or students.
  4. For more information about this event in Naples, please email Sarah Wang, International Manager, on
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