English UK members that provided information to our pilot for ELT's most detailed data scheme have had a full briefing on the results. The research was done in the summer with 20 members of English UK North who were chosen to be representative of the whole UK ELT sector.
Patrik Pavlacic, head of research at StudentMarketing, English UK's insight partner, said the scheme could have many advantages for individual members and UK ELT as a whole. He said: "It could set new standards for market measuring and reporting, repositioning the UK as the leading destination in the world in these terms.
"It would give members unparalleled data covering new areas, seen as a standard in many other industries, in ways that they will need in the coming years."
Mr Pavlacic said the benefits of the project include supporting member success through targeted recruitment, increasing operational effectiveness and delivering a better student experience. He added: "It would also give English UK ammunition for lobbying, and support its market development activities, delivering a competitive advantage to the UK market."
The presentation, held at the English UK North AGM, included figures and comparisons from the pilot report, which is currently not publicly available. Options on how to proceed are currently being considered by senior staff and trustees of English UK.
The innovations in 11 different areas include the counting of people studying for under 10 hours each week, which increased the overall number of students by 12 per cent, and the importance of repeat business. "It is essential to track this indicator, as it represents an estimated 16% of the overall centres' student intake," said Patrik. For the first time, the report included data on average centre capacity, average monthly occupancy rates, marketing activities and spending.
Patrik had some advice for English UK North members along with the figures he shared. He said the region's source markets are heavily weighted towards the Middle East and Asia, and centres should consider diversifying.
Patrik also suggested the data showed it was crucial for participants to diversify the countries they targeted, with direct marketing in particular.
The research identified the months with the lowest occupancy rates and it was recommended that members identify strategies and campaigns to raise numbers during those times of the year. On average, centres worked with 461 education agents, of which 162 had sent one or more students in the past year – a figure he compared to the average number of staff devoted to recruitment and marketing, to help better understand the dynamics and efficiency of centres' partner network.