English UK and UK ELT had a strong presence at this year's ICEF Berlin Workshop with an Education is GREAT branded village, two seminars on UK market insights and a prominent stand promoting UK ELT to agents.
The English UK team had a full meeting schedule to talk to agents about promoting UK ELT and English UK members.
The mood was positive, with interest in promoting new courses and destinations. There was a strong sense that the UK would remain the favourite option for students from Europe whatever the outcome of Brexit and concern about the impact on student numbers was limited. All agents seemed well informed about the current state of play, and were keen to receive regular English UK updates.
We had lots of questions from agents wanting to become English UK partner agencies, and we expect some newly approved agencies to join our partner list very soon.
— English UK (@englishuk) November 4, 2019
By popular demand, we have launched a new online training for agents working with UK ELT, which includes market-specific information on students visas, safeguarding and advice for agents who want to work with English UK members.
On Sunday, we hosted a panel discussion which examined the UK's English language teaching landscape. Patrik Pavlacic, head of research at our insight partner BONARD presented his latest analysis on market structure, year-on-year developments and regional characteristics, including the agent perspective on the popularity of the various UK destinations.
The UK currently accounts for 22% market share of total ELT student weeks, and the UK remains number one for ELT student numbers with 42% of the market.
Thanks to our panellists: English UK Chair Steve Phillips, Tregarran Percival from UKLC, Margie Barker from English in Totnes and Maura Leao from BELTA (the Brazilian agent association).
— English UK (@englishuk) November 3, 2019
After a coffee break, we turned to Brexit, with a seminar sponsored by LanguageCert and chaired by Henry Tolley. The panellists represented the UK, Irish and Maltese ELT industries and European agent associations.
English UK board member Jane Dancaster stressed that 'the concern is because of uncertainty' and encouraged agents to go to the English UK website for the latest updates for agents.
Pascal Carre of FELCA, and Francesco D'Elia of Italian association IALCA were optimistic: 'Nothing will change very much - the UK will remain students' first choice'
Thanks to panelists: English UK board member Jane Dancaster, David O'Grady from MEI, James Perry from FELTOM, Pascal Carre from FELCA, Francesco D'Elia from IALCA, Craig Riggs from ICEF Monitor.
Our market development manager Roz McGill hosted an Education Is GREAT village for 12 English UK members who were new to the event.
These members had their attendance costs supported by funding from DIT's Tradeshow Access Programme, which helps small to medium-sized UK educators that would otherwise be unable to attend.
English UK is the accredited Trade Challenge Partner for ICEF Berlin and ICEF Dubai and coordinates the grants for these events. There were 12 grants available for ICEF Berlin and a further eight for ICEF Dubai on Monday 10 - Wednesday 12 February 2020.
On the final evening of the event, more than 150 agents and UK education providers attended the Education is GREAT reception, co-hosted by English UK, Department for International Trade and British Council.
The British Ambassador to Germany, Sir Sebastian Wood, spoke of the importance of international cooperation for the UK's future: 'Education and culture continues to play a huge part in strengthening our relationships'.
In 2020 we are planning events in Argentina, Chile, China, Thailand and Vietnam.
If you are an Engish UK member who would like to meet study abroad agents from these markets, visit our overseas event page to find out more.