QUIC statistics show UK ELT's steady summer of post-pandemic recovery
UK ELT student weeks for summer 2022 reached 55% of the business done in the equivalent quarter of 2019.
Newly-released English UK QUIC (Quarterly Intelligence Cohort) data for Q3 shows increases in student weeks for both junior and adult markets, with overall figures up by well over 200% compared to 2021.
QUIC data is provided each quarter by a representative sample of 120 English UK member centres - just over a third of the membership. Processing and analysis is done by our independent market research partner BONARD. Full data is only available for QUIC members.
Unveiling the Q3 2022 headline figures in a presentation for ICEF Berlin, Patrik Pavlacic, chief intelligence officer at BONARD said that there were real signs of positivity: BONARD had forecast a 55-60% recovery for 2022 and 80% for 2023 "and the UK market is in trajectory to meet these figures," he said.
He said 80% of bookings were commissionable, 35% of bookings were for groups and the remainder were for individuals, marking a return to the dynamics seen in pre-pandemic years.
Italy was re-established as the top market, with Saudi Arabia second and followed by Spain and Brazil. European markets were back on track with the majority of student weeks generated by under-18s except perhaps Belgium and Ukraine.
Strong rebound for junior course providers
Patrik Pavlacic said there was a lot of positivity especially for centres catering for junior students. "After a period of two years, during which junior students were practically non-existing in UK ELT, Q3 2022 witnessed a strong rebound in the under-18 segment."
He said junior student weeks quarter-to-quarter growth significantly outperformed adult student weeks and urged English UK member centres to use data on the varying overall recovery levels in different markets to improve trading figures.
Large variation in recovery rate across key markets
The latest data shows that recovery is patchy, with some markets exceeding or close to pre-pandemic figures and others doing much worse. In Q3, Brazil reached 103% of its pre-pandemic levels and Germany 104%. While most other key European markets have reached over 50% of their 2019 business, Patrik said top Asian markets were at between 19-49% recovery. The biggest challenge for UK ELT was the missing volume from China and Russia, which were among the top 5 markets in 2019 and for which providers will have to compensate elsewhere.
Annie Wright, joint acting chief executive for English UK, welcomed the new figures. "We're really pleased for our members – the Q3 data shows a real sense of recovery and is testament to their resilience and hard work. We will continue to support recovery with our lobbying work for a youth group travel scheme and our other campaigning work to help where our industry needs it most."
Benchmarking recovery against market trends
QUIC scheme members continue to find the data useful. Lisa James, managing director young learners for EC English, said: "The QUIC reports are an invaluable source of data for anyone involved in English language provision in the UK. They are quarterly and far more in-depth than the majority of reports I see, so are far more relevant. They are a great tool for benchmarking and analysing your own business, as well as seeing trends on a more regular basis."
Mark Lindsay, managing director of St Giles International, said: "I find these [QUIC] reports provide us with a very useful insight into general market trends and allow us to compare our own performance with the industry as a whole, which is very informative."
QUIC Q3 2022 executive summary at a glance
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- 182 teaching premises were operational (in summer 2019, 253 centres operated).
- 204,751 student weeks in total: 61% adult, 39% juniors (compared with 60%: 40% in Q3 2019).
- Junior student weeks were up 3,254% and adult up 113% on Q3 2021.
- At 36%, group bookings nearly trebled between 2021 and 2022 (in pre-Covid years, around 40% were groups).
- The top 10 source markets represented 68% of all student weeks.
- Top 5 junior source markets: Italy (29.5%), Spain (11.2%), France (6.5%) Germany (6.4%) and Brazil (6.1%).
- Top 5 adult source markets: Saudi Arabia (17.9%), China (8.2%), Italy (7.4%), Brazil 7.3%) and Japan (5.5%).
- Overall student week volume in Q3 2022 reached about 55% of 2019 levels.
- Brazil exceeded pre-pandemic student week volumes (103%), China and Russia showed a low rebound (18% and 4% respectively).