StudentMarketing Press Room

StudentMarketing provides comprehensive youth travel, international education and real estate alternative asset classes industry analyses and strategic development solutions. We enable organisations to cost effectively pinpoint new business opportunities, create policy, improve strategic decision-making and earn more money.

Our mission is to help businesses, associations and government bodies leverage the facts, insight and services they need to succeed.

Media contact: Stefan Kolibar, media (at), +43-650-612-4527


Student residence to open in “hotspot” Krakow
July 30th 2018 • The PIE News

Source: The PIE News / DzidekLasek/Pixabay

The residence will feature around 1,000 apartments for students and young professionals, with a focus on shared spaces, community areas and social activities typical of the brand.


Poland is hosting an increasingly large number of international students, Paulina Kropacova, senior research manager at StudentMarketing told The PIE. She said that international student numbers have risen from 10,092 students in 2005/2006 to 65,793 in 2016/2017, which in combination with a shortage of student accommodation, makes the country particularly interesting for investors and developers.

“Together with the current shortage of beds provided by both universities as well as private investors, it represents one of the most interesting markets in the booming Central & Eastern Europe private student housing market,” Kropacova added.

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New peak of English language students in Australia in 2017

July 11th 2018 • Study Travel Network

Source: Study Travel Network / English Australia

Australia’s English language ELICOS sector experienced a slight increase to a record peak of 177,697 students in 2017, according to the annual sector analysis released today by peak body English Australia, with contrasting results in regions and source markets and a strong reliance on agents for recruitment highlighted.


For the first time in 2017, data on recruitment channels was included in the survey: 82 per cent of ELICOS students were attributed to “commissionable sources”, i.e. agents. The level varied by provider type, but was at least 69 per cent in each.


The 2017 survey of ELICOS providers, conducted by StudentMarketing, was completed by a record 210 centres. English Australia schools accounted for 77 per cent of students. Vocational providers had the largest share of students at 32 per cent, closely followed by university language centres and private standalone English schools. 

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Spain Regional Session 2018: Beyond Destination Marketing
July 3rd 2018 • The Class of 2020

Source: The Class of 2020

Current developments in Spain call for a new ‘glocal’ balance between an ever-growing number of international students, an over-crowded housing market, local civic culture and the impact of heavy tourism in Spanish cities. Universities have been witnessing a steady increase in university participation by both domestic and international students, and not only because of the great quality of life. Together with an obsolete, fragmented housing stock, this has led to a growing student housing shortage in a number of cities across Spain. Meanwhile, cities and universities continue to try and attract ever more international talent to balance out an aging population and boost local economies.

As such, there has been growing interest from student housing providers, municipalities, and higher education institutions on how to best serve and leverage increased interest from these young, talented populations. Spain’s PBSA market witnessed the first major portfolio transactions last year, a remarkable development in a market characterized by under-provision and few professional operators. Developers adapt residences to local dynamics and characteristics by, for example, having high quality meal options and pastoral care included. Among those developing modern, integrated residences in the major cities there is growing focus on international students.

What are the expectations of internationalization in the future and how can the city leverage international students? How can the city balance international students and tourists, while being mindful of the needs of local residents and the livability of the city? Stefan Kolibar, Head of Marketing at StudentMarketing was one of the many inspiring speakers.

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Interview with Giorgia Biccelli, President of IALC
July 1st 2018 • Study Travel Network

Source: Study Travel Network

This month, Giorgia Biccelli, President of IALC, answers our questions about association achievements and objectives.

What has IALC been up to in the last 12 months?

It’s been a very good year and we’re delighted to have reached our aim of 150 high quality IALC schools. [We welcomed 10 new schools this year.]

In 2015 we commissioned StudentMarketing to compile research that would provide a comprehensive insight into the current state of the global language travel market. We are providing information and data which can be very useful to all stakeholders involved in the language travel industry.


Looking ahead we want to continue to progress in raising IALC brand awareness in markets where we may have not been traditionally strong. We will definitely focus on growing the IALC brand in Asia and Latin America. 


IALC will be launching an innovative quality assurance scheme which sets a completely different perspective focusing on the experience of our students and our partner agents with IALC schools. In 2018 we are conducting a pilot study and hopefully we shall be able to present this new scheme in our next workshop destination in Seville 2019. IALC agents and members will benefit from this completely different perspective on how to measure quality performance in IALC schools.

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Boston, NYC & London top list of most expensive cities for student rent
June 29th 2018 • The PIE News

Source: The PIE News

A global report on annual student rent spend has revealed that students are paying an average of USD$464 on accommodation in top study destinations such as Boston, with New York and London following closely behind.


The most expensive country was shown to be Australia, where students spend approximately 19% above the global average. Using a sample size of 12,000 students booking accommodation across 125 cities, the report revealed that Boston ($464), New York ($402) and London ($339) rank as the world’s top three most expensive cities in terms of where students spend the most on rent. 


Speaking to The PIE, Stefan Kolibar, head of Marketing for global international education and student housing research specialists StudentMarketing said the main factor impacting the fluctuation in student rental prices lie in the general lack of supply across continental Europe. “Students are therefore trying to find accommodation among private, public, religious, purpose-built student accommodation as well as the private rental sector,” explained Kolibar.

However, he added, there are students – often from well-off families – coming to Europe from the Middle East or Asian countries who do not consider such accommodation prices excessive. “The reason for this is because standardised accommodation offers not only quality but also security and on-the-ground support, which parents appreciate.”

Kolibar said that international students usually decide on a place of study according to tuition fees, quality of education or post-study work opportunities more than accommodation prices or lack of quality housing. “That’s why we’ve seen more and more students looking for quality education in countries with lower tuition fees or an absence of fees completely, such as Germany.“

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Italy – regional outloook 2018  
June 21st 2018 • The Class of 2020

Source: The Class of 2020

Italy is currently in a transformational phase when it comes to studying and student accommodation. While the number of Italian students has been decreasing to about 1.8 million, the amount of international student numbers has been rising. There are about 90,400 international students in Italy, compared to approximately 73,600 in 2011 [Unesco, Inbound internationally mobile students by region of origin]. With this increased share of internationals, it becomes more and more interesting to investigate what brings them to Italy, or what could be improved in order to attract the global student.


There are almost 15,000 students from other EU-countries studying architecture or art & design in the UK, and about 28,350 more from non-EU countries [6] . So, if even a small percentage decides to choose for a study in Italy, we’re talking about hundreds of students, and possibly even more than a thousand students who might come to Italy. Since every extra student adds about €24,000 to the economy, and 0.25FTE to the labour market [The Class of 2020/StudentMarketing, Nederland als Europese talent hub], this extra inflow of international students will be of great impact to both universities and cities. Next to this, there are of course many other advantages that can’t be monetarized, such as cultural exchange in and around the classroom.

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UK ELT growth continues into 2018  
June 11th 2018 • Study Travel Network

The top ten source countries by student weeks in the 2018 Q1 data of the QUIC scheme 
Source: Study Travel Network / English UK/StudentMarketing

The UK English language teaching (ELT) sector has continued its recovery into the early part of 2018, according to association English UK’s data release for the first quarter of the year showing a 7.8 per cent increase in student weeks.


“It looks like more good news for our members, as they consolidate last year’s recovery,” said Roz Rozidor, English UK’s Manager of the QUIC scheme, which is conducted in partnership with StudentMarketing. “It’s also great to see QUIC become even more useful to its members and the wider membership of English UK, as participant numbers rise and we are able to provide even more detailed information within weeks of each quarter’s end.”

Overall, 144 member centres completed the 2018 Q1 survey, reporting a total of 179,989 student weeks in the three-month period, with adult students representing 88 per cent of student weeks.

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Globalisation and technology can’t be stopped
May 31st 2018 • Property Forum

Source: Property Forum

Digitisation and automation are transforming the property business, not just in Western Europe but in CEE markets as well. 200 people came together at the second Prague Property Forum 2018, a conference organised by Property Forum and RICS, where an international group of speakers discussed the effects of technology on the property business. 


Student housing is a now an attractive and liquid asset class, explained Stefan Kolibar, Head of Marketing at StudentMarketing in his presentation. Student housing supply does not often meet what students are looking for, which is an experience. They prefer modern and fancy buildings with the right amount of privacy and quality common areas, but at the end, price is the most important factor for them.

Members of the student housing panel agreed that although there are some scale issues, it is worth to invest in CEE. They highlighted Prague, Budapest, Warsaw and secondary Czech and Polish cities as the destinations where we can expect more activity in the coming period. Panellists also added that it can be difficult to secure financing for student housing projects because banks don’t know what numbers to believe yet. It’s going to take a couple of years of operating experience to prove to financers that it’s a sustainable asset class. 

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British ELT rebounded in 2017
May 23rd 2018 • ICEF

Source: ICEF/English UK

  • After three straight years of falling numbers, UK ELT providers are reporting strong growth for 2017
  • Student numbers were up 14% for the year, and student weeks by 5%
  • The junior segment continues to show strong growth as well, and now accounts for more than half of all ELT enrolments in the UK 


Nearly 60% of all ELT students in the UK come from the European Union, and from Italy, Spain, France, and Germany in particular. Owing to the longer stay of non-EU students, however, roughly two thirds of all student weeks for 2017 were attributed to students from outside the European Union. In 2017, the average stay for non-EU students, at 5.5 weeks, was more than twice that of the average 2.3-week stay for those from within the EU.

In terms of year-over-year enrolment gains, the fastest-growing sending markets were Italy (+29), China (+37%), Brazil, (+53%), Russia (+63%), Colombia (+22%), and Taiwan (+27%). Italy was the big gainer for 2017, not only in its absolute growth from the year before but in the fact that that increase builds on its already large base as the leading source market for British ELT. Italian student weeks rose from 224,000 in 2016 to 270,000 last year, which alone accounts for about half of the total year-over-year growth in student weeks.

“Seeing some key source markets growing this year is a very positive development for the UK,” says Patrik Pavlacic, head of research at StudentMarketing which analyses the English UK data. “It’s not only traditional markets but also markets in Latin America and Asia where we saw the UK being under-represented.” 

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UK ELT rebounds with 14% student increase in 2017 
May 18th 2018 • Study Travel Network

Source: Study Travel Network

Member language schools of English UK recorded a 14 per cent increase in international students in 2017, a partial recovery after three years of declines, according to the latest data released at the association’s annual conference yesterday.

The annual analysis of member data, conducted by StudentMarketing, shows that English UK centres welcomed 497,028 students last year. Student weeks, meanwhile, rose by five per cent to 1,884,168, compared with the previous year. Growth was most apparent in the junior segment, as private sector member centres recorded a year-on-year increase of 27 per cent. The expansion meant that junior students represented 55 per cent of all students in the private sector, having topped the half threshold for the first time in 2016.


Patrik Pavlacic, Head of Research at StudentMarketing, said growth from Latin America and Asia was positive, as the UK had historically been underrepresented in these areas. He credited coordinated campaigns such as 'English is GREAT' in Brazil, along with favourable exchange rates. He added that 63 markets grew in 2017.

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UK ELT worth 1.4 billion says English UK 
May 18th 2018 • el gazette

UK ELT worth 1.4 billion says English UKSource: el gazette

The British ELT industry is celebrating a 14 per cent increase in student numbers with student weeks rising 5 per cent in 2017, writes Federica Tedeschi. This moment of hope for the sector comes after three years of decline, as highlighted by Sarah Cooper, chief executive of English UK during the organisation’s annual conference in London last week.

Patrick Pavlacic and Maria Cervenanova of research consultancy StudentMarketing, presented data on the 2017 market in the UK, showing a wide divide between private and state sector members of the language centre association. The private sector recorded a 16 per cent year-on-year growth in student numbers to almost 470,000, while student weeks grew 9 per cent to more than 1.6 million. However, the state sector saw numbers drop by 12 per cent both in student weeks and numbers.

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English UK celebrates 14% rise in ELT students in 2017  
May 17th 2018 • The PIE News

Source: The PIE News

A total of 497,028 English language students chose an English UK member centre last year, with the industry celebrating a 14% rise in numbers and 5% in student weeks after three years of decline. The upturn in industry fortunes was announced at English UK's conference, held next to Tower Bridge in London. 


However, data collected for the first time from state sector members shows that there is a wide divide between private and state sector members. While the private sector experienced a 16% growth in student numbers and 9% in student weeks, the state sector saw both figures drop by 12%.

The state sector analysis conducted by StudentMarketing, English UK’s insight partner, reveals that state sector members are much more reliant on Asian countries.
Problems with the state sector members’ sending markets, or the specific challenges faced by its members, Sarah Cooper added in a statement, may be to blame for the sector’s declining figures.

Cooper hopes industry intelligence will come to the rescue. “We hope that the extra level of detail we can provide from this year on the state sector will help them and us to support their recovery,” she said.

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IH conference focuses on relationships
May 15th 2018 • The PIE News

Source: The PIE News

International House study abroad schools and partner agents gathered in Sofia, Bulgaria, for the first IH Study Abroad Conference – on the 65th birthday of the organisation.

Held for the first time in 2018, the event started on the last day of the annual Directors Conference. Between presentations, traditional Bulgarian dinners and a treasure hunt, it gave schools and partner agents a chance to meet and strengthen their relationships.


Among the speakers, Patrik Pavlacic of StudentMarketing presented on ELT industry trends and Jacqueline Kassteen of Jackfruit Marketing introduced delegates to the brave new world of social media ‘influencers’. A panel discussion between an agent, Claudio Cesarano of Media Touristik AG, and a language school director, Tim Eckenfels of IH Sydney, exemplified the theme of the two-day conference. Talking about the joys and the difficulties of working together, the discussion highlighted the need to develop a transparent and cooperative relationship between schools and agents. This is especially important when dealing with student complaints, but not only – one of the points raised was that agents sometimes don’t receive enough information to successfully sell a school’s destination.

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Prague and Warsaw lead the way in student housing
May 14th 2018 • Property Forum

In recent years student housing has emerged as a highly attractive investment product on European markets. With the number of international students set to grow further and supply still limited, the future of this asset class seems bright. Stefan Kolibar, Head of Marketing at StudentMarketing talked about recent market developments. Stefan Kolibar will chair the student housing panel at the upcoming Prague Property Forum 2018.

What makes student housing attractive as an investment product?

After a decade of sector development in Europe, student housing transaction volumes have grown tenfold (from €720 million in 2007 to €6.9 billion in 2017). The development of the then heavily undersupplied private stock has been triggered by sector pioneers such as Greystar, GSA, The Student Hotel or Unite. 


Which European countries and cities attract the most capital?

In our recent asset class update at MIPIM in Cannes, we identified some 8 European markets, incl. France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and still the UK as a leading study destination, that provide better opportunities for student housing investors.


Which cities in the Central European region have the largest supply of student housing? Which cities will see a growth in supply during the coming years?


According to recent studies, Vienna now lacks about 6,600 student beds and we see lots of opportunities here. The growth of investments is also expected in the largest CEE market – Poland, which is being driven by multiple strong university cities - besides Warsaw – you have also Krakow, Wroclaw or Poznan. We already see decent interest of both local and international investors in Prague and this is expected to grow, with Budapest and Brno being other interesting markets. 

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Shifting motivations for language travel and changes in booking courses
May 1st 2018 • ICEF

patrik-pavlacic-head-of-research-at-student-marketing-presented-key-findings-from-the-2018-research-report-at-IALCs-annual-conference-in-bolognaSource: ICEF Monitor

  • A new global survey provides fresh insights on the motivations and decision processes of students when planning for language study abroad
  • This year’s respondents reflect the increasing importance of future academic goals, and the continuing key role played by education agents in advising students and informing school selection
  • A new study published by the International Association of Language Centres ( IALC ) shows that students are increasingly interested in acquiring a new language to support their academic goals, though personal reasons – such as an interest in travel or desire to learn – remain the primary motivations for language study travel.

A new study published by the International Association of Language Centres (IALC) shows that students are increasingly interested in acquiring a new language to support their academic goals, though personal reasons – such as an interest in travel or desire to learn – remain the primary motivations for language study travel.

The IALC 2018 Research Report, Perfecting the Student Experience, is based on an online survey conducted among more than 4,700 students in 136 countries between January and March of 2017 and focused on the “pre-arrival phase of the study abroad journey.” It follows an earlier report in the series that “enumerated and quantified student preferences, experiences and, ultimately, satisfaction.”

The 2018 study respondents were former or current students of IALC schools around the world. Of the nine languages offered by IALC schools, English was the preferred language of study (46%), followed by German (19%) and Spanish (15%).

Students aged 18–24 composed the largest segment of respondents (37%), with 25–34-year-olds next (29%), followed by students aged 55+ (12%) and juniors aged 17 or younger (3%).


Patrik Pavlacic, head of research at StudentMarketing, presented key findings from the 2018 research report at IALC’s annual conference in Bologna.

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IALC Workshop: Digital marketing and the 'lost' adult market

Apr 30th 2018 • Study Travel Network

Source: Study Travel Network

IALC, the association of independent language schools, covered a range of industry topics during its seminar programme at the IALC 2018 Bologna Workshop in Italy recently, where new member schools were also introduced.


Patrik Pavlavic, Head of Research at StudentMarketing, meanwhile presented findings of the IALC 2018 Research Report: Perfecting the Student Experience and a second session on trends and disappearing market segments.

While there has been a rise in juniors/school groups, young adults and mature language learners (50+) studying abroad, the professional adult market is on the wane. He noted that there are opportunities where language penetration is needed to enter higher education abroad, however. With numbers set to increase, further opportunities are to be realised in the junior sector, he said. Specialised courses will also present schools with an additional selling opportunity, said Patrik.

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IALC: language travel increasingly linked to academic goals
Apr 26th 2018 • The PIE News

L to R: Celestine Rowland, David Niland & Giorgia Biccelli enjoying the 2018 IALC Workshop. Photo: The PIE NewsSource: The PIE News


Nestled amongst the digital marketing seminars on day one was the launch of IALC’s 2018 report Perfecting the student experience, which explored the motivation behind students’ reasons for learning a language abroad. A global study of current and former IALC students, the report is the result of an online survey administered by Student Marketing of 4,755 students across 136 countries.

The report revealed that although ‘personal’ reasons for studying a language abroad is a motivating factor for more than half of respondents, the popularity of language acquisition in line with academic goals has gradually increased since 2012. The report noted that current study-related reasons for learning a foreign language have been growing (up 6% on 2012 figures) at the expense of employment-oriented purposes (down 8% for the same period).


Presenting the findings was head of research at StudentMarketing Patrik Pavlacic, who told The PIE News that while work-related reasons for learning a language abroad reach its peak in the 35-44 age group, study-related reasons are overtaking personal ones among younger students. “People are learning English in the early stages of life and they are doing so because they want to be admitted to a good university either in their home country or a foreign one,” he said. “If you look at those people aged 17 and under, almost 80% are taking English…and later on in life, they tend to take on a different language, which is an opportunity for non-English language schools.

Pavlacic said that while the report might not be 100% reflective of the entire industry, given the sample size of IALC students and the nationalities covered he considered it a “decent reflection” of the sector as a whole. He added that because people are learning English earlier, proficiency has reached “critical mass” and students have less of a need for a general English language course as they age. “English is a universal lingua franca for a reason but demand for English is cooling down, so more people need to justify their investment…and language schools need to preach more about the value of their course.”

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IALC reveals findings of its annual study travel research report
Apr 26th 2018 • Study Travel Network

IALC, the association of independent language schools, revealed findings of its follow up research report on perfecting the student experience at its annual conference held in Bologna, Italy, last week.

The second report in the latest series of research papers, commissioned by IALC and administered by StudentMarketing, surveyed 4,755 current and former students at IALC member schools about their study abroad experience, focussing on the pre-arrival phase of the study abroad journey.

Some of the key findings presented by Patrik Pavlacic, Head of Research at StudentMarketing, during the IALC seminar programme, included how the purpose of study is gradually shifting towards a more goal-oriented approach and how the use of booking channels has changed in the last few years.

According to the report, there was a slight decrease in the number of students learning a language for personal reasons (58 per cent compared with 60 per cent previously) and in the number of students learning for employment-related reasons (16 per cent compared with 24 per cent previously).

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Micro-living, macro-life
March 28th 2018 • PIE Mag

Source: PIE Mag, BMW Group

Developers are starting to think smaller as the European housing shortage gets bigger, writes Frances Robinson. 


Young professionals, students and key workers want to be in city centres, reflecting the new global wave of urban living. They are willing to live in smaller spaces, as they simply don’t need as many objects as previous generations – cars are rented by the hour, music and entertainment are stored digitally, and they spend disposable income on experiences, not objects.


That’s reflected in data from StudentMarketing, a global market intelligence consultancy that specialises in student housing and micro-living asset classes. They monitor over 4,500 purpose-built student accommodation buildings across Europe, and say about 10% of them have apartments for young professionals as well. Some countries, particularly Germany, make more usage of this hybrid model. There are diverse reasons for this, added Stefan Kolibar, StudentMarketing’s head of marketing. “Germany attracts internationally mobile young professionals,” he said, including both graduates who remain in their student halls because it’s easy, and young professionals who are drawn to Germany’s buoyant job market. “Germany has multiple strong cities and regions, unlike some other countries with just one dominant city,” so people keep moving.

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European student housing lures 53% of investors 
March 27th 2018 • PropertyEU

imgSource: PropertyEU

Student housing has become the top alternative asset class in Europe, but investors who want to grasp the many opportunities must also deal with the challenges of a market that changes from country to country, experts agreed at the PropertyEU Residential & Student Housing Investment Briefing, which was held at Mipim in mid-March.


‘Transactions have grown 10-fold in 10 years, from €720 mln in 2007 to €6.9 bn in 2017,’ said Samuel Vetrak, CEO, StudentMarketing. ‘The asset class is now attractive, transparent and very liquid, because all the major investors are involved.’ The demand/supply imbalance continues to lure capital into the sector. According to the latest research, ‘the number of students who are domestically or internationally mobile is set to rise from 1.5 mln in 2008 to 3.1 mln in 2020 in Europe, and supply is still inadequate,’ said Vetrak. ‘The average provision is 13%, well below the US or UK average.’


Even in Germany, which was the first European country after the UK to embrace the sector, supply falls short of demand, said Vetrak: ‘There has been a lot of activity and the development pipeline is strong, in Berlin and other university cities, but it is still not nearly enough.’

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Study: 500 companies now involved in European student housing 
March 26th 2018 • PropertyEU

imgSource: PropertyEU

Over 500 companies are now involved in the rapidly growing student housing sector in Europe, according to a new study by research specialist StudentMarketing.

Student housing has recently emerged as the number one asset out of the alternative investment asset classes, with 53% of investors currently targeting the sector. 'We have now succeeded in documenting over 500 investors, developers, operators and their portfolios, 20 EU markets, 60 cities, 5,000 student housing buildings,' commented StudentMarketing CEO Samuel Vetrak. 'This makes the asset class a convenient environment for investment decisions, entry or expansion strategies, due diligence or pricing models.'

Over the past 10 years, the student housing sector has evolved into a high liquidity asset class, reporting a 10-fold increase in investment from €720 mln in 2007 from €6.9 bn last year, research shows. Even so, yield rates continue to over-perform mainstream asset classes by a great margin.

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Investors to spend more on student housing 
March 23rd 2018 • Property Forum

Source: Property Forum

Student housing is becoming an increasingly attractive investment product in European markets. StudentMarketing, a global market intelligence consultancy, summarised the most important findings of the European Residential & Student Housing Investment Briefing at MIPIM.


Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing commented: "We have now succeeded to document over 500 investors, developers, operators and their portfolios in 20 EU markets: 60 cities, 5,000 student housing buildings, incl. ownership, bed capacity, price details, amenities, facilities, services and student-customer preferences. This makes for a convenient environment for investment decisions, entry or expansion strategies, due diligence or pricing models."

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120,000 new student beds needed if Dutch targets met 
March 16th 2018 • The PIE News

Source: The PIE News / Pixabay

Tens of thousands of extra jobs could be created in Dutch cities through internationalisation and collaboration between universities, city councils and student housing providers, a report by the Class of 2020 has revealed. However, insufficient international student accommodation remains a stumbling block, with an estimated 124,087 new rooms needed to meet growing demand.

Using figures from Nuffic, ABF and StudentMarketing, the report compared internationalisation in 13 Dutch university cities to other European cities and calculated the effects of a tripling of the number of international students in the Netherlands up to 2030. The report found that such a development could result in an increase of € 3.3 billion in GDP and € 1.2 in extra infrastructure investments. It also calculated the gain created by the arrival of additional international students to Dutch cities, forecasting that Amsterdam and Maastricht could make €475 and €473 million profit per annum respectively.

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Languages Canada celebrates 10th anniversary at conference
March 7th 2018 • Study Travel Network

Source: Study Travel Network

Language school association, Languages Canada hosted its annual member conference in Toronto last month, marking 10 years since CAPLS (Canadian Association of Private Language Schools) and CLC (Canadian Language Centres) joined forces.

The two-day event brought together record numbers of public, private, English and French accredited programme members to “reflect on 10 years of leadership and learning, to celebrate accomplishments and accolades and to look forward to what lies ahead for us as an association”, outlined Languages Canada President, Cath D’Amico.


Sameer Ahmed, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS); Samuel Vetrak, Student Marketing and Carolyn Bercu, Languages Canada led a professional  development session, moderated by Anthony Stille of English School of Canada, that analysed sector trends.

According to TCS, Canada hosted 495,000 international students in 2017, delivering above and beyond the government’s 2012 international education strategy target of 450,000 by 2020.

Student Marketing’s Samuel Vetrak noted that just eight out of Canada’s top 20 source markets (specific to ELT) grew in 2016, however, with the other 12 source markets decreasing. In a subsequent session (Language education: the last and next 10 years) he noted that China is growing faster than supply and could be a “game changer” for Canadian ELT, particularly the junior market.

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The Netherlands as European Talent Hub
March 1st 2018 • The Class of 2020

Growth scenario: extra jobs, extra demand for accommodation per university city and local economic stimulus when tripling the number of international students by 2030
Source: The Class of 2020 / based upon NUFFIC, ABF & StudentMarketing

Internationalisation in higher education creating tens of thousands of new jobs in Dutch cities. Report calculates the impact per city and recommends broadening the focus on internationalisation and increasing collaboration between universities, city councils and student housing providers. For the full report, please go here.

In the coming years, cities in the Netherlands with large numbers of students from universities and universities of applied sciences anticipate a strong economic stimulus as they attract more international students. The survey conducted by European think-tank The Class of 2020 shows that this development could result in an increase of € 3.3 billion in GDP and € 1.2 in extra infrastructure investments. For every student, this means an economic stimulus of € 24,000 per annum in extra wealth.

European think-tank The Class of 2020 calculated this effect on university cities using figures from NUFFIC and research agencies ABF and StudentMarketing. The report “ The Netherlands as a European Talent Hub ” appears at a time when questions are being asked about the further internationalisation of Dutch universities, while cities such as Maastricht, Eindhoven and Rotterdam benefit enormously from the internationalisation of local education and the labour market.

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English UK releases 2017 Q4 data 
March 1st 2018 • Study Travel Network

Source: Study Travel Network

Growth continued for members of English UK’s Quarterly Intelligence Cohort (QUIC) in the final three months of 2017 but at a slower rate than previous quarters, according to the latest report released by the association.


At the English UK Marketing Conference last month, English UK Chief Executive, Sarah Cooper, told delegates that the industry was “in a happier place” than at the same point last year, and indicated that the political atmosphere around international students was becoming more positive.

Source: English UK, Market Report 2017 Executive Summary


English UK is currently accepting applications from member schools to join the 2018 QUIC scheme, administered by StudentMarketing. 

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English UK outlines recovery and future trends
Feb 16th 2018 • Study Travel Network

Source: Study Travel Network

The UK’s return to growth, the Japanese ELT market, expectations for 2018, customer service and entrepreneurship were among the themes at the English UK Marketing Conference in London last week.

Approximately 120 delegates were told by English UK Chief Executive, Sarah Cooper, in her opening address that the sector was recovering. “The industry is in a happier place than last year… and as those of you in our QUIC [quarterly] statistics scheme will already know, there’s been some really good recovery throughout the industry, so that’s fantastic. It confirms what we’ve heard through the year, and that’s down to a lot of hard work, clever marketing and product development.”


Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, which has been commissioned to conduct English UK’s member survey data and the QUIC quarterly scheme, outlined 18 trends for 2018, including increasing usage of agents, growth in secondary academic programmes, and ELT students becoming younger. He also talked about the UK’s overrepresentation in Europe – a declining market – and underrepresentation in the growing markets of Latin America and Asia.

The opening plenary on customer experience was delivered by Linda Moir, who headed the volunteer team at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She said that there was a clear correlation between pride in work and customer satisfaction, and added that there were three golden rules at the games: keeping volunteers busy, but not stressed; rotating staff; and recognising people and their needs, including soliciting their ideas and input.

The conference closed with a talk by Sahar Hashemi, founder of Coffee Republic, who outlined six entrepreneurial habits. “Entrepreneurship is making a huge fool of yourself until you get it right,” she added.

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Hawaii wants to ride international wave 
Jan 8th 2018 • el gazette

Educational institutions in the US state of Hawaii say they want to double their international student numbers, reaching 24,000 students a year, by 2026. Study Hawaii Educational Consortium announced its plan at the opening ceremony of International Education Week in capital Honolulu last month. State governor David Ige said that international education helps promote peace around the world, and that local students greatly benefit from a truly global classroom.

But numbers are not the whole story. Study Hawaii, representing 28 institutions on the islands, says it intends to change the narrative about the Aloha State, whose status as an education destination has been often overshadowed by its success in the tourism industry. The consortium has partnered with marketing intelligence agency StudentMarketing to develop an ambitious strategic plan in a bid to gain support from state legislators.

Hawaii suffered a decrease in the number of international students last year. According to a survey conducted by its Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), total direct spending of international students went down from $301,912,747 in 2016 to $225,316,831 in 2017 – a decrease of about 25 per cent.

DBEDT’s Dennis Ling said there was a perception that the US was less safe and less welcoming than other countries. ‘But Hawaii is different,’ he said. With Hawaii sporting one of the strictest gun laws in the US and some of the most diverse university campuses (Hawaii Pacific University was named the most diverse private institution in the country in 2016), Ling may just be right.

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Not just a pretty face
Jan 8th 2018 • el gazette

HAWAII NO CREDITSource: el gazette

Hawaii longs to become the destination of choice for English language and university students – not just honeymooners, writes Claudia Civinini.

The problem with Hawaii is that it has sold itself as a leisure destination way too effectively, Study Hawaii president Joel Weaver thinks.


The frustration with this perception led Weaver and others to create the Study Hawaii Educational Consortium back in 2006 with the help of the Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).

‘The DBEDT were open to the idea that education is a service export, something that would fall under their umbrella,’ Weaver said. With some funding from this agency – around $25,000–30,000 a year – the consortium started operating, and eventually gained non-profit status in 2011.

‘It’s a private entity, but our funding has been primarily through the state government,’ Weaver explains.

But now the consortium has decided to ramp up its efforts – and additional support will be needed. ‘A couple of years ago I approached StudentMarketing with the encouragement of DBEDT, who said that what legislators would really respond to is a clear strategic plan,’ Weaver says.

The ambitious 10-year plan aims to double the number of international students in the Aloha State by 2026, taking revenue from tuition fees from $142 million to $300 million.

This would generate an extra 8,234 jobs on top of the current 7,590 positions supported by the international education industry, according to StudentMarketing. 

Continue reading..


UK: SIEM 2017 showcases new market trends
Jan 2nd 2018 • The PIE News

Delegates from more than 40 countries attended a reception dinner at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery Museum, Glasgow.Source: The PIE News

The recent British Council Services for International Education Marketing conference saw more than 450 delegates and international education professionals from over 40 countries gather in Scotland to discuss fresh approaches for connecting with international students worldwide.

SIEM, a global program to support UK Education institutions in their international work, provides services for international student recruitment, market intelligence, and enables the development of working relationships with international institutions.

The two-day event in Glasgow kicked-off with a thought-provoking plenary by renowned business theorist Eddie Obeng, who spoke of the importance of leading people through change.

“We have to dream big, forward-thinking ideas and have the courage to make them happen,” Obeng told the crowded auditorium.


Meanwhile, more food for thought was provided by CEO of StudentMarketing Samuel Vetrak, who uncovered some of the development opportunities that like ahead for UK stakeholders. “We anticipate a positive effect of Trumpism for the UK in 2018,” said Vetrak. “Canada is up 22% in international student numbers; the UK is surfing that wave as well.”

Continue reading..


Collaborative student housing projects honoured
Dec 22nd 2017 • The PIE News

Source: The PIE News

Innovation and collaboration were the common themes among student housing projects across Europe which took home top prizes from the Class of 2020’s Building Bridges Over Growing Barriers conference in Lisbon this November.


The awards were part of the Class of 2020 annual conference, focusing on issues around supply, development and partnership in student housing.

Judges of the awards included The PIE’s Amy Baker, as well as Samuel Vetrak, CEO of Student Marketing, Paloma Lisboa, head of student accommodation at King’s College London and João Pinto, president of the Erasmus Student Network.

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The Class Conference 2017 in Lisbon
Nov 29th 2017 • The Class of 2020

“The Global Student: Building Bridges over Growing Barriers” – the theme of The Class Conference 2017 envisioned the European student living sector as a source of unity against a growing divisive political discourse emphasizing borders and differences.


Another highlight from The Class Conference 2017 was ASK4’s unveiling of their recent study on connectivity. With a focus on the next generation of students (i.e. current high school students), their research shows that younger cohorts of students are increasingly interested in privacy on and off the web.

The Class Conference also stayed true to its roots, providing a stage dedicated entirely to short panel power-sessions on some of the most popular student housing markets across Europe. This stage was kicked-off with a keynote presentation by youth travel and international education expert Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing.

The Class Conference 2017 provided a stage for communities to come together, share ideas, and ultimately build an ecosystem for talent. Next year’s conference, which will be focused on the revitalisation of post-industrial sites into ‘urban campuses’, will be held in Milan on November 14th & 15th.

Continue reading..

What do Vietnamese think about their choices when it comes to study abroad?

Nov 24th 2017 • The PIE News

international students Vietnam

Vietnam is a promising market for education agents and foreign universities looking to bolster enrolment. Vietnam sent 53,546 tertiary students abroad in 2015, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. And figures from global market intelligence firm, StudentMarketing, show that another 5,257 students studied overseas at the K-12 level.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training puts out a very different set of numbers, however, which says more than 100,000 students are abroad — the last year MOET data is available is 2013, in which the ministry put the number at 125,000.

Despite varying data, the trend is upwards. According to the USA’s IIE, 2015/2016 represented Vietnam’s 16th straight year of growth as a sender of students to the US.

And the top two destinations for Vietnamese students, according to UNESCO, are the US, where more than 16,000 attended a higher education provider as of 2015 (a separate US Department of Commerce puts that figure at 18,722 instead), and Australia, where more than 12,000 are enrolled at a college or university.

France comes in third (approximately 5,500), followed by the UK and Japan, both of which have between 4,000 and 5,000 Vietnamese students.

Continue reading..


UK summer data points to recovery in ELT sector
Nov 23rd 2017 • Study Travel Magazine

Source: Study Travel Network

The UK's ELT sector showed strong signs of recovery in this summer, according to data collected from a core of member schools by English UK, with growth of 17 per cent compared with the previous year.

English UK's Quarterly Intelligence Cohort (QUIC) scheme covers 124 schools, and a total of 365,759 students weeks in Q3 (July-to-September) were reported by those members.

Jodie Gray, English UK's Head of Market Development, who oversees QUIC, said she was cautiously optimistic about the figures. "We are seeing early signs of a recovery in the market, and of course the big question is around whether this is solely driven by the exchange rate.

"We believe members may be innovating more, and taking advantage of destination promotion and better data to build a firm base for recovery, and we will continue to monitor this carefully."

Of schools that reported data for both 2016 and 2017, there was overall growth of 17 per cent in student weeks (from 183,203 to 214,851), with an increase of 18 per cent in junior weeks and 17 per cent for adults.

Italy, traditionally the largest source market for the UK's ELT sector, provided almost 60,000 student weeks for the reporting schools in the Q3 data, followed by China (43,000), Saudi Arabia (34,000), Spain (27,000) and Turkey (25,000).


English UK launched the QUIC scheme in partnership with StudentMarketing this year to provide more timely insight into trends in the UK ELT sector. Jodie said it was part of an ongoing project to provide continually improving support for members with high-quality statistical insights more quickly gathered than the industry average.

Continue reading..


Study Hawai'i reveals plan to boost international recruitment
Nov 21st 2017 • The PIE News

Gov. Ige and Joel Weaver, president of Study Hawai'i, at the proclamation signing

Study Hawai’i, a consortium of education providers in the state, has published an updated strategic plan to develop the Pacific islands as a study destination over the next nine years.

The publication of the new plan coincided with International Education Week in the US, and at a ceremony in Honolulu’s State Capitol, Governor David Ige signed a proclamation recognising the value and contributions of international students.

“[Using] this opportunity of International Education Week [we want to] broadcast to the world that Hawaii is an outstanding place – not just for fun in the sun, not just for ecotourism and sustainability – but it’s a perfect place to come and get a degree,” said Study Hawai’i president Joel Weaver.

The plan hopes to reverse the decline in international student enrolments, not only in the state of Hawai’i, but across the US.

The consortium of Hawaiian educators hopes to double the number of international students in just one decade. It will focus on HE and school students, as well as short-term language and exchange program students.

The goal is to attract at least 24,000 international students to the state each year by 2026. This is an increase of 10,000 students per annum, over the entire sector.


Working in conjunction with StudentMarketing, Study Hawai’i’s new strategy sets out lessons to learn from organisations such as EduNova in Canada, and English Australia to recruit students successfully from around the globe.

A key point to the new strategy is communication and state-wide marketing. “One of the target areas in our strategic plan is China, with a close second being India. Successful study destination marketing and student recruitment can no longer be an outcome of unsystematic or stand-alone individual initiatives,” the report says.

Continue reading..


IALC releases student research findings
Nov 14th 2017 • Study Travel Magazine

The International Association of Language Centres (IALC) has released the results of a student research project, highlighting student expectations and satisfaction throughout the customer journey, and showing differences by age, booking channel and language studied.

The IALC Study Travel Research Report 2017, entitled The Student perspective on language study abroad and conducted in partnership with StudentMarketing, is based on survey responses from 4,755 former and current students at IALC member schools from 136 countries, expanding upon initial findings presented at the IALC 2017 Boston Workshop in March.

Thirty per cent of participants said their expectations of their booking were exceeded and a 45 per cent said their expectations were met. Overall, school atmosphere, experiencing another culture and teaching were the best performing factors, while accommodation aspects (location, facilities and meals) were the lowest.

Students learning Japanese and Spanish were the most likely to say their expectations had been exceeded, both achieving around 50 per cent for teaching and school atmosphere.

Judging the student experience, students in Ireland rated the quality of their course the highest at 8.8/10, followed by Japan at 8.7, but only minor variations by country were identified.

Continue reading..


New report maps student expectations for language study
Nov 1st 2017 • ICEF Monitor


Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • A survey of nearly 5,000 current and former language students finds very high levels of student satisfaction and expectations that are largely well met through language study abroad
  • Survey respondents especially rated the academic aspects of their study experience highly, including school facilities, teaching, and academic progression
  • Out-of-class factors, such as accommodations and extra-curricular activities, were more often the subject of mismatched expectations
  • The vast majority of students were satisfied with their study abroad experience, with most reporting they would take the same course again or recommend it to a friend

Continue reading..


Amenities race reaches European student housing

Oct 4th 2017 • PropertyEU

Student housing in Continental Europe has become a sophisticated and fast-changing market, which needs strong operating teams on the ground, delegates at EXPO REAL heard on Wednesday.

'Student housing is now an established asset class in Europe and has been ranked number 1 for development prospects and number 3 for investment prospects out of 23 asset classes,' said Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing in his scene-setting presentation on 'Where to invest in Student Housing?'.

'The race for amenities has moved from the US and the UK to the Continent now,' Rainer Nonnengasser, CEO of MPC Micro Living, told the Student Housing and Micro Living Investment Briefing, organised by PropertyEU and The Class of 2020.

'Young people are a lot more selective now, as well as mobile.' Gyms, indoor pools, study rooms and large communal areas are a must, as well as high-speed internet.

The quality of the accommodation and its facilities are more important to international students than a building’s location, according to research conducted by StudentMarketing.

Branding is also becoming increasingly important, said Jorick Beijer, foundation manager, The Class of 2020: 'International students want a good experience, so they opt for operators with a clear vision, a good reputation and a proven track record.'

Institutional investors who are increasingly attracted to this asset class because of its growth potential must also be aware of the challenges, according to Andrew Smith, foundation investment director, GSA: 'The two key things to deliver are buildings that are flexible enough to be adapted to changing trends and needs, and an effective operational team on the ground.'

Continue reading..


Australia surpasses the UK in ELT student weeks

Sep 5th 2017 • The PIE News

Australia has surpassed the UK in terms of the number of student weeks for ELT study, according to data from StudentMarketing, which found that the total number of student weeks in the UK fell to 2.2 million last year.

Recent English Australia data, meanwhile, shows that the number of student weeks hit 2,319,175 last year.

According to StudentMarketing, the UK’s reliance on short-term and decreasing markets, mainly in Europe, is contributing to its decline in student weeks, while the success of Australia can be attributed to recruitment from long-term and growing markets, mostly in Asia.

However, early indications suggest that the UK’s ELT sector is on the right track to bounce back, albeit slightly, from the 2016 declines, in part due to the sterling’s low exchange rate.

Of the 1,375,473 million internationally mobile English language students, the UK has 39.8% of the global ELT market share, according to StudentMarketing.

But with worldwide demand for ELT shrinking, the sector is oversupplied, particularly in the UK, said Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, at StudyWorld this week.

In the UK, 1,017 centres welcome internationally mobile learners, amounting to an average of 2,196 student weeks and 593 students per centre, according to StudentMarketing.

Continue reading..


International House and StudentMarketing sign strategic partnership

June 29th 2017 • International House, StudentMarketing

International House and StudentMarketing sign a 3Y strategic partnership to provide joint market intelligence for IH members and the study abroad industry.

International House World Organisation (IHWO), a global network of over 150 affiliated private language schools in 52 countries, and StudentMarketing, a global market intelligence and strategic development company, have signed a 3-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to become strategic partners.

It was officially announced at the IHWO Directors’ Conference held in Toronto, Canada. The MoU signed by IHWO’s Chief Operating Officer Lucy Horsefield and StudentMarketing’s Chief Executive Officer Samuel Vetrak (see picture above) focuses on joint market research and intelligence activities being sought after by study abroad industry stakeholders.

Lucy Horsefield, COO of IHWO, said, “In such turbulent times for our industry, up to date market intelligence and data is absolutely vital for our organisation and network of schools. We are very pleased to have formalised our relationship with StudentMarketing as experts in this field.

Our members have already benefited from several seminars delivered by Samuel Vetrak and we are really looking forward to working more closely with Samuel and his team going forward.” added Horsefield.

“We are delighted to partner with International House, a world renowned brand in language tuition abroad, as we see their role to be integral in the further market development.” said Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing.

“As a strategic development firm operating in global international education and study abroad, we are excited to work with industry leaders such as IHWO and thus together provide reliable and quality market intelligence for both their members and the industry as well.”

Both sides will strive to provide a reliable data and intelligence service, firstly and foremost, for IH members, be it market intelligence seminars or webinars.

This newly-formed partnership, which will mostly collect and analyse study abroad recruitment and marketing intelligence, has begun with StudentMarketing’s market intelligence seminar at the IH Directors’ Conference which will be followed by a members-only webinar later this year.

An undisclosed primary research project aimed at IH members with research results to be announced at 2018 IH Directors’ Conference will be a major activity in Year 2. Further plans and activities are yet to be revealed, but both sides will put focus on ongoing industry trends and challenges, including a changing political climate.

For more information, please contact Stefan Kolibar, Head of Marketing at StudentMarketing or call +43-650-612-4527.

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English UK releases first quarterly data update

May 31st 2017 • Study Travel Magazine

Language school association English UK has released the first data report from its new Quarterly Intelligence Cohort (QUIC) scheme, showing a dominance of General English programmes in the first quarter of the year and a majority of student weeks booked via agents.

The first QUIC report, processed by StudentMarketing, includes data from 124 members, and replaces English UK's former core group statistics scheme.

Covering the first trading quarter of 2017, the update shows that 91 per cent of student weeks in this January-to-March period were General English courses, followed by English for Academic Purposes at 4.6 per cent.

In English UK's recent full-year data release for 2016, covering all of its membership, junior students outnumbered adults for the first time in a calendar year. In this quarterly report, more than nine in ten students were adults, but the majority of junior bookings will be expected in the summer months.

The largest source markets in the first quarter of 2017 were Italy and Saudi Arabia, English UK said, providing 18,588 and 16,056 student weeks respectively.

Continue reading..


International House sees increased demand for specialist courses

May 23rd 2017 • Study Travel Magazine

International House World Organisation (IHWO) has observed shrinking demand for general adult language courses balanced by growth in specialist and young learners courses, according to a report delivered at the recent IHWO Directors' Conference.

Speaking at the four-day event in Toronto, Canada, Lucy Horsefield, Chief Operating Officer of IHWO, said in both study abroad IH schools and those providing programmes to the local community, there had been decreased demand for general English.

Academic preparation, vocational courses, exam preparation and language plus programmes were eating into the market share of general English, Lucy said, while younger learner courses, teacher training and non-English language courses were also becoming more popular.

Lucy said that 213,432 students were taught by IH schools in 2016, which collectively employed 5,542 teachers, according to IHWO's member survey data.


Guest speakers at the conference included Charlotte Darrell from StudyTravel Magazine on global agency survey data; Andy Harrison of Trinity College London on 21st century skills; Samuel Vetrak from StudentMarketing on recruitment trends; and Sarah Mines of ICEF on marketing to millennials.

Continue reading..


UK ELT declines for third straight year

May 17th 2017 • ICEF Monitor


Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • Enrolment in British ELT fell by 11% between 2015 and 2016, and student weeks declined by 13% year-over-year
  • Most global sending regions fell off in 2016, with growth in the Middle East and Asia helping to counter significant declines in bookings from Europe
  • For the first time in 2016, the number of junior students exceeded the number of adult ELT learners in the UK

The latest data from English UK reveals a third consecutive year of declining English Language Teaching (ELT) enrolments for British providers. “The industry has already been undergoing seismic structural shifts as it matures, with competition between host countries coming into ever-sharper focus. To this, we can now add the uncertainty created by external factors including the UK’s exit from the European Union, elections in Europe and ‘Trumpism’,” said English UK’s Chief Executive Sarah Cooper.

The 441 reporting members for this year – 73 public centres and 368 private-sector schools – welcomed nearly 477,000 students and delivered 1.79 million student weeks of instruction. This works out to a 11% year-over-year drop in enrolment and a 13% decline in student weeks. Overall, the annual volume of student weeks fell 24% between 2014 and 2016.

English UK is careful to note that the number of reporting members varies from year to year and this plays a part in fluctuating business volumes. There were 24 fewer UK centres in the 2016 survey, mainly owing to closures or mergers during the year. Looking just at the 433 members who responded in both 2015 and 2016, the overall decline in student weeks moderates to -10%.

“For 2016, the common denominator shaping the direction of the industry was undoubtedly the referendum on the UK’s exit from the European Union,” adds StudentMarketing CEO Samuel Vetrak. “Weakening of the pound, triggered by the results of the EU referendum, certainly helped the UK attract students that were previously put off by the costs attached to studying in the UK. Nevertheless, it did not manage to prevent another year of decline for the UK’s ELT industry. However, the full effects of the referendum result will be reflected in 2017 figures.”

Top ten senders

Private-sector members tend to report more detail on their respective enrolments, and, looking just at those 368 centres this year, English UK flags a couple of important trends.

Continue reading..


UK ELT suffers double digit declines in weeks and numbers

May 12th 2017 • The PIE News

English UK chief executive Sarah Cooper

The UK’s ELT sector has not escaped the repercussions of the country’s unwelcoming visa policy and referendum rhetoric, according to a new report, which shows the sector saw double digit declines in both student weeks and student numbers last year.

The number of student weeks among English UK members fell to 1,787,380 last year – a decline of 13%. Similarly, student numbers decreased by 11%, to 476,920.

This is the third consecutive year of decline the UK’s ELT sector has experienced, according to the English UK report, produced by StudentMarketing.

“For 2016, the common denominator shaping the direction of the industry was undoubtedly Brexit,” noted Samuel Vetrak, StudentMarketing CEO. He noted, “Weakening of the pound, triggered by the results of referendum on Brexit, certainly helped the UK attract students that were previously put off by the costs attached to studying in the UK.”

However, these influencers did not manage to prevent another year of decline for the UK’s ELT industry. And Vetrak added that “the full effects of Brexit will be reflected in 2017 figures.”

Last year, 441 English language centres were members of English UK – 73 of which are part of the state sector, and the remaining 368 are private language centres. 

Looking at just the private centre members, eight of the UK’s top 10 source countries showed a decline in student weeks according to the statistics. 

Top source market Italy fell from over a quarter of a million student weeks to 224,139 last year – a decline of 12.5%.

Continue reading..


Further losses for UK ELT sector in 2016

May 11th 2017 • Study Travel Magazine

The UK's ELT sector experienced a further decline in 2016, with an 11 per cent decrease in student numbers and a 13 per cent drop in student weeks, according to statistics released by association English UK.

The research, which was undertaken by StudentMarketing, was revealed at the English UK Annual Conference and AGM in May, and showed there were approximately 476,920 students at the 441 English UK member centres in 2016, down from 535,485 in 2015.

This represented 1,787,380 student weeks, a decline on the 2015 figure of 2,047,733.

"[The industry] has already been undergoing seismic structural shifts as it matures, with competition between host countries coming into ever-sharper focus," said Sarah Cooper, Chief Executive of English UK, in the report. "To this, we can now add the uncertainty created by external factors including the UK's exit from the European Union, elections in Europe and 'Trumpism'." 

Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, who presented the data, noted that while there was revived interest in the UK in Q4 of 2016 due to a more favourable exchange rate, 2016 was the third consecutive year of decline for the UK's ELT sector.

The data was divided by private and state sector, with 368 and 73 members respectively.

Continue reading..


IALC reveals initial findings of student survey

Apr 6th 2017 • Study Travel Magazine

Global language school association IALC has unveiled the initial findings of a comprehensive survey of current and former students, highlighting aspects including booking channels, fulfilment of expectations and satisfaction.

The IALC 2017 Research on the Student Experience was commissioned by IALC and conducted by StudentMarketing, and is based on 4,755 student responses from 136 countries.

The initial findings were presented by Patrik Pavlacic, Head of Research of StudentMarketing, and Jan Capper, Executive Director of IALC, during the recent IALC 2017 Boston Workshop.

Nine out of 10 respondents said they would choose the same language school and 88 per cent indicated they would choose the same language course, while 94 per cent said they would recommend their school to a friend, Patrik said.

Around half of the respondents booked their course at an IALC school through some kind of agency, which was broken down as: education agency (26 per cent); through a local institution (7); tour operator (5); online language course/listing portal (4); student tour operator (3); through a company (3) and other (3).

However, Patrik said the importance of agents was probably under-represented in the findings because 25 per cent of those that booked direct had approached an agent, but didn't book through them. He added the students that utulised agencies but didn't book through them approached an average of two agencies. [...]

Continue reading..


Big ideas, big data

Apr 3rd 2017 • EducationInvestor


Big data in education could have real benefits for student recruitment and beyond but the outcomes are still yet to be widely proven. Kirsten Noben investigates

In an era of globalisation, changing student enrolment profiles, emerging students markets and digitisation, big data has opened up new perspectives for tech-savvy institutions.

Essentially, big data is the mining of very large data sets of patterns which can help to make business decisions. It includes a vast array of analytical techniques borrowed mostly from statistics, maths and operations research which are modified to operate on vast data sets.

According to a 2016 report by the Higher Education Commission (HE Commission) research group and Policy Connect, a rise in new entrants to the market, online education and international competition, has meant institutions have had to respond to increasing external pressures by better understanding the needs of their students.

- "Big data allows institutions to concentrate on marketing and recruitment efforts more precisely, and target international students with less time and dollars. This is extremely important for educational institutions with limited marketing budget that aim to recruit globally. It delivers value for money" -

Tech-savvy recruitment
Big data has potential in many areas of education but it has arguably been used best in student recruitment and retention. “Especially in the post-18 education sector, there are a couple of areas where it is potentially really exciting,” Stephen Haggard, e-learning consultant tells EducationInvestor.

Universities have been investing quite a lot in marketing and retention software that exploits big data to achieve a better enrolment process. Through big data and predictive analysis, it is possible to understand which patterns could indicate the likelihood of students succeeding and failing at institutions.

“Big data allows institutions to concentrate on marketing and recruitment efforts more precisely, and target international students with less time and dollars. This is extremely important for educational institutions with limited marketing budget that aim to recruit globally. It delivers value for money,” chief executive Samuel Vetrak of independent market research company StudentMarketing, says.

Louise Young, marketing manager at Policy Connect, explains there are two sides of the coin. “One is to make the student experience better and improve learning through the use of data analytics. On the flipside, there is the commercial aspect which could make things more competitive but a lot of questions still remain on whether it is actually driving outcomes.”

Indeed, companies such as McGraw-Hill and Knewton are leveraging data around what they call “learning science”. Through this, they aim to understand how learners are progressing around content, Haggard explains.

Big data can also be deployed for optimising overseas partnerships, conference participation, general student mobility, research, language expertise, degrees earned, publications and more.

Hotcourses, the online university guide which deals with large amounts of incoming students’ data, has developed a tool that tracks students’ interest in subjects from specific regions for certain institutions.

“What is unique about this data is that it covers prospective student search data, those of who are looking to study in 12 to 18 months, years before application and enrolment data,” says the company’s chief executive Simon Emmett.

A question of ethics
However, most universities have been slow to adapt and it is safe to say big data is still new territory in the UK education space. “We are too early on to say if it really works,” says Haggard. Not to mention the many obstacles around the implementation.

First and foremost, there remain ethical issues related to the use of student data in terms of student consent and privacy. There are also potential issues relating to stakeholders and what they think of their data being leveraged.

Additionally, “there is a challenge around acceptability and proving that it is effective. There is also a reputational and corporate risk for people adopting it,” says Haggard. “People who really want to make you believe it works are the ones who are selling it, and that is always a reason to be cautious.”

Furthermore, adopting a data system to your institution is not that simple. Vetrak points out there are different data processing protocols for each country and there are costs involved in gaining quality big data, then there is a need for analytical skills to get the most out of the data.

There is also a demand for innovation and cooperation between institution departments. The HE Commission for example recommended in its report that UK national agencies and bodies should collaborate together to challenge and support institutions to play a part in the world of big data.

But some institutions have already been paving the way for others. In the US, The University of Rochester can filter international students by various criteria through its international student dashboard. They can compare students for multiple years and the software also allows them to measure current students and alumni by source region.

In the UK, Emmett refers to Loughborough University which is introducing a culture of tracking. “The tracking of student clearing and adjustment campaigns has allowed us to refine and confirm plans for the following campaign 11 months in advance,” Emmett says.

The Open University has also long pioneered big data and developed an understanding of how to reach students. It piloted an in-house tool called OU Analyse in 2014, a project which aims to identify students who could drop out and to target interventions at an early enough point to help them get back on track.

New territory
For investors, “it will become more interesting when people are openly showing their data and the benefits to assess the validity of it,” Haggard asserts and believes that the claims of content owners that big data is delivering benefits should be scrutinised by everybody.

Young would like to see a proper policy in place by the UK parliament. “In the longer term, it would be great to see our recommendations taken aboard. Learning analytics should happen in consultation with students, supported by an ethical framework or policy and tailored to the needs of each institution and embedded in a strategic plan.”

While there is still no institutional framework, the report by the HE Commission predicts a widespread adoption of analytics in the next three to five years, as well as increasingly advanced analytics systems in use in institutions. The challenge will be “to bring ever expanding and detailed data sources together, and keep it simple and actionable,” Emmett says.

Although still in its infancy, the potential of big data is becoming clearer. “There are more and more destinations fighting for international students with competition among universities increasing. Education institutions will need to achieve greater sophistication in marketing efforts in the next ten years for which big data will be a necessity,” Vetrak concludes.

If implemented with real results, it is only a matter of time for investor appetite to follow.

Original article is available here..


Be QUIC to get access to the best ELT market data

Mar 28th 2017 • English UK

The Quarterly Intelligence Cohort (QUIC) is a far superior replacement to the old core statistics group, offering professional analysis, quarterly high-quality and detailed reports and accurate information on different strands of ELT within six weeks of each quarter's end. 

The full analysis and report, created by StudentMarketing, will be available to QUIC members only, but an executive summary will be provided for other English UK members and the wider industry. It costs just £250 to join the scheme for a year, and after 31 March, the next opportunity to join will be in December.

English UK is the first national ELT organisation to collect and provide market information in such reliability and depth, and also the first to offer it as a professional service to support members in their operations and marketing.

Sarah Cooper, English UK's chief executive, is urging members to join, both to make the statistics as accurate as possible, and also for their own benefit.

"We believe it will help participating members enormously, with access to the latest figures and detailed analysis of UK ELT and our source markets. Each report will arrive in good time for members to use it to tweak their planning and marketing, and they can also use the statistics to benchmark their own performance against similar centres." 

StudentMarketing's head of research Patrik Pavlacic said QUIC had many advantages for English UK members. "In these uncertain times, they will have a unique opportunity to gain access to a timely influx of business intelligence which will help them keep abreast of trends and be ahead of competition - not having to wait until annual statistics are in to see possible shifts in the market," he said.

He said QUIC was "a considerable improvement" on the core statistics group, which required members to take part for three years at a time, with analysis done in-house. "It will deliver a regular package of business intelligence, featuring various breakdowns, comparisons and analysis - all in an easy-to-digest format.

Furthermore, it will deliver insights into actual market performance and identify emerging trends. Individual centres will be able to compare themselves against market averages and adjust their offer and marketing accordingly. For the broader industry, it will represent yet another step towards a better documented maturing market, which will, in turn, elevate better story-telling, advocacy and lobbying."

Continue reading..


Malta ELT up slightly in 2016

Mar 22nd 2017 • ICEF Monitor


Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • Malta partially reversed a previous-year decline in ELT bookings with a 1.6% year-over-year increase in student arrivals in 2016
  • Total enrolment for the year, however, remains off recent-year highs, as does total student-weeks booked, which fell again in 2016 (down 4% compared to 2015)
  • The junior segment continues to account for a larger share of total bookings for Maltese providers, representing 50% of all arrivals in 2016
  • Recent-year declines in key sending markets, notably Libya and Russia, have been partially offset by increases from markets outside the EU

An annual data release from Malta’s National Statistics Office (NSO) shows that student arrivals for English Language Teaching (ELT) programmes increased slightly in 2016. Malta welcomed 76,730 ELT students during the year for a 1.6% increase over the head count for 2015.

That growth for 2016 marks a modest recovery from the year-over-year decline in ELT numbers between 2014 and 2015, but overall enrolment remains below the recent-year highs of 81,911 students in 2012 and 77,550 in 2014.

At the same time, total student-weeks declined for the second consecutive year. The NSO reports a total of 229,005 ELT weeks for 2016, with an average stay of three weeks (which was down slightly from the 2015 average). This compares to a recent-year high of 245,587 weeks in 2014, and reflects a 4% decline in student-weeks from 2015.


More broadly, the recent-year trends in Malta reflect a global pattern of slowing growth in ELT enrolment. Industry analysts at StudentMarketing estimate that annual growth in the sector is now in the range of 2.6% per year, and note that 12 of the world’s top 20 sending markets showed declines in student-week volumes between 2013 and 2015.


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Canada: Optimistic outlook for foreign enrolment in 2017

Mar 1st 2017 • ICEF Monitor

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • Industry analysts and trade officials are projecting a strengthened competitive position for Canada in international education markets
  • This forecast arises from stable or improving performance in visa processing, relative currency values, and other environmental factors that are expected to further boost Canada’s attractiveness to international students this year

Official figures for 2016 won’t be available until later this year but attendees at the annual Languages Canada conference, held this week in Quebec City, came away with plenty of reasons for optimism that international student numbers in Canada will be trending up through 2017.

In a seminar that closed the official conference programme, StudentMarketing CEO Samuel Vetrak forecast a bright future for Canada’s competitive position in international education markets. He particularly noted improvements in student visa processing, attractive currency exchange rates, a consistent marketing effort by Canadian recruiters in key sending markets overseas, and a global political context – notably international reaction to the new Trump administration in Washington – that are all expected to boost Canada’s attractiveness as a study destination this year.

The point was echoed during a special panel of Canadian trade commissioners held earlier in the week. Representing Canadian embassies in Brazil, Colombia, Panama, and Mexico, the trade representatives all indicated a growing interest in Canada as a study destination. Michael Bailey, senior trade commissioner at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City reported a dramatic increase in attendance at Canadian education fairs in Mexico this year.

“Canada is now the destination of choice for Mexican students,” he said, pointing out that the favourable exchange between the Mexican peso and the Canadian dollar and the easing of visa requirements for Mexican visitors in 2016 would be important drivers of increased Mexican tourism and study travel to Canada in 2017.

The strengthening outlook for inbound mobility to Canada comes against the backdrop of two contrasting trends. The total number of foreign students in Canada grew by 92% between 2008 and 2015, and by 8% between 2014 and 2015 alone. There is every indication that that upward trend continued through 2016, even with notable pressure on some important sending markets for Canadian educators, such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

Within that overall trend of increasing enrolment, however, Canada’s ELT (English Language Teaching) sector saw a decline last year, with student numbers falling off nearly 3% and student weeks down by almost 5% compared to the year before. 

As the following chart reflects, Canada was the fourth-ranked ELT destination in 2015, a year in which other receiving countries, Australia and Ireland in particular, saw real enrolment growth in English language programmes.[...]

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Editor's Choice: Ten years down the track

Feb 17th 2017 • PropertyEU

The strong growth of international students in Europe is turning student housing into one of the most attractive niches of the alternative real estate asset classes.

‘International students are the future,’ Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, told a recent PropertyEU Investment Briefing in London. ‘The numbers of domestic students are decreasing, due to demographic trends, but that decline is more than compensated by the increase in foreign students targeting continental Europe,’ he told a packed room at the London offices of law firm Nabarro.

By 2020 there will be an additional 335,000 international university students in continental Europe, plus an additional 310,000 short-term exchange students on Erasmus-type courses moving to over 40 competing destinations, research from StudentMarketing shows.

Vetrak claims that investments of €2 bn a year are needed to attract these students as housing is a necessity and an integral part of the value proposition. Moreover, demand already far exceeds supply.

Dedicated platforms
In Europe the UK has led the way in student housing and it remains the largest, most mature and most liquid market with institutional investors like GIC, Singapore’s $100 bn (€89 bn) sovereign wealth fund, and Canadian pension giant CPPIB, forking out significant sums to bolster local platforms Unite and Liberty Living. A week ago, Unite teamed up again with the Singaporeans to acquire a major residential campus in Birmingham for £227 mln (€266 mln).

Birmingham has the second-largest student population in the UK, with over 70,000 students resident in the city during term time. Besides Aston University, the city is home to two other leading UK universities: the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University.

Just this week, US developer/investor Hines announced it is accelerating its growth into the student accommodation sector in the UK and Ireland with the launch of a new operating platform. The announcement coincides with the acquisition of one asset and two further developments, comprising more than 1,000 bed spaces.

Hines has now expanded its student accommodation portfolio to 12 developments with a combined GDV (Gross Development Value) of over £500 million since entering the market less than a year ago.

While the UK boasts the most developed student housing sector in Europe and the first listed companies in this sector, the market has now reached a plateau, said Vetrak. Foreign student numbers are decreasing, partly due to tougher visa requirements and partly to uncertainty over Brexit.

Mainland Europe is catching up
Continental Europe, by contrast, is growing fast: Germany in particular, where universities have made a concerted effort to attract foreign students, is gaining popularity, as are France and the Netherlands.


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Rise in foreign students boosts demand for student digs in Europe

Feb 7th 2017 • PropertyEU

The rapid increase in the number of international students seeking to attend universities in Europe is boosting the attractiveness of student housing as an investment, delegates heard at PropertyEU's Student Housing and Micro Living Investment Briefing, which was held on Tuesday at the London offices of Nabarro LLP.

‘International students are the future,’ said Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing. ‘The numbers of domestic students are decreasing, due to demographic trends, but that decline is more than compensated by the increase in foreign students targeting continental Europe.’

By 2020 there will be an additional 335,000 international university students in Continental Europe, plus an additional 310,000 short-term exchange students on Erasmus-type courses, according to StudentMarketing research, moving to over 40 competing destinations.

Investments of €2 bn a year are needed to attract them, as ‘student housing is a necessity and an integral part of the value proposition, and demand already far exceeds supply’, said Vetrak.

China tops foreign student league

In the list of countries sending students to Europe, China has the top spot with around 800,000 while India takes second place with 233,000, followed by Germany, France, Nigeria and the US. Arrivals from Asia are registering double-digit annual growth.

‘The sector has excellent prospects because it is resilient to economic downturns and geopolitical shocks,’ said Vetrak. ‘In China, India and elsewhere an education abroad is increasingly seen as a necessity rather than a luxury, and the rich students coming from distant countries are the ones who need structured student housing.’


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English UK focuses on evolving markets

Feb 6th 2017 • Study Travel Magazine

The evolving junior language sector, digital content marketing, the education market in Iran and the future of ELT industry were among the topics for discussion at the annual English UK Marketing Conference in London on Friday.

Held at the 155 Barbican conference centre, the one-day English UK event welcomed delegates from member language schools for seminars and workshops.


Opening the conference with a statistical presentation, Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, said demand for the UK was likely to increase this year, based on the more favourable exchange rate, an improvement in the oil price and the impact of national marketing, including b2b work in China and b2c campaigns in Brazil.

He also unveiled an interactive map tracking the total number of language centres in the UK, as well as mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and closures. There are currently 1,061 active English language schools in the UK, he said, while there have been 29 M&As in the UK in the last three years, and 29 closures.

Mergers and acquisitions in the international education industry is the topic of the StudyTravel Magazine February 2017 cover story.


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Acquiring business

Feb 2nd 2017 • Study Travel Magazine



As the international education industry matures, the number of acquisitions of both schools and agencies is steadily increasing.

As the News Editor of StudyTravel Magazine, a general feel for trends in the industry comes from the number of press releases and announcements that arrive at my desk, and there is no doubt that reports  of acquisitions - particularly of language providers, but also tertiary colleges and agencies - is becoming more common.

Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, a provider of investment and market intelligence in the study sector, agrees. In our last mergers and acquisitions (M&A) feature in 2013 (see STM, Sep 2013, p.58-66), he predicted some 200 transactions by 2020. "It looks just about right, if not slightly an underestimate. Just in 2016, 45 language centres were the subject of M&As," he says.

James Dixey, a former language school owner now working as a business consultant on ELT school acquisitions in the UK and Ireland, explains that all industries follow a linear path through a typical product life cycle: introductory, growth, maturity and decline.

Investment markets
The UK ELT sector, says James, is moving into maturity, a stage characterised by intense competition, the elimination of weaker businesses, consolidation, lots of M&As and few new entrants to market. "Investors are buying in the UK because they see a depressed market. An entrepreneur sees businesses in trouble, takes over, and keeps things quiet until things pick up." Emphasising this point, Samuel adds that while transaction values are often confidential, generally buyout prices have been decreasing recently.

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Eunji Tae, Knowledge Network, UNWTO

Feb 1st 2017 • The PIE News
Eunji Tae, coordinator of the Knowledge Network at UNWTO, where 68% of members are education stakeholders, talks to The PIE about trends in tourism planning and the unique value international students bring to global tourism.


The PIE: Do you yourself have much interaction with education tourism?
ET: StudentMarketing and also the WYSE Travel Confederation are affiliate members and now we recognise there is huge potential for destinations, it is not only quantitative growth it also can be a qualitative growth of the destinations, that these youngsters, the millennials can contribute.

The PIE: You mentioned [at an ICEF/StudentMarketing forum] there is a realisation at a high leave in tourism of community engagement to ensure tourism brings beneficial growth to a community, tell me more.

ET: I think this is always a very difficult aspect, bringing the local community into the regular communication channel. We found out ourselves a lot that it is not very regular practice for the local authority or the public sector to engage the representatives from the local community from a very early stage of active tourism development.

This type of practice is very effective especially in emerging destinations as well, because sometimes emerging destinations are very much developing countries. Communicating to leaders and local committee representatives and the public authority as well, means they sit together and they discuss their challenges in welcoming more visitors.

Sometimes this very basic element of engaging local communities is very often omitted or neglected, so local residents are not so much in favour of a tourism phenomenon once it becomes very big, then the public authority has to deal with it, that is the wrong order.

The PIE: I am sure education companies and various countries as well have a lot to learn from that strategy in terms of making sure international students are engaged and embedded in communities.

ET: Yes, and we heard from the Melbourne cases [of violence towards Indian students], that once an incident happens they think about how to react, but if you have this scenario already prepared, learning from the other destinations who are already one step advanced is so useful. [Study Melbourne now has action plans in place].

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AIRC and StudentMarketing sign a 3Y strategic partnership

Dec 12th 2016 • Study Travel Magazine

AIRC and StudentMarketing sign a 3Y strategic partnership to provide joint market intelligence for members and U.S. HE industry

The American International Recruitment Council (AIRC), a provider of independent certification of recruitment agencies, and StudentMarketing, a global market intelligence and strategic development company, have signed a 3-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to become strategic partners.

It was officially announced yesterday at the ICEF North America Workshop in Miami, Florida. The MoU signed by AIRC’s Executive Director Mike Finnell and StudentMarketing’s Head of Research Patrik Pavlacic focuses on joint research activities in reaction to the increasing demand for reliable and quality market intelligence by U.S. Higher Education stakeholders.

“AIRC safeguards the interests of both international students and enrolling institutions through the promotion of ethical, standards-based international recruitment strategies.” said Mike Finnell, Executive Director of AIRC. “That’s why we are pleased to cooperate with StudentMarketing. Through this partnership AIRC and its membership base receives a strong partner on research into international student recruitment, with expert knowledge on topics such as the use of agents in the US, student mobility into the US or other recruitment trends and tools to name a few.” 

Patrik Pavlacic from StudentMarketing added: “We are pleased to cooperate with AIRC, a highly-reputable organization in U.S. higher education, as we see their role to be integral in the further market development as well as it enables us, as a strategic development firm, to work on exciting projects. Together, we will provide necessary intelligence for both AIRC members as well as the industry, incl. research on the evolving role of agencies, its quality or impact.” 

Both sides will strive to provide a reliable data and intelligence service, first and foremost, for AIRC members – from seminars and webinars to white papers and market briefs. “We are talking about a new consistent stream of quality market intelligence for their operations and recruitment, which is so important in an increasingly competitive environment.” added Mike Finnell. 

This newly-formed partnership, which will look at all forms of recruitment, shall begin with an undisclosed primary research project aimed at the AIRC membership with research results announced at AIRC’s 2018 Annual Conference. There are plans for an industry-wide research project as well, with the schedule on data collection, analysis and presentation to be announced later in 2017.

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Class conference examines the future of university cities

Nov 4th 2016 • Study Travel Magazine

In a main stage session dedicated to Erasmus and student mobility, Patrik Pavlacic, Head of Research at StudentMarketing, unveiled research on the costs for international students in 14 select European city destinations.

When combining tuition fees, accommodation and living costs, London, UK, was the most expensive city in the study, followed by Manchester, UK, and Dublin, Ireland.

By the measure of accommodation alone, London was the most costly city at EUR 1,096 per month for accommodation, ahead of four cities clustered around the EUR 600 per month mark:  Dublin; Manchester; Barcelona, Spain; and Paris, France. 

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Consolidation, strategic pricing marks maturing global ELT market

Nov 4th 2016 • The PIE News

As the global ELT market cools down, other languages are seeing healthy growth as students seek a competitive edge through third language acquisition, according to a trends analysis from marketing intelligence firm StudentMarketing.
Mergers and acquisitions will increase, price strategies will become more sophisticated and China will continue to present the most opportunities for growth in the maturing market, forecasted Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing.
The maturation of the market has been observed over the last two years, however Vetrak said the slowdown in growth will result in proactive approaches to stay afloat.

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Destination marketing organisations adding new partnerships and resources for international student recruitment

Nov 2nd 2016 • ICEF Monitor

Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • Destination marketing organisations are becoming increasingly active in international student marketing
  • Many are developing, or are already implementing, formal international student marketing strategies
  • Some take a very broad view of destination marketing, with initiatives and services that contribute to student recruitment, student satisfaction during the term of study, and alumni engagement
  • DMOs are also emerging as an important lever for the recruitment marketing carried out by individual institutions and agents, and as an enabler of new partnerships among government departments, institutions, and travel operators

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CAPS-I announces growth and Vietnam mission

Oct 13th 2016 • Study Travel Magazine

Members of the Canadian Association of Public Schools - International (Caps-I) welcomed an increased number of international students in the 2015/16 academic year, according to the latest enrolment data released by the association, which has also announced a mission to Vietnam to meet agents.

Figures revealed by the association to StudyTravel Magazine show that there was a noticeable rise in short-term students studying for less than one semester, which increased from 5,323 in 2014/15 to 7,501 last year.

There was also very slight growth in long-term students - defined as one semester or longer - to 26,122

Bonnie McKie, Executive Director of Caps-I, advised ST Magazine that members are not required to provide nationality breakdowns of their international student recruitment, but said anecdotally there were reported increases from Vietnam, Italy, Spain and continued growth from mainland China.

In StudyTravel Magazine's most recent survey of secondary schools in Canada - which included Caps-I members and private boarding schools - agents accounted for 81 per cent of international students enrolled, with Asia representing 64.8 per cent of students.

Meanwhile, Caps-I is preparing for its first-ever mission to Vietnam, with the aim of meeting education agents and consulate officials, gathering market intelligence and increasing the number of Vietnamese high school students heading to Canada.

The mission will bring 20 member public school districts representing six provinces across Canada to meet agents in Ho Chi Minh City on November 28, and Hanoi on December 1.

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Student housing investors demand fast, comprehensive data

Oct 12th 2016 • Property EU

Investors are demanding increasingly sophisticated data on student housing as the sector comes of age as an asset class, analyst Samuel Vetrak has told PropertyEU.

The CEO of StudentMarketing, a Vienna-based youth travel consultancy, said the arrival of larger players on the scene meant information needed to be more detailed and made available quickly.

'After 10 years I can say that it is established as an asset class and it doesn't need to crave for attention for capital,' he said in an interview at Expo Real in Munich.

'People need to know what countries, what cities, what districts, what sites and this sort of converts to a rapid case for information intelligence and decision making.'

Continue reading..


Which university.... town works best for me? Broadening student perspectives on higher education in Europe

Sept 28th 2016 • IPE Real Estate

The number of young Europeans pursuing higher education has been rising steadily over the years. Total enrolment in 10 European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom) rose from 12 million in the late 1990s to 15 million in the early 2010s – an increase of 25%. Since 2008, total enrolment in these 10 countries has risen by 10%, and it is expected to grow by 10% in the period to 2025.
Growth in student numbers in Europe is driven by an influx of international students and a shift from traditional trainee programs to academic diplomas, Germany being one example. But growth is uneven. Austria, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany showed the strongest growth in enrolment numbers over the past decade. These are now expected to pass on that ‘baton’ to Belgium, Spain, Ireland and Den- mark, while Poland is expected to witness a continued decline in the total enrolment number.

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Student accommodation: the business of living overseas

Aug 26th 2016 • The PIE News

“International students have a little bit of a different need when it comes to student accommodation, [and] they have a greater need because it is not an option not to have it,” says Wouter Onclin of Class of 2020. “They have to live somewhere.”
And that succinctly underlines the reason for the exploding array of housing operators and options for the modern international student. It is also one reason for the magnetising appeal of the Netherlands-based Class of 2020: a “think-tank” and platform for student housing interests in Europe, it has seen its partners rise from just nine, five years ago, to around 50 partners in 2016.
Onclin, its foundation manager, explains that with rising international student numbers in many countries, and sizeable funds considering student accommodation a safe long-term investment, universities themselves have also increasingly realised that to really compete, they need a complete offer of education-and-accommodation to attract the globally mobile.
“You can’t really tell a student from China who is ready to pay €10,000 in tuition fees to get on a plane and [sort themselves out],” he says. “If accommodation is something that the university cannot guarantee or control in any way, why would the student take the risk to go there?”
Investment into on-campus housing provision has also led to offsite “private, purpose-built student accommodation” cropping up alongside, and major developers are now moving in on continental Europe, says Onclin.

According to StudentMarketing, which has researched the marketplace, in the 30 most popular student cities alone, there are 2,569 student residences with 424,069 beds.

Names in the field include Campus Living Villages, The Student Hotel, Unite Students and Urbanest, to name just some. Andrew Moncrieff, commercial director at Urbanest in Australia, comments: “We are seeing an increasing awareness by students of the value of properly operated, purpose built student accommodation and we are working hard to help this trend continue.”

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UK ELT student weeks down 13% in 2015

June 22nd 2016 • ICEF Monitor

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • New data from English UK reports an 8% decline in English Language Training (ELT) student numbers between 2014 and 2015, and a 13% decline in student weeks
  • An analysis of 114 sending markets for British ELT schools found that two-thirds (75) declined between 2014 and 2015
  • The association attributes the declining numbers for 2015 to the strong British pound, increasing competition, British visa policy, and softening global demand
  • Among sending markets that grew last year, notable gainers include Czech Republic, China, Kuwait, Oman, and Chile

On the heels of data from The 2015 ALTO-Deloitte Language Travel Industry Survey, which suggests a softening in global demand for English-language courses, English UK has also released statistics revealing that ELT student numbers in the UK were down 8% in 2015 and that student weeks fell by 13% compared to the year before.

In 2015, approximately 535,485 students attended English UK’s 465 member schools (the majority of which are private sector) for a total of 2,047,033 student weeks. The UK remains the second most-popular English-speaking destination globally in terms of student weeks, after only the US. But Australia, the third-rated destination, continues to close the gap and pending 2015 results for Canada and the US will soon round out the global picture.

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International Students Recruitment Agencies Help 1/3 Of Universities To Recruit Foreign Students!

June 11th 2016 • University Herald

Over the last three years, international student recruitment process in the United States has undergone a major overhaul, with merely one-third of US-based universities now collaborating directly with education agents in a bid to aid the international student recruitment procedure.

A new comprehensive research delving into the agencies' pace of adoption as a recruitment medium in collaboration with U.S. universities and also looking into the impact of specific market forces as well as public opinion on the adoption process was unveiled at the NAFSA conference held in Denver.

Nearly one-third of the 131 universities that replied to the survey noted that they plunged into adapting agent recruitment channels since the last three years. In 2015, the aforementioned universities admitted 22% of their entire international student enrollment into United States through an agency partnership.

About 12% of institutions that did not directly team up with agents collaborated with pathway operators and obliquely empowered counselling agencies to aid the student recruitment process.

These crucial findings were cited in a report launched by StudentMarketing and sanctioned by Denver-based Bridge Education Group.

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Study finds growing use of agents among US universities

June 7th 2016 • ICEF Monitor

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • A new study finds that use of agents for international recruitment has become more common among US universities over the past three years
  • Nearly half of US institutions directly or indirectly use international agents today
  • Between 30-40% of institutions that do not currently use agents are considering doing so in the future
  • Much of the continuing discussion around the use of agents by US institutions revolves around issues of transparency and accountability

New research finds the pace of international student recruitment agency adoption by US universities has increased since 2013 – the year in which NACAC (the National Association for College Admission Counseling) repealed a previous ban on the use of commissioned international education agents.

All in all, nearly half of US colleges are directly or indirectly using international agents to help drive student recruitment. Roughly four in ten (37%) US universities now indicate that they work directly with international recruitment agencies, with one third (34%) having started doing so only in the last three years.

“This,” adds lead researcher Samuel Vetrak, “is roughly the level [of adoption] of other competing destinations from about five years ago.”

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Agent usage increasing at US universities

June 6th 2016 • Study Travel Magazine

The usage of agents for recruitment of international students at US universities has increased since the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) modified its statement to accept the practice, according to a new survey of institutions and agents. 

Commissioned by Bridge Education Group and conducted by StudentMarketing, Pace of Adoption of International Student Recruitment Agencies by US Institutions was unveiled at the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo 2016 in Denver last week, and revealed that 37 per cent of the 131 participating universities are working with agents. 

The survey also found that pro-agent universities work with an average of 33 agents and plan to add 11-to-12 new partners over the next two years. The universities that work with agents reported that an average of 22 per cent of their international post-secondary students are sourced via agents.

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International Agent Use Expanding

June 2nd 2016 • Inside Higher Ed

Surveys show an increasing number of U.S. institutions are working with commissioned agents to recruit international students. 

DENVER -- A growing number of colleges and universities are using commissioned agents to recruit international students nearly three years after the National Association for College Admission Counseling amended its policies to permit -- but not endorse -- the practice among its member institutions. 

Thirty-seven percent of U.S. institutions report using agents in international student recruiting, according to survey data commissioned by Bridge Education Group, an intensive English and pathway provider, and released Wednesday at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference. 

The data, collected by the Austria-based consulting company StudentMarketing, are derived from a survey of 131 U.S. higher education institutions, of which 53 percent were public colleges or universities and 35 percent private. The remaining 12 percent of respondents were community colleges or private ESL/pathway providers. 

Researchers also surveyed 343 recruiting agencies from 64 countries, among other research methods. 

The main finding from the Bridge/StudentMarketing survey -- that 37 percent of U.S. institutions are using agents -- mirrors the newest data on the subject from NACAC, which likewise found a 37 percent agent usage rate among its survey respondents in 2015, up from 30 percent the year before. Data from a September 2014 Inside Higher Ed survey of admissions officers conducted in conjunction with Gallup one year after the NACAC policy change found that 19 percent of universities were using commissioned agents for international student recruitment, and another 19 percent were at that point considering it. 

Agent usage among U.S. institutions has previously been in the 20-30 percent range, said Eddie West, the director of international initiatives for NACAC. "But there has been an uptick."

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US: 1/3 of universities use agents directly to recruit overseas

June 2nd 2016 • The PIE News

A shift in approach to international student recruitment has occurred in the last three years in the USA, with just over one-third of US universities now working directly with education agents to support the international student recruitment process, according to new in-depth research into the pace of adoption revealed at the NAFSA conference here in Denver. 

Of the 131 institutions who responded to the survey, one-third of these indicated that they had embarked on formalising agent recruitment channels in the last three years. 

And these same institutions placed 22% of their total international student enrolments into the USA via an agency partnership in 2015. 

Furthermore, of those institutions not working directly with agents, 12% worked with pathway operators and therefore indirectly enabled counselling agencies to help recruit students. 

These were among the key findings presented in a report undertaken by StudentMarketing and commissioned by Denver-based Bridge Education Group. The research, which took six months to complete, not only canvassed 131 institutions (which between them accounted for 93,391 international students or 9.5% of the post-secondary international student population), but included a mystery shopper initiative, which saw a “student” approach 454 institutions asking for partner agency information in their own country.

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UK: 8% slide in ELT enrolments as global market contracts

May 23rd 2016 • The PIE News

The UK’s ELT sector has shrunk for the second year in a row as both adult and junior enrolments dropped for the first time and lengths of stay diminished. Figures compiled by StudentMarketing on behalf of English UK show the country hosted 42,000 fewer students in 2015, 8% less than the previous year, who stayed 300,384 fewer student weeks, a 13% drop.

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UK's ELT market down in 2015

May 20th 2016 • Study Travel Magazine

The UK's English language teaching market decreased by eight per cent in terms of student numbers in 2015, the second consecutive year of decline for the sector, according to figures released by school association English UK at its annual conference this week.

In headline figures from the English UK annual member census, revealed by Interim Chief Executive, Richard Day, in a review of 2015, there was also a 13 per cent decline in student weeks, compared with the previous year.

Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, which has been commissioned by English UK to produce market intelligence for the association, subsequently unveiled the detailed 2015 report in a special session at the conference, showing that student numbers dropped by almost 45,000 to 535,485 in 2015. Student weeks, meanwhile, declined from 2,348,116 to 2,047,733.

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Study abroad and marketing trends discussed at IH conference

May 10th 2016 • Study Travel Magazine

Trends in study abroad and how schools can adapt, marketing techniques, digital learning and customer experience were among the seminar topics at the annual International House Directors' Conference in Oxford, UK, this week. 

Held at the Hawkwell House Hotel, the yearly International House World Organisation (IHWO) conference welcomed more than 110 owners and directors from affiliate schools, as well as guest speakers and industry exhibitors for four days of meetings, seminars and networking. 

Industry trends in study abroad and how schools can adapt was the theme for a special panel session moderated by Matthew Knott, News Editor of StudyTravel Magazine, and featuring presentations by Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing and Jackie Kassteen of Transformative Marketing Solutions. 

Samuel argued that the ELT sector has matured and should be prepared for more limited growth, but said the industry was immature at upselling to existing students. Another trend highlighted was that schools' sales staff members are increasingly likely to be located in recruitment source countries to support agent partners. He advised schools to develop agent networks, provide quick response and turnaround to agent enquiries - the factor that agents value above all others - and provide regular visits.

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IALC presents research report on language demands

April 8th 2016 • Study Travel Magazine

Ialc, the International Association of Language Centre, has presented its research report on language demands from international students, and shows there is a huge demand around the world to learn English, particularly in Asia.

The report, Trends in the Demand for Foreign Languages, administered by StudentMarketing, was presented at the Ialc 2016 Workshop in Leeds and York, hosted by CES Leeds and Melton College in York by Jan Capper, Executive Director of Ialc, and Samuel Vetrak, CEO at StudentMarketing. 

English was the preferred language choice of 78 per cent of all student customers in the survey, which had a total of 466 participating agents representing 74 countries and a total pool of over 236,000 language travel students. A total of 97 per cent of surveyed agents promoted English language courses and multiple answers were allowed in this category.

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Foreign language study: 2.28m go overseas

April 8th 2016 • The PIE News

New research produced for the International Association of Language Centres has estimated the size of the annual study travel market for foreign language learning to be 2.28 million language students.

This is actually a tiny proportion of the language learners globally – estimated to be 0.25% of all those studying a second language around the world. 

English is unsurprisingly the most in demand language among study travel students, but the overseas market share still only represents between 0.3% and 0.9% of all English language learners in the world, according to Samuel Vetrak of StudentMarketing, who presented the latest research findings at the IALC conference in the UK this week. 

Further growth in demand for language study stays overseas was predicted for all markets, but English, German and Chinese language provision has the best growth prospects, according to further data based around an extensive survey of education agencies that StudentMarketing undertook.

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Destination Marketing: The Untapped Potential of University Cities

March 24th 2016 • The Class of 2020

At ITB Berlin 2016 leading stakeholders demonstrated the impact of youth travel on destinations. The Class of 2020 was asked to organise one of the sessions, making the connection about the impact of youth mobility on university cities. 

The session that was led by Frank Uffen, Founder of The Class of 2020 and Partnership Director of The Student Hotel, provided a better understanding of the connections between higher education and youth travel within the framework of opportunity. According to Samuel Vetrak, renowned industry strategist and CEO of StudentMarketing who co-presented the Panel, the current number of 4.5m international higher education students is expected to climb to 6 million by 2020 and generate an economic impact of $132bn. Vetrak also pointed out how international students contribute to tourism growth and city development – generating additional visitation (visiting friends and family and as returning visitors), contribution to the social fabric of the city and bringing further benefits as prospective residents. 

Some of the questions Uffen addressed included, “what kind of strategies can cities apply to compete in this increasingly growing and international higher education market?” and, “how does one work with other partners in a city, to create a stronger and more competitive offering?” He further highlighted research and best practices from destinations such as Copenhagen, Glasgow, Rotterdam or Vienna as an inspiration for other cities who might not be taking advantage of the connection between higher education and youth travel. 

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UNWTO chief: Youth Travel needs more support from governments and destinations
March 23rd 2016 • eTurboNews
At ITB Berlin 2016 leading stakeholders demonstrate youth travel's impact on destinations at the Youth Travel Summit. UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai, opened the 6th ITB Youth Travel Summit with a clear message to governments and destinations to support Youth Travel as the powerful engine for progress and tourism development. 
The Summit included three Panels encompassing education and accommodation providers, tour operators, and destinations and international associations pointing to what drives Youth Travel and how it is reshaping tourism behaviors and preferences from student groups all the way to international student populations.
The First Panel, preceded by UNWTO’s Taleb Rifai, saw the Secretary General's Keynote Speech expand on the importance of Youth Travel as a vital source of innovation, social integration and sustainability for destinations. Rifai also highlighted the benefits and positive social impact of this new, culturally driven, and resilient form of tourism on local communities, “The future of world tourism, future of travel is being shaped by young travelers of today. They’re, after all, going to be travelers of tomorrow.” He also went on to say, “This all needs more recognition from governments, as well as private sector, to create policies and strategies catering for that.”



The growing demand for English language learning in Mexico

March 18th 2016 • ICEF Monitor
Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • Nearly 24 million people study English in Mexico
  • The population of English learners has expanded over the past decade due in part to national programmes aimed at boosting English proficiency
  • Mexico is the 18th-largest market for English study abroad, with the majority of outbound students choosing to study in Canada and the US
  • The number of outbound language students increased by 35% between 2011 and 2013

Despite its shared border with the United States, Mexico still has a challenge with limited English language proficiency. It ranks below several other Latin American nations for English ability (and 38 other countries globally, including Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Vietnam). Further, the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO) found that although English is the language of business in Mexico, only 5% of the population speaks or understands it.

But interest in learning English is growing. A 2015 study by the British Council – English in Mexico: An examination of policy, perceptions and influencing factors – found that the size of the English language learning market in the country is approximately 23.9 million people, including every level and type of study from public schools to private institutions to self-access channels. This is equivalent to about 21% of the Mexican population.


However, as English language learning spreads, students are likely to look abroad in increasing numbers. A 2015 presentation by international research firm StudentMarketing underscores local preferences for overseas study opportunities, noting that, along with the drive to learn English, Mexican students are concerned about high crime rates at home as well as the poor quality of local universities.

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Canada has one tenth of French language market

March 14th 2016 • The PIE News
Just under one in ten internationally mobile French language students study in Canada, according to a new report presented at the Languages Canada conference this month. 
The association noted an opportunity to market the sector and highlight the country’s unique selling points in order to make Canada a more attractive destination for French language study. 
‘Mapping the global French language travel segment’, compiled for Languages Canada by StudentMarketing, found that Canada’s share of international French language students totals 9%. France claims the majority of the global share with 83%. 
Switzerland accounts for 5% and Belgium accounts for the remaining 3%, according to the report. 
“[Canada’s] French language student population is rather small when compared to other destinations (40% of [language centres] teach less than 100 French language students per annum),” the report says.



More government support needed, says Languages Canada

March 9th 2016 • Study Travel Magazine
Languages Canada (LC), the association representing more than 227 language education member programmes and schools across Canada, held its ninth annual conference in Victoria, BC, fittingly where members of the Canada Language Council (CLC) and Canadian Association of Private Language Schools (Capls) united to form a collaborative body (Languages Canada) in 2008.
International education is an integral part of the BC education landscape, noted Claire Avison, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Advanced Education for the Government of British Columbia, who opened the conference, and provides economic and employment opportunities for its population, she added. She also stressed how the ministry was committed to working closely with the association to fine tune its regulatory environment as international education plays an important role in shaping the regulatory scheme, she said. 

Addressing the delegation, Sharon Curl, President of the Languages Canada Board of Directors, said she was proud to welcome members and guest speakers to her home province, before underlining the frustrating year schools in BC had experienced. "Why is a sector that benefits the economy being punished by costly, time consuming and redundant legislation that offers little protection for international students?" she asked.
StudentMarketing's final report on the position of Canada's French language teaching market was unveiled during a professional development workshop. Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, said the report, which surveyed 228 agents actively engaged in promoting French language programmes abroad to one of the four major French-speaking destinations (France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada), took several years to complete and was the first time the sector had been tracked in full.

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Schools encouraged to adopt 'VR marketing' at EUK conference

February 10th 2016 • Study Travel Magazine
Nearly 200 delegates attended English UK's marketing conference in London last week, where subject areas such as ELT market maturity, the Chinese and Mexican student markets and digital marketing to the millennial generation were discussed.
The one-day conference, held at the Etc. conference centre in Bishopsgate East London, featured an opening plenary by international marketing consultant Jacqueline Kassteen, who challenged English UK members to adopt the latest technology - including Virtual Reality (VR) - in order to market their schools more effectively to the current generation of students.
Other sessions throughout the day included a talk by StudentMarketing's Samuel Vetrak who argued that the ELT industry was entering a mature phase of the market and increased competition between schools would influence the marketing activities of institutions in the future.
He predicted that companies would increasingly recruit local staff to sell their courses and that the number of agents would decrease from 16,000 to 14,000 in the next five years as big agencies became even bigger. Marketing statistics would also start to hone in on cities and regions rather than countries as the competition for students increased, he argued.

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"UK ELT faces structural change," stakeholders are told

February 8th 2016 • The PIE News
The UK’s ELT sector is set to undergo a structural change that will see providers selling on value instead of volume, offering greater product sophistication, using alternative recruitment channels and introducing dynamic pricing models.
These forecasts were laid out by various commentators such as Samuel Vetrak, CEO of market research and insight firm, StudentMarketing, at the English UK marketing conference last week in London.

Speaking to delegates, Vetrak said 2015 was a difficult year for ELT globally “but even more so for the UK”.

He expects 2016 to be better, “especially for big players and for those who are taking steps to adjust to the new situation”.

FIVE MINUTES WITH ... Samuel Vetrak

December 28th 2015 • Groups Today
Samuel Vetrak entered the student travel industry 15 years ago. Soon he realized it was underdocumented, and that there was industrywide demand for data and insights. He founded market intelligence and business development company StudentMarketing in 2007, with the aim of providing the industry what it lacked.
Today, Vetrak is delighted to note that the StudentMarketing global team, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, partners with or directly helps institutions such as United Nations World Tourism Organization and destinations including Australia, Canada, and Ireland through sector associations and consortia to individual student travel organizations.
It started four years ago at the SYTA Conference in New York, where members indicated what areas are important for them. After an initial year of preparations, setup, and thorough testing, we launched what has become a major primary research initiative in student travel history. The Student and Youth Travel Digest is a global project—it provides insights into how U.S. student groups travel domestically and internationally, and elaborates on student groups coming to the U.S. from abroad.

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BOSSA partners with StudentMarketing

December 9th 2015 • Study Travel Magazine
BOSSA, the Beijing-based agency association, has officially partnered with global education travel market intelligence firm, StudentMarketing.
The agreement will assist the international education industry, with a focus on the Chinese study-abroad market, while also assisting Chinese education authorities in promoting educational opportunities in-country and building China-international exchange programmes. 
Currently, Chinese students make up the majority in primary, secondary and higher education programmes abroad and the memorandum of understanding (MoU) seeks to strengthen this through joint cooperation in research, promotion and events that aim to assist institutions and organisations wanting to increase their presence in the market.
Speaking at the launch of the alliance, Bossa's Communication Director, Jon Santangelo, said the association was "looking forward to joint cooperation with StudentMarketing" which has "proven as a reliable firm to support our industry by helping governments, associations or institutions". 
The union comes in Bossa's 11th year of operation and follows StudentMarketing's third successful year in China and the recent opening of a branch there.

Continue reading..


StudentMarketing & BOSSA MoU on China study opps

December 8th 2015 • The PIE News
L-R: Shuai Yang with Jon Santangelo (BOSSA) and Sam Vetrak with Igor Skibickij (StudentMarketing)
Chinese education agency association, BOSSA, has signed an MoU with StudentMarketing to work more closely with the education intelligence firm via knowledge sharing and joint cooperation to build both interest among Chinese in overseas study and in promoting study and scholarship opportunities in China.

BOSSA’s senior director, Shuai Yang, signed the MoU with CEO of StudentMarketing, Samuel Vetrak, last month and announced that both parties will collaborate on trade mission initiatives, fam tours, joint research and promotion.

“It is simple – BOSSA and its members as organisations uphold the quality standards and professionalism that our partners and clients actively operating in China seek,” said Igor Skibickij, head of StudentMarketing’s Chinese branch.

According to StudentMarketing, the Chinese study abroad market is the largest in HE degree-seeking programmes (712,157 students and growing at 2.62% per annum); the largest in K-12 with more than 62,000 students in US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand, and second largest in ELT (100,000 students, 1.4m student weeks).


IALC Seminar: State of the language travel industry - Is your future safe?

November 17th 2015 • IALC
ICEF Berlin, the study travel industry's biggest B2B event, was the perfect place to bring IALC's ground-breaking 2015 industry research to a wider audience. 

In 2015, IALC commissioned unique research into trends in study travel. The report covers programme preferences, demand for different languages, agent-provider relationships and key industry trends. It was unveiled at the IALC Workshop in Rouen, France, where IALC also held an expert panel debate on the language travel industry lifecycle. This followed a first IALC industry panel in 2014 on the commoditization of language study abroad

Speaking at the IALC seminar in Berlin were Jan Capper, IALC executive director, along with Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, which carried out the research, and Jean-Marc Alberola, president of Bridge Education Group, until recently IALC vice-president of marketing.

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Destinations: Include accommodation supply in your marketing strategies

November 12th 2015 • StudentMarketing, The Class of 2020
The growth in student numbers that new destinations are looking to attract, will clearly create more pressure on accommodation solutions in those cities that are not necessarily ready with their supply.

This shortfall presents an opportunity: being unable to meet the demand will only result in an inability to attract students and the whole value proposition will be ineffectual. "It is clear that parents who can afford to send their children abroad prefer structured and supervised accommodation rather than ad hoc rental apartments," said Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, a market intelligence firm focused on international student market.
As a result, there is a social call or invitation for quality student accommodation providers in Continental Europe. Not only can they increase the value proposition of the cities to international students, but also improve the quality of delivery itself and consequently control and manage the quality of influx and new talent to the city. A talent which is increasingly becoming so important to European cities and employers and their need for new citizens and taxpayers. 

"Cities that work with student accommodation investors and operators to bridge this supply gap of structured accommodation have already witnessed first positive results," added Vetrak.

Continue reading..


Class of 2020 debates student accommodation issues

November 9th 2015 • Study Travel Magazine
Public/private collaboration to meet housing undersupply and the importance of accommodation in destination marketing to international students were among the issues debated at the Class of 2020 conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, last week. 
An expert panel session on destination marketing examined the role of accommodation in attracting international students. Vincent Verspaandonk, Head of University Value at StudyPortals, said “Universities, cities and regions need to convince students that they have an international environment. Housing becomes a problem in popular cities.”

Nathan Goddard, Chief Relationship Officer at, warned that students will go elsewhere if there is insufficient supply of quality housing. “We see people making a practical decision because they don’t have access to accommodation.” StudentMarketing CEO, Samuel Vetrak, added that having enough accommodation supply needed to be part of a destination marketing strategy and become part of a value proposition to international students.

Continue reading..


Independents in demand

November 1st 2015 • EL Gazette
The International Association of Language Centres (IALC) commissioned in-depth research from StudentMarketing into the study travel industry, with a particular focus on agents' opinions.
What emerged is not only a general picture of the trends that govern the industry (see September 2015 Gazette) but also, for the first time in the industry's history, a factual, measurable and evidence-based peek into the agents' preferences and experience of working with independent and chain schools.
An impressive 474 agents from 72 countries participated in the research, which included both a survey and a phone interview.

The PIE Insider: Russia

October 30th 2015 • The PIE News
  • New political and economic reality calls for rethink on how to approach Russian market
  • Pathways and post-study work are big draws

Russia has fallen on hard times after the steep decline in the rouble has resulted in less buying power for Russian parents and less demand for overseas study. In these new market conditions, educators will find success by offering lower price alternatives and post-study work options.

The rouble has fallen dramatically in the past 12 months squeezing the upper-middle classes who were the driving force behind the country’s ELT market. Agents report numbers for ELT and study travel have dropped by 50% as a result of the economic crisis. Pro-Russia propaganda campaigns are also contributing to the problem, they say.


English New Zealand holds a successful mission to Europe

October 29th 2015 • StudentMarketing

English New Zealand, the association of 26 member schools exclusively devoted to representing the English language industry in New Zealand, both private and state, has just completed a very successful trade mission to Europe. 

A delegation of 10 English New Zealand schools visited three European metropolises in a row - Madrid, Milan and Prague, from 28th September to 2nd October 2015 where they held a total of 430 individual meetings with 43 agencies from Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Switzerland and Albania.

The trade mission is expected to improve the demand and underscore the performance of New Zealand as an ELT destination for European customers. “We’ve just completed a three-city tour of Europe – Madrid, Milan and Prague, and it has been a wonderful experience. We’ve really enjoyed getting into these new markets,” said the trade mission leader Tim Brown, CEO of The Campbell Institute, on the success of the mission.

Click here to continue reading..

Or watch the trade mission video below:


Samuel Vetrak was speaking at NAFSA Region XII Conference

October 29th 2015 • StudentMarketing
U.S. institutions are now looking for the best ways to reach international markets in order to attract more students.

Samuel Vetrak, StudentMarketing CEO and a renowned expert in international education, has shared the best practices in both recruitment and marketing, based on multiple case-studies and years of experience in this segment.

The audience at NAFSA Region XII in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S. has learnt how to set a rigorous recruitment and marketing strategy to increase their international student population and got inspired by success stories of other industry organisations.

The PIE Insider: Brazil

October 1st 2015 • The PIE News
  • Brazil can be a difficult market to work with as a new player but the market is a long-term strong source market, with demand evolving towards HE
  • Liaising locally and in Portuguese ensures an edge

International education has become engrained in the culture of Brazil, as demand surges from the middle classes who are eager to give their children a head start on competitive university admissions, and from older students aiming to take their career to the next level.

But the key to tapping into this insatiable desire to study overseas in the tactile family-centred Brazilian society is establishing personal relationships with education agents and winning over mothers.


UK still on top but in decline

October 1st 2015 • EL Gazette
The UK is holding its pole position for student numbers in the global ELT market. However, competition from other destinations (mainly the US, Australia and Canada) is fierce, and the UK is losing market share.
With the aim of providing a 'reality check for everyone involved in UK ELT', English UK has collaborated with StudentMarketing to provide its members with a comprehensive survey of the English language teaching industry in the UK.
The report employs data from English UK annual member declarations returned between 2004 and 2014 and data from StudentMarketing concerning the UK's position in the global market.

Newest trends among Agents: Consolidation and Quality

September 24th 2015 • IALC Blog

Language travel is clearly the driver for the nearly 2 million student traveller market, and increasingly agents are its key drivers and influencers. This leading position of language learning within the Student Travel market is currently pushed by the need to learn English, which accounts for two-thirds of the language travel market as a whole, while other languages account for the rest.

However, the face of the language travel market is changing and is being confronted by new phenomena and trends every day.  I will try to quantify and elaborate on some of the features of the market that until now have been, at best, “guesstimates.”


StudentMarketing expands into China

September 4th 2015 • The PIE News
StudentMarketing, a global market intelligence and business development company focused on student travel, has opened its first branch in China offering international marketing and recruitment services to language schools, secondary schools and higher education institutions.
Based in Tianjin, the office and its team will build on the company’s experience gained since first establishing a presence in the Chinese market three years ago.
Speaking with The PIE News, Samuel Vetrak, the chief executive officer, said the company aims to stand out in the country by offering straightforward service backed by thorough market intelligence.

Continue reading at The PIE News..


Around the world

September 1st 2015 • EducationInvestor
As the global student market evolves, what should destinations, investors and operators prepare for? Samuel Vetrak of StudentMarketing shares his forecast for the landscape over the next five years
With recent changes in the global economic climate, currency revisions in China reverberating throughout the Asian region and continuing unease in investor circles, the predictions for international student mobility are challenging. The optimism of recent quarters has been tempered, even by stalwarts like the OECD who reported a slowdown in global student mobility growth.
Are you subscriber of EducationInvestor? Then continue reading here.
If not, write us an email and we will gladly evaluate your current market needs against the recent market developments.
Study of perception and positioning
September 1st 2015 • EL Gazette
How do chain schools position themselves in the global language travel market compared to independent schools? The International Association of Language Centres (Ialc) commissioned StudentMarketing to conduct a study that sheds some light on the Davids and Goliaths of the market and provide other interesting insights. 
The StudentMarketing research team worked on a combination of techniques to gather a general picture of the language travel market. To analyse agents’ perceptions, they collected quantitative data with a global survey which saw responses from 472 travel agents in 72 countries, some of whom were invited to participate in an in-depth phone interview. 
The study outlines a well known landscape: the US dominates in term of student weeks, the UK comes second after a small decrease since 2011, followed by Australia, which overtook Canada last year. In fifth position, Ireland saw a small but significant increase, then came New Zealand, Malta and South Africa. The study presents an industry in its consolidation phase, where growth rates slow down and more regulation, in the form of government supervision and self-regulation, is expected to take place. Another by-product of the maturation of the industry, as confirmed by all agents, is product standardisation. This allows for competition between schools to take place, with the potential to create higher quality but also downward pressure on prices.

Continue reading at Page 13 of the September Gazette..


StudyWorld: just the start

September 1st 2015 • El Gazette


Annie Wright explains how detailed data from member centres is helping to renew English UK’s mission to support Britain’s ELT sector

The first steps in all this have been getting more useful data to enable both English UK and their member centres to plan activities and follow up promising new markets. This summer saw the publication of the first new-look ‘Student Statistics Report’, created with English UK's insight partner StudentMarketing and the help of more detailed information from the member centres, and all of this will continue to evolve.

Continue reading at Page 7 of the September Gazette..


Student and Youth Travel Digest

August 30th 2015 • StudentMarketing


Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing - a renowned student and youth travel consultancy and a SYTA Research Partner - presented key findings of the Student and Youth Travel Digest, a landmark research initiative created to support global student and youth travel.

A 3-year long research project with a global scope was set to measure student travel, provide the association with an identity and legacy and its members with a benchmark. It was focused on covering the domestic student travel, outbound travel from the US and inbound travel to the US based on the responses from the research's main target groups such as US Teachers, US Group Leaders, US and International Tour Operators.

With support of 9 allied associations and stakeholders, the research has had exposure to 500,000+ targets. So far, more than 2,000 responses have been collected, the figure representing over 1.1 million students. An executive summary of the research results will be available to SYTA Members in Q4 2015.

For more information on Student and Youth Travel Digest, please contact


The PIE Insider: China

July 30th 2015 • The PIE News/StudentMarketing
  • The Chinese market is changing, with ELT a potential seam of opportunity
  • Educators need to take their time to research the agency market and understand guanxi

With its size, demand and newly-earned financial resources, China may seem like the panacea for all international student recruitment. But just because it presents itself as a country where business opportunities are as abundant as users on WeChat, it’s essential you know who you are and how you will sell yourself to Chinese parents and students. Once you’ve established those invaluable guanxi (personal connections) with your partners, it should be a fruitful relationship for both educator and agent, as long as you never, ever gift them a green hat.

Continue reading in The PIE Insider..


StudentMarketing signed an MoU with UNWTO on youth travel

July 9th 2015 • The PIE News
StudentMarketing has signed an MoU with UN World Tourism Organisation to further promote collaboration and pave the way for production of a global report on youth and student tourism.
Samuel Vetrak, CEO at StudentMarketing, pointed out that this first-of-its-kind MoU for a student travel specialist company and the UN agency should help shine the spotlight on how valuable youth and student tourism is.
“We want destinations to realise that this [sector] is not only good for their revenues now, but also for the future because youth travellers return to a country as business and leisure tourists later on, spending part of their US$80,000 ‘lifetime tourism budget’,” he said.

Continue reading in The PIE News..


Patrik Pavlacic joins ESOMAR!

July 8th 2015 • StudentMarketing
Patrik, our Head of Research, has been recently admitted to ESOMAR, the WORLD Association for Social, Opinion and Market Research. ESOMAR comprises a global network of 4,900 market research professionals in over 130 countries.

Patrik's membership further enhances his primary focus – complementing global-scale data collection with the monitoring and interpretation of current market trends in youth and student travel, allowing him and the research team he leads to provide various industry stakeholders with up-to-date market intelligence and research papers that benefit not only the organisations themselves, but the industry as a whole.

Say congratulations to Patrik!


CAPS-I unveils trade mission dates

June 10th 2015 • Study Travel Magazine

The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I) has released details of trade missions to China, Italy and Germany to meet study travel agents, schools and embassy officials.

In 2016, a mission to the Italian city of Milan will take place from February 16-18, organised in cooperation with StudentMarketing, bringing together 20 Caps-I members with pre-selected Italian agencies. The mission will feature one-to-one agent meetings, networking opportunities with agencies and presentations by Canadian Embassy staff. The Italian Association of Language Consultants and Agents (IALCA) will provide market insights at the event.

Continue reading in Study Travel Magazine..


The PIE Insider: Turkey

June 5th 2015 • The PIE News/StudentMarketing
  • Welcome to the new market-focused section prepared in a collaboration of The PIE News and StudentMarketing.
  • Turkey’s demographics mean opportunity in a country where study abroad is deeply embedded into young people’s expectations, despite rising HE provision in-country, and despite – or because of – conflict in the region and political unrest.
  • Work closely and openly with education agencies, which dominate the market. News of discount offered to one partner may quickly spread.
When doing business in Turkey, it’s a good idea to remember the proverb bir kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir; “a cup of coffee is remembered for 40 years”.
Success in this market will come from a commitment to cultivating long-term business relations and understanding the evolution of demand, as the once red-hot emerging economy shifts into a mature cool down.
Turkey’s outbound market has reached a phase of maturity and experts say it will not grow as rapidly as it has in the last 10 years. Its stinted development, especially in cities outside of Istanbul and Ankara, can be attributed to a flatlining economy and political unrest both domestically and in neighbouring countries.

Continue reading in The PIE Insider..


China crisis? No, not yet

June 1st 2015 • El Gazette
Samuel Vetrak on student flow from China to the US
The overall increase in students coming to the US and Canada from China is due to China’s rising number of undergraduates – growing progressively over the last decade. There’s a current spike in numbers of vacation study students from China going to the US as well as a recent surge in enrolments into boarding and private US high schools, which boosts the total growth in US-bound students.
Chinese parents are very competitive and spend heavily on their children’s education. The age limit of internationally mobile students is getting lower, resulting in more young learners travelling to the US on vacation study tours or enrolling in high schools. Summer programmes are experiencing a peak in applications, with some 100,000 young Chinese estimated to be spending their holidays in the US. There has been a recent boom in secondary school enrolments, which went from 4,500 to 24,000 annually in just four years.

Continue reading at Page 14 of the June Gazette..


Consolidation, price pressure: new hallmarks of study travel business

May 18th 2015 • The PIE News
The US has overtaken the UK as the top receiving country for English language travel as global growth slows and the study travel industry enters a period of market consolidation, research commissioned by the International Association of Language Centres has shown. The industry is also experiencing price pressure amid consolidation of operators and products.
English language has experienced the highest increase in demand over the last three years, followed by German and Spanish, and accounts for two-thirds of students in the study travel market, according to the report.
The language travel landscape was assessed as part of a wider research study by StudentMarketing into opportunity for independent operators that are typical of the IALC membership.

Continue reading..


New study highlights global language travel trends and the role of agents

April 28th 2015 • ICEF Monitor
Two million people travel abroad every year with the primary purpose of learning a foreign language. About two-thirds study English and those enrolments are heavily concentrated in the leading destinations of the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. The market, however, is highly fragmented with as many as 3,000 centres providing language training worldwide and some 16,000 youth and student travel agencies acting as intermediaries. Each of those agents represents, on average, 45 schools and refers 11 students per school.
These are among the findings of a new study commissioned by the International Association of Language Centres (IALC) and released at the 2015 IALC International Workshop in Rouen, France last week. The study, Perception of independent and boutique chain schools in language travel, was carried out by the international consultancy StudentMarketing and relies heavily on an online survey of education agents.
The survey is particularly notable for its scale and reach. It compiles responses from 472 agents from 72 countries and represents by extension a pool of 230,000 language travel students.

Continue reading..


Strategies for a challenging year in Russia

April 15th 2015 • ICEF Monitor
One thing seems reasonably clear: price is going to play a big part in shaping demand in 2015.
We can expect that more educators will introduce special discounts or other price incentives for Russian students this year, and that students will more actively explore alternate, more affordable study destinations as well.
That certainly seems to be the case in the travel industry. The ITB World Travel Trends Report quotes Dmitriy Tichshenko, Director of Strategic Development at PREKO Consulting in Russia, who says, “Russians are still looking to travel. More expensive destinations will perhaps be the losers next year and more Russians will go to cheaper destinations.”
IPK International President Rolf Freitag agreed, adding, “Russian consumers still want to travel. The battle for the Russian market will be won or lost on price next year.”
In his presentation at the ICEF Moscow Workshop last month, StudentMarketing CEO Samuel Vetrak offered a similar outlook for student travel. In his analysis, price is now a greater factor in decision-making for Russian students and their families – and therefore discounts, special offers, and scholarships weigh more heavily as well – and prospective students are more open to less expensive study destinations.

Continue reading..


Canada: CAPS-I courts Latin American students

March 16th 2015 • The PIE News
The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I) has taken members from 33 school districts on their first trade missions to Mexico and Brazil, for a series of seminars and meetings with Latin American agencies. 
The missions were conducted in collaboration with student travel consultancy StudentMarketing, with the aim to increase the number of high school students coming from the region to study in Canada.
Representatives travelled to Mexico City and Monterrey in Mexico at the end of February, and Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte in Brazil two weeks ago, for market briefings held by Canadian embassy staff, and to attend seminars and formal meetings between schools and agency representatives.

Continue reading..


IALC commissions first-of-its-kind industry study

February 16th 2015 • IALC

Shining light on the relationship agents have with independent and chain schools.

The International Association of Language Centres (IALC) has commissioned a unique and industry-wide research project. Targeted at agents, the goal of this unique research project is to create a complex and in-depth picture of the current role of perception of independent and chain schools in the industry, while also shining light on their similarities and contrasts, as seen through the eyes of agencies and the students they send to these schools. 
By communicating with a varied and large number of agents around the world, who have been pre-selected to share their past experience with independent and chain schools, the research also promises to deliver a multi-faceted look at the preference agents have when dealing with these two different educational institution models. In addition to this, the study will have a look at the global demand for particular languages, thus further elaborating on the current state of the industry. 
"I am very happy with the focus of the research and what it promises to deliver. Not only will it be valuable to our member schools, but the industry as a whole," noted Jan Capper, Executive Director of IALC.
In addition to offering all participating agencies a detailed executive summary of the study, one survey participant will also be eligible to receive a contribution worth up to EUR 1,000 towards attending the next IALC Workshop in Rouen (2015) or Leeds/York (2016). 
The research will be administered by StudentMarketing, an independent research specialist and UNWTO Affiliated Member.
With the survey currently ongoing and accessible for agents online here, IALC has scheduled a showcase of the research results for 23 April 2015, at the IALC workshop in Rouen.

The survey can be accessed here.

Continue reading..


English UK highlights agency markets

February 11th 2015 • Study Travel Magazine

The English UK Marketing Conference gathered around 200 representatives from member schools in London last week for sessions focused on market trends, working with agents, the power of branding and other marketing techniques.

In a session on marketing in China, Samuel Vetrak of StudentMarketing said that China is the fourth largest source country for ELT students globally, with around 100,000 students – 70 per cent of these pursuing pathway programmes.

Vetrak said using study travel agents was essential in order to see return-on-investment in a short-term strategy, and that using one or two large agencies was necessary for brand recognition. He also explained the typical selling cycles of Chinese agents, highlighting that September-to-November is the promotional season for winter camps which take place in January and February, meaning China is a relatively late market for summer camp promotion, which occurs from March through to May.

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IALC surveys agents on chains and independents

February 9th 2015 • Study Travel Magazine

The International Association of Language Centres (IALC) has commissioned a survey of study travel agents to gauge industry perceptions of independent language schools and chain schools.

In a statement, IALC said, “Targeted at agents, the goal of this unique research project is to create a complex and in-depth picture of the current role of perception of independent and chain schools in the industry, while also shining light on their similarities and contrasts, as seen through the eyes of agencies and the students they send to these schools.”

The research will be administered by StudentMarketing, an independent research specialist and UNWTO Affiliated Member. The results are due to be presented on April 23 at the Rouen workshop.

The survey can be accessed here.

Continue reading..


Diversity needed in US English programmes

February 2nd 2015 • Study Travel Magazine

EnglishUSA welcomed 226 representatives from schools and university programmes across the US to their third annual Professional Development Conference (PDC) last month, where increasing diversity was a key issue for many schools.

One of the talks came from Samuel Vetrak, CEO at StudentMarketing.

In his session, Vetrak highlighted that Saudi student weeks had increased by 140,000 in the US from 2012 to 2013. Brazil is also up due to the Science without Borders programme, while China is seemingly “cooling down”.

The markets that US IEPs should focus recruitment efforts on, according to Vetrak, are China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Turkey, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Russia, Libya, Brazil and Iraq. He also suggested that in order to diversify in these countries, schools should consider partnering with agents, meeting with them three times a year in order to track performance and evaluate.

Continue reading..


View from the desk of.. Samuel Vetrak

January 22nd 2015 • Study Travel Magazine

This week, we interview Samuel Vetrak of StudentMarketing about his recent presentation, How to Make Profit in 2015, looking at trends in the ELT industry, first delivered at the ICEF Berlin 2014 conference.

In your presentation you highlighted that juniors represented an increasing share of business for UK schools – up from 30 per cent in 2009 to 41 per cent in 2013. Is this a trend that you witness worldwide? 

Most indications tell us this is not only the UK. This trend is present in most of the major English language destinations. The prominent trends that we witness are more junior, more summer and winter programmes and more pathways.

We have this data also from the source markets. For agents, the 19 and below market is more dynamic than the 19+ market. As English learning is more and more saturated and English proficiency higher and higher, students are going abroad earlier or for a specific purpose. Higher English proficiency on the planet also impacts length of study abroad, students stay and study for less.

You picked up on the increasing prominence of review sites in our industry. Is this likely to become more widespread?

Continue reading..


The Mall of Millennials: What is Hot and What is Not

November 12th 2014 • The Class of 2020: Annual Trend Report

To attract millennials, you have to know them. Knowledge is power. Vienna-based research group StudentMarketing has specialized in marketing strategies for this age group in the youth travel and international education sector. As we’d all like to get to know these people a little better, we asked Samuel Vetrak to introduce us.

They are young and optimistic, experience life to the fullest and are the largest generation cohort since their grandparents (Baby Boomers) – meet the Millennials. This age group, also known as Generation Y, Generation Next or the Digital Generation, was born between 1980 and 2000 and is now in early adulthood or just reaching it.

Each generation introduces novel ideas into the world, but this one might be said to have turned the universe upside down. All doors are open to them, which means they can become whoever they dreamed of being, visit whatever place they can think of, while also working hard to reach their goals. They are highly educated, ambitious and keen to build their own path to success. And for Millennials, success is defined by doing something they love.

Continue reading..


Global ELT market cooling down says StudentMarketing

November 10th 2014 • The PIE News

Double digit growth may be more challenging for most ELT providers as the sector moves into a phase of consolidation, according to industry consultancy firm StudentMarketing.

Industry revenue is now increasing by around 2% compared to 10% growth in the last decade, reported StudentMarketing CEO Samuel Vetrak at the ICEF Berlin Workshop last week.

In a presentation, Vetrak told delegates that in order to be profitable in the new consolidating landscape, educators should alter their strategies to focus on junior programmes, extended stays and familiarisation (FAM) trips.

He forecast a decrease in numbers from top source markets Russia, Colombia, Brazil and Turkey for 2014. However he singled out China, Pacific Asia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico as “markets of opportunity” for this and next year.

Continue reading..


Meet WYSTC 2014 Speaker Samuel Vetrak from StudentMarketing

September 12th 2014 • WYSTC

Ahead of his Why educational travel will be the top choice for next generation travellers seminar at WYSTC 2014, Samuel Vetrak, CEO and Founder of StudentMarketing, took some time out to tell us a little more about himself and his session:

Q1: Why did you set up StudentMarketing?

I have always been fascinated by the potential of data and how effective data-driven marketing can be. It saves money and delivers so much better than doing without it! So we deliver it to the international youth and student travel industry.

Q2: Who are your clients and what do you do for them?

Our clients are governments, destinations, associations, schools, operators, and investors: Organisations that want to increase their understanding of international student travellers. We deliver market intelligence to identify opportunities for our clients, and marketing solutions to tap into those opportunities.

Q3: In your view, is reporting and data capture improving across the sector or are there still areas of weakness?

We see progress – more research is being done and there is an improvement in quality. Importantly, there is a noticeable momentum with efforts to document the sector thoroughly and according to standards. The appetite and first steps are there, long way to go though, and easy to go off track.

Q4: Have the favoured/preferred destinations for educational travel changed? Where are the new ‘hot spots’ for educational travel?

Continue reading..


What is the best strategy for a city to promote itself as a study destination?

July 11th 2014 • StudentMarketing, The Class of 2020

That was the main course of a one-day workshop organised jointly by StudentMarketing and The Class of 2020 for the delegates of the City of The Hague, city universities, the local business community and international students. The interactive strategic conversation came as part of the city's aim for greater internationalisation, as well as efforts to establish itself as a student city.

A scene-setting presentation by Samuel Vetrak and Patrik Pavlacic firstly described the nature and preferences of today's international students, as these relate to the future outlook for The Hague as an international student city and then put the city in the context of its European and Dutch counterparts. The opening session was concluded with a set of recommendations that were commented on in a panel discussion, featuring inputs and opinions from representatives of each segment. As the panel identified four critical areas of improvement, these were further elaborated upon in specific working groups.

The results of the workshop will be presented by way of a 10-point strategy that will serve the City and its stakeholders in continuing to develop the image of The Hague as an international student city.


CAPS-I explores promotion of French programmes

June 17th 2014 • StudyTravelMagazine

Members of the Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I) are considering greater promotion of French language programmes, following research into the sector that revealed untapped potential in the marketing of Canada’s bilingualism. 

The research, conducted by StudentMarketing and based on survey responses of school districts/boards and 244 agents from 58 countries, provided background on the number of French speakers worldwide. It highlighted that the language is the second most widely offered foreign language globally behind English, and that demand for French-language secondary education, which, according to participating agents, accounted for 10 per cent of requests in this sector.

Continue reading...


StudentMarketing has proudly sponsored ETOA City Fair 2014

June 16th 2014 • StudentMarketing

Some 400 tourism representatives met at Wembley Stadium, London, to explore new business opportunities. StudentMarketing, a well-known youth travel consultancy, was on-site too.
As company's CEO Samuel Vetrak said, the whole event, including a lunch sponsored by StudentMarketing, had great atmosphere with lots of productive meetings: "Obviously, such positive feedback couldn't have been given without endless ETOA effort to make its City Fair a unique business platform for global tourism bodies."
Vetrak added that event went well for StudentMarketing too, as they met with plenty of delegates interested in getting more youth travelers for their destination, which is a StudentMarketing's core service : "We all know how important it is to have a nice, relaxing lunch during such an event. Therefore, our team created catchy 'Do you know?' leaflets with facts about youth travel and put it on every table in the dining room."
In an answer whether he really believes a youth travel can make a difference when it comes to global tourism, he says: "One of the 'Do you know?' facts printed on the leaflets was that 'while you are eating this lunch, 46,000 youth travelers will have arrived at a foreign destination'. For me, there's no better way to demonstrate the potential of youth travel, it really speaks for itself. The only problem is that busy destination managers don't have enough time to come and explore this segment. And that's exactly where StudentMarketing could help."

Emerging markets key to Australia's international enrolment goals

May 7th 2014 • ICEF Monitor

Australia has ambitious goals for international enrolment growth and aims to host as many as 660,000 students by 2020 – an increase of roughly 117,000 students, or 30%, over 2012 levels. 
As ICEF Monitor reported recently, things are trending in the right direction in Australia of late. For the first time since 2009, Australia recently registered an increase in international student enrolment. There were 526,932 international student enrolments in 2013, marking a 2.6% increase over 2012. The 2.6% growth rate compares to an average 5.9% growth rate over the past ten years – but also represents a distinct reversal of the enrolment declines recorded in 2010, 2011, and 2012. 
Growth for China, India, and Brazil in the future
Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, picks up on the theme of opportunities in Asia and other emerging and growing markets for Australia’s inbound student recruitment. He says that China, India, and Brazil have a far larger potential for Australia than any other source markets in the coming years and that they all represent some of the biggest sending countries for fee-paying, post-secondary students in general (ranking them first, second, and twentieth respectively). 
Find out what else Vetrak had to say about three countries with huge potential for Australia inbound student recruitment.

Signs of growing interest in study abroad as Czech Republic aims to stabilise education sector

Apr 28th 2014 • ICEF Monitor

The Czech Republic has experienced profound change in the last two years, with a constitutional amendment allowing the population to directly elect the president, the dissolution of one government, and the establishment of new leadership to set new directions for the country. During all this, education policy has swung back and forth like a pendulum. ICEF Monitor explores these developments, alongside current inbound and outbound student mobility trends. 
Speaking to ICEF Monitor, Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing details the extent to which students in the Czech Republic opt to study abroad. Mr Vetrak says that almost 12,000 Czech tertiary education students (approximately 3% of the tertiary student population) study abroad for one year or more (short-term programmes, such as Erasmus, not included). He notes that Slovakia is the leading destination, hosting 4,979 students from the Czech Republic in 2011, and notes that Germany, the UK, the US, Austria, and France are among other popular destinations. Mr Vetrak adds that “these six destinations attracted 80% of all Czech students”.
Turning to the question of inbound students, Mr Vetrak notes that the Czech Republic is a “significant regional hub within Central and Eastern Europe.” He underscores that, “over the last decade, the number of international students studying at the tertiary level has increased fourfold”:

Continue reading...


StudentMarketing's report identifies future growth markets for Australia

Apr 25th 2014 • StudyTravelMagazine

China, India, Brazil and Spain are among the countries offering the strongest long-term growth potential to Australia’s international education export sector, according to a report by Samuel Vetrak, CEO of market intelligence company StudentMarketing.

Delivered at the recent ICEF Australia New Zealand Agent (ANZA) workshop in Sydney,Markets of The Future for Australia and New Zealand analysed the current market share of the two nations in key recruitment markets and across the secondary, English language and higher education sectors.

Vetrak highlighted that among the top destinations, Australia had a 13 per cent share of the English language travel market by student weeks in 2012, while New Zealand held two per cent. In terms of market share within the top 20 source countries in 2012, Australia commanded 31 per cent of the Thai market and 25 per cent of the Chinese market, while also boasting over one fifth of the English language travel market from Colombia, Taiwan and Japan. 

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New WYSE Travel Confederation research launched: Youth and Student Travel Market Industry Review #4 - Marketing

Mar 26th 2014 • WYSE Travel Confederation, StudentMarketing

WYSE Travel Confederation and StudentMarketing are pleased to launch the latest research, which provides marketing insights across the five major sectors of the youth travel industry.

As the first report to examine worldwide marketing trends in the youth and student travel industry, the benchmark Youth and Student Travel Market Industry Review #4 – Marketing analyses insights across the language travel, higher education, work experience, volunteer travel and adventure travel sectors – and provides the first source of sector-to-sector comparisons.

“Working with StudentMarketing once again, we have compiled the most detailed survey yet into marketing insights across five major sectors, from booking patterns and marketing tools to distribution opportunities and concerns for the industry’s future. This data will help our members to understand the industry as it stands today and adapt their strategies to support this rapidly growing market in the long-term.” said David Chapman, WYSE Travel Confederation’s Director General

Full press release is available here...


The Class of 2020 and StudentMarketing announce partnership

Mar 7th 2014 • StudentMarketing

The Class of 2020, Europe’s largest student housing platform, and StudentMarketing, the leading youth travel and education experts, signed a partnership agreement during ITB Berlin.

The announcement heralds the highly successful collaboration, on projects such as the report 'Will Amsterdam be Europe’s Next University Capital?'. The report compared Amsterdam’s internationalization level of student populations to that of other university cities in The Netherlands and Europe. The results and recommendations generated headlines in the press and debate in the city council.

Cities have opportunities to capture a growing number of international students (4.1 million) and benefit from the economic and social impact they bring - an average 10 million Euro and 290 jobs created per 1,000 students per annum.

As Frank Uffen, co-founder of The Class of 2020 explained “Combining our expertise in research, marketing and leadership will enable us to deliver much needed insights and strategy support for university cities looking to improve their ability to compete for global talent.”

Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, added "As leading youth travel and international education authorities, we are excited about the opportunities we can generate for cities around Europe and beyond. The number of international students will almost double by 2020. Our previous report and research have shown how important it is to act fast and decisively."

Full press release is available here...


Languages Canada fights damaging ISP rules

Feb 26th 2014 • StudyTravel Magazine, The PIE News

Languages Canada, representing ESL and FSL member schools in the country, has cemented its intention to lobby against legislation damaging business for members through the launch of a new action plan.

In other news, Languages Canada signed partnership agreements with ICEF and StudentMarketing at the event. The partnerships will see the association continuing to receive market intelligence from StudentMarketing, as well as host two agent fam trips scheduled around ICEF Vancouver. The first, starting May 7, will allow agents to visit member schools in Toronto, while delegates on the second trip beginning on May 15 will visit members on the West Coast.

“By visiting our language schools and programmes, the cities and local attractions, the international recruitment agents will get a real feel for what it is to study English or French in Canada, making them more efficient spokespeople and brand ambassadors,” said Guillaum Dubreuil, Manager of International Affairs and Marketing for Languages Canada.

Continue reading on Study Travel Magazine's website...

Continue reading on The PIE News' website...


Samuel Vetrak, one of Education event speakers at the World Islamic Economic Forum

Oct 31st 2013 • StudentMarketing

Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, one of Education event speakers of the British Business Pavilion (BBP) at the World Islamic Economic Forum

As part of the UK Trade & Investment’s British Business Pavilion at the 9th WIEF in London, UK, our CEO Samuel Vetrak spoke on the English language panel that looked at current trends and developments and debated the role English can play in helping to drive economic development. The interesting discussion was facilitated by Tony Millns, CEO of English UK and accompanying panel speakers such as Anna Searle, Director for English Language (The British Council) or Michael Carrier, Director for Strategic Partnerships (Cambridge English).


Languages Canada holds trade missions

Oct 21st 2013 • Study Travel Magazine

Languages Canada has hailed the recently completed trade mission to Turkey and Kazakhstan, where member schools met agents and local institutions, as “very successful”, and has announced further missions.

Guillaum Dubreuil, Manager of International Affairs and Marketing for Languages Canada, said, “We are very happy with the results of this mission. Our partner, StudentMarketing, ensured the quality of the agents and institutions we met, as well as their openness to working with Canadian schools. Istanbul and Almaty’s legendary hospitality also contributed to making this a success.”

Continue reading on Study Travel Magazine's website...


ALTO pow-wow ponders data, discounts...

Sep 17th 2013 • The PIE News

Distilled advice on business innovation and a pow-wow among business owners on some of the thornier challenges in the study travel sector meant that the most recent ALTO London seminar continued to carve out its own unique agenda for helping foster business development and industry direction.

Samuel Vetrak of Student Marketing, a research expert, involved in the scoping project for this venture, added that using methodologies that can be respected by governments is also crucial; as is the value of “the industry owning its own data”.

Continue reading on The PIE News website...


Industry insights presented by StudentMarketing at English UK AGM

May 17th 2013 • English UK, The PIE News

Market consultancy company StudentMarketing placed the UK’s status in a global context showing that year-on-year growth in the ELT market over the last two years was just 1%. StudentMarketing CEO, Samuel Vetrak, marked consolidation a supertrend in the sector, expecting a minimum of 200 school acquisitions by 2020.

Continue reading on English UK's website...

Continue reading on The PIE News website...

Event Gallery at The PIE News


British Council unveiles Japan and Russia research

May 17th 2013 • Study Travel Magazine, British Council

Patrik Pavlacic, Head of the Research Department at StudentMarketing and author of the report on Russia, said the UK was the preferred ELT destination for 63 per cent of students, according to their survey of 65 Russian agencies, and was the second fastest growing market for English UK private sector members between 2009 and 2011. Pavlacic said Russia would be a top five source country by 2015 if current growth levels are maintained.

Continue reading...

More information on British Council's reports website


Die Hedonisten und die Streber

May 11th 2013 • Die Presse

Der Jugendtourismus lässt Kassen klingeln. Während 13.000 österreichische Partyhungrige auf dem Massenevent Spring Break auf amerikanischen Spuren wandeln, wollen sich Jugendliche aus den Schwellenländern beim Reisen lieber bilden.

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CAPS-I mission to Turkey pays dividends

April 23rd 2013 • Study Travel Magazine

The first ever trade mission to Turkey by the Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I), proved to be a success with several formal agreements already signed, according to the association. The mission took a representative mix of 23 school boards from across Canada to meet select groups of 20 agents in Istanbul and Ankara earlier this month. Caps-I Executive Director, Bonnie McKie, said, “Caps-I’s mission to Turkey, the organisation’s first exploratory mission to an emerging market, has already proven a success.”

“Caps-I is very grateful to the coordinator of the mission’s logistics, StudentMarketing, as well as the Canadian Consulate in Istanbul and the Embassy in Ankara for their support,” McKie added.

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Top trends in strategy and pricing for educational travel providers

April 22nd 2013 • ICEF Monitor

ICEF Monitor sits down with Mr Samuel Vetrak, founder and CEO of youth travel StudentMarketing, a market research and business development company specialising in the global youth, student and educational travel market. The company provides comprehensive insights on global student mobility patterns and market trends, and helps organisations to succeed in the international youth travel market.

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Want a golden future in tourism? Get into youth travel

March 6th 2013  • ITB Berlin Newsroom

Despite slow or no growth in many sectors, youth travel continues to defy market expectations. In 2011, youth travel accounted for 207 million arrivals and generated US$185 billion, making it three times more valuable than the global coffee industry!

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Educational travel to grow dramatically by 2020

February 8th 2013 • The PIE News

The youth travel industry is set to double by 2020 according to youth travel consulting and development company StudentMarketing. The trend will be driven mostly by educational and experiential travel and offers a “huge opportunity” to providers, it claims.

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CAPS-I to lead trade mission to Turkey

February 6th 2013 • The PIE News, CAPS-I Official Website

Public schools from across Canada will participate in their first ever trade mission to Turkey. Led by the Canadian Association of Public Schools-International (CAPS-I), the trip aims to attract high school students from Turkey and expand Canada’s ties with the country.

Industry consulting  group, StudentMarketing, is organising the meeting with Turkish agents. “Canada is sexy now and they are successful because of quality, competitive pricing and strategic support from government,” CEO Samuel Vetrak told The PIE News.

Continue reading at The PIE News...

Continue reading at the CAPS-I Official Website...


Languages Canada Establishes Itself as a Key International Force Through Three Trade Missions

December 17th 2012 • Languages Canada Official Website

These missions were made possible by the key market knowledge and important logistics support of StudentMarketing, an expert in agency marketing and business development, and are already having very positive impacts.  The missions resulted in over 1000 meetings with 102 agencies and approximately 60 education sector stakeholders and government officials.

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StudentMarketing - new Affiliate Member of UNWTO!

September 4th 2012 • StudentMarketing Press Room

World Tourism Organisation increases focus on Youth Travel and Tourism and welcomes StudentMarketing as a new Affiliate Member.

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Samuel Vetrak joins ESOMAR!

June 6th 2012 • StudentMarketing Press Room

We are proud to announce that our CEO, Samuel Vetrak, has been accepted as a new member of the European Society for Opinion and Market Research (ESOMAR), the esteemed global membership organisation for market, social and opinion researchers.

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XIII Fedele Annual Meeting: Better than ever              

May 28th 2012 • StudentMarketing Press Room

The Spanish Federation of Schools of Spanish as a Foreign Language and StudentMarketing, the leading youth travel research and business development consultancy, have signed a strategic memorandum of understanding. Continue reading...



Too BIG to be niche.

May 23rd 2012 • StudentMarketing Press Room

The expanded programme of presentations and seminars scheduled in the Youth Travel Hall at ITB Berlin provided a much needed forum for the industry to share new research, debate issues and celebrate.

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Educational Agents And Languages Canada Members Reap Benefits From Familiarization Tour

May 17th 2012 • Languages Canada Official Website

Ottawa... Languages Canada has held another successful trade event: A familiarization tour of 16 accredited language programs based in Ontario and Quebec for 22 language agencies, from the fast-emerging markets of Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Thailand and Brazil.

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Looking To Capitalise on Opportunities in Emerging Markets?

May 14th 2012 • StudentMarketing Press Room

Tap into expert knowledge and use the right approach, says leading research and business development consultancy StudentMarketing.

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Study in Alberta Trade Mission 2012

May 2nd 2012 • StudentMarketing Press Room

Canadian government body promotes Canadian Education International with successful trade missions to Europe by Alberta Education.

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Your World on Monday - Samuel Vetrak about The Use of Agencies

April 16th 2012 • Your World On Monday

This week, Samuel Vetrak, Managing Director of StudentMarketing, a Vienna-based research and business development consultancy, talks about the challenges of booking channels and the valuable service that high-quality agencies can provide.

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Languages Canada Trade Mission - A Great Success

April 13th 2012 • Languages Canada Official Website

The Agent Satisfaction Survey results from Languages Canada's most recent trade mission to Russia, Ukraine and Turkey reveal that 96.2 per cent of agents surveyed evaluated the trade mission as excellent or very good. The survey, part of a six month follow-up to last October's trade mission, measured the level of satisfaction among participating educational agencies.

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Samuel Vetrak, Managing Director, StudentMarketing in The PIE News

April 2nd 2012 • The PIE News

StudentMarketing has quickly established itself as a market research leader on youth travel and international education trends. Based in Vienna in Austria, Samuel Vetrak, MD of the company, answers our questions.

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Newly published report compares pricing, market trends worldwide

March 27th 2012 • ICEF Monitor



WYSE Travel Confederation in conjunction with its research partner Student Marketing have released the second in a series of planned industry review studies, this time on pricing. The report looks at trends and comparative pricing in six youth and student travel sectors: language travel, higher education, work experience, volunteer travel, adventure travel and youth travel accommodation.

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Youth Travel – The next BIG THING at ITB Berlin 2012

March 12th 2012 • Stay WYSE Official Website

Phenomenal Growth and Unprecedented Demand from New Markets confirms youth travel as THE hot sector of the global travel and tourism industry.

Thursday 8thMarch, Berlin. Today, Samuel Vetrak, founder and CEO of StudentMarketing, the leading youth travel research and intelligence consultancy, revealed key trends in the youth and student travel market.

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What is the next BIG thing in youth travel in Your World on Monday

March 12th 2012 • Your World On Monday

All eyes were on youth travel at the ITB trade show in Berlin. In a presentation given by StudentMarketing – the market research company specialising in the global youth, student and educational travel market – company CEO, Samuel Vetrak, drew attention to the sector’s worth – estimated to be US$173 billion per year.

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Industry Review No. 2 - Youth and Student Travel Market Data, Pricing

March 1st 2012 • WYSETC Official Website

A research-based industry review from secondary sources, compiling recently available data on industry matters that affect members' businesses and include areas such as youth travel market dynamics, mobility, pricing, customer preferences and marketing.

Created in conjunction with StudentMarketing, the second piece of research and market intelligence is entitled "Industry Review No.2 - Youth and Student Travel Market Data, Pricing". This 45-page report is available for download to the WYSE members free of charge.

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Austrade surveys Czechs: Canada ranks low

December 27th 2011 • StudentMarketing Press Room

In a recent Austrade survey, almost one third (32%) of young Czechs said they would most like to study in the UK, 23% in the USA and one-fifth (20%) in Australia. However, only 2% indicated they would choose Canada. 500 young Czechs were asked about their study abroad plans and preferences, including the factors that affected their study abroad choices. They were also asked about awareness of Australia as a study destination, and price expectations.

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PIE News announced Advisory Board

December 27th 2011 • StudentMarketing Press Room

We are delighted to have an advisory board, with various industry stakeholders who all have great insight and strategic vision contributing to the development of The PIE as it progresses.

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New pan-European agency association

October 15th 2011 • StudentMarketing Press Room

A new association to represent the many international education agencies operating across Europe was launched this summer in a bid to support industry development on the continent. The association has been established by Ande-LM (Albania), DonStream (Ukraine) and the international development consultancy StudentMarketing Ltd after 24 agencies from across Europe expressed interest in the idea.

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20 per cent of Global Travel: Some Insight into Youth Travel

September 20th 2011 • TravelMole

Behind the numbers that youth/student travel makes up 20% of global travel explored with CEO of StudentMarketing Ltd, Samuel Vetrak, a business development consultancy that specializes in the global youth, student and educational travel market. StudentMarketing claims their market intelligence identify for travel companies, opportunities to make informed decisions, and build sound business strategies which can yield as much as 20-50% increases in sales with a three year investment.

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Languages Canada Trade Mission

August 12th 2011 • StudentMarketing Press Room

Every year, over 150,000 students from across Eastern Europe travel abroad to study language and many of them select Canada as their primary destination. That is why this October, Languages Canada – in cooperation with StudentMarketing - is organizing its first ever trade mission to the eastern part of Europe, with a specific focus on Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

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WYSE Travel Confederation launched new Research Programme

July 22nd 2011 • StudentMarketing Press Room

Beginning this year, the Confederation developed a partnership with industry research specialist StudentMarketing to build on the good work already done in years past and help fill the picture of our vibrant but still under-documented industry.

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Three International Marketing Research Experts

January 11th 2011 • StudentMarketing Press Room

Join three marketing research experts as they share their insights into three essential aspects of international language education marketing. Join us for this world-first presentation  where these experts share their views and then await your questions.

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Eastern European Explosion

June 2010 • Study Travel Magazine

StudentMarketing’s Chief Executive, Samuel Vetrak, explains that the outbound student travel industry became „mature and competitive enough to need more data and information [for use] in effective marketing in the region“. As he realised this, „We decided to facilitate this need, to ease marketing for educators by providing more market data and local marketing services.“

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Market Trends

June 2010 • StudentMarketing Press Room

The market has already reached the level where studying abroad is no longer a prestigious matter for the rich and has now become a common interest of many students looking for an experience abroad. Now, imagine Eastern Europe delivers above 500,000 international students a year and the market is far from reaching its full potential: my prognosis is that it can double in 10 years.

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