English UK aims for 2019 student volumes by 2022

As part of the two stage plan, English UK will seek to remind students and agents of the “value, quality and innovation” in the UK international education sector, and will reassure them that travelling to the country will be safe. 

“Our goal is to return the UK ELT industry to 2019 student volumes by the end of summer 2022”

The organisation will also explore opportunities beyond in-country teaching, including bringing together multiple UK language centres and other partners to deliver international contracts.

Despite the fact that Covid-19 has “devastated” the UK’s ELT industry, with a loss of around half a billion pounds to English UK member centres, it is hoped that the UK will be able to return to its position as the “global leader” of ELT. 

“We have just published a roadmap to recovery after Covid-19, outlining in phase one how we intend to rebuild the international market for UK ELT,” said English UK chief executive Jodie Gray, during a recent PIE chat. 

“Our goal is to return the UK ELT industry to 2019 student volumes by the end of summer 2022. Our flagship international event, StudyWorld Online taking place in a few weeks’ time, is an important part of this plan.” 

Gray said that the industry’s challenges have increased exponentially in the short space of time since English UK shared the roadmap with its members. 

“That will probably mean we see results more slowly, but recent developments mean this plan is even more necessary than before to lead our members and the wider industry to rebuild and recover,” she added. 

English UK has said that it will seek to promote UK ELT to key audiences, to produce effective messaging that celebrates and reassures and to use all resources and channels for maximum reach. 

The plan identifies key groups that have been, or could be, major UK ELT customers. These include established both EU and non-EU market agents and educational tour operators focused on UK ELT. 

It also includes emerging market agents and ETOs not yet focused on UK ELT as well as students interested in long term study in the UK. 

English UK will also focus on buyers interested in partnerships beyond traditional onshore recruitment. 

“Competition in ELT has never been fiercer. Students have a choice of English language speaking destinations as well as an increasingly professionalised local offer,” the roadmap says. 

“We must show prospective customers that studying English in the UK is their best choice.”

Messaging to these groups will focus around promoting UK ELT as the best choice for students, and will note that ELT is a key route into UK education and that it helps to simplify student immigration. 

“Competition in ELT has never been fiercer”

English UK said that it will lead and support multi-channel campaigns; organise and participate in international events. 

It will use its “strong relationship” with stakeholders, including the Department for International Trade and the British Council, to deliver its message. 

Channels it will use to spread its message will include international stakeholder events, English UK events, promotional and information sharing campaigns and cross sector UK-focused activities.

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