Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Brexit: and language schools on the south coast

An important part of the economy for coastal towns and communities is fishing
Futures Forum: Brexit: and boosting coastal towns and fisheries
Futures Forum: Brexit: and untangling UK and EU fisheries

... tourism 
Futures Forum: Brexit: and not-so-booming tourism
Futures Forum: Brexit: and booming tourism

... and care homes:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and migrant workers in care homes and hotels >>> Who will take care of us "when the immigrants leave?"

Another is the English language school:
Why Brexit could shut Plymouth's English language schools | Plymouth Herald
Brexit ‘would hit language schools in Bournemouth’, warns MEP (From Bournemouth Echo)

The FT reported on this yesterday:

August 15, 2016 5:43 am

Brexit threatens English language schools

For 14 years, Spencer Fordham has been welcoming students from across the globe to master English at his language school in the southern UK coastal town of Bournemouth.
But for schools like Mr Fordham’s, whose alumni include Saudi royalty and Russian oligarchs, Britain’s vote to leave the EU threatens to drive English language students elsewhere and further damage an already shaky industry.
“It’s almost the perfect storm,” said Mr Fordham, managing director of the Capital School of English. “On a Monday, I give a talk to all of our new students and one of our messages is: Welcome to one of the most cosmopolitan countries in the world. Well, maybe in a few months time, I won’t be saying that.”
Sarah Cooper, the incoming chief executive of English UK, the national association for accredited language centres, said the group had been made aware of “a significant drop in bookings” in some of its 460 member centres during the referendum campaign this year.
The biggest worry for schools is that the government will impose visa restrictions on language students coming from the EU, who made up more than 60 per cent of the class of 2015. At the moment, they can travel freely to the UK and work during their stay.
“English UK is very concerned about the effect Brexit could have on the industry,” Mrs Cooper said. “Leaving the EU might also deter students from outside the eurozone, who can currently combine studying English here with getting a Schengen visa to explore Europe: if that changes, they may go elsewhere.”
As the birthplace of the English language and the home of received pronunciation, Britain has been one of the world’s main destinations for courses, attracting about 500,000 students a year and contributing some £1.2bn to the economy.
But it is already ceding market share to competitors. In 2015, UK student numbers dropped by 8 per cent, largely because of high course costs and government migration policy.
“There’s definitely a world market for English language training,” said Guido Schillig, managing director at Anglo-Continental in Bournemouth. “But over the past six years, government policy has very much been to reduce the number of students.”
Above all, school owners argue that English language students from outside the EU should not be included in the UK’s net migration target.
English student numbers have been easy prey for the government, they say, because they are easy to monitor. Figures show about 80 accredited centres closed in the UK in 2015.
Chart: Britain's English-language school market
Meanwhile, the industry is flourishing in other English-speaking countries such as Ireland, where there was a 10 per cent increase in student numbers in 2015, aided by a weak euro and supportive government policies.
“Ireland is seen as a welcoming country, with the government making a big push for investment and in educational quality,” English UK said.
Chart: Change in student numbers
Largely made up of private businesses and small chains, language-learning is no economic behemoth. But for the sleepy seaside towns along England’s south coast, students willing to pay hundreds of pounds a week for an immersive British experience — which can include living with an English family and trips to local attractions — prop up the high street and provide extra income for host families not just during tourist season, but all year round.
“Pound for pound, language school spending is the most valuable tourism spending you can get, because more of it is retained locally,” said Mark Smith, director of tourism for Bournemouth. The south of England, excluding London, accounts for about 40 per cent of the national market.
In the short term, there is a silver lining to the UK’s vote for Brexit: the resulting slump in the pound translates into cheaper courses for foreigners and schools have been quick to market this.
For Mr Schillig, the sector has reached “a low point”. But he views Brexit as an opportunity to “get the government to reconsider its policy”.
“It is a fantastic brand that UK plc has in terms of education,” says Mr Schillig. “It has been bruised and the image has been tarnished in recent years but I do think we can bounce back.”

Brexit threatens English language schools - FT.com

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