StudyTravel Magazine: English UK 2024 Q1 data shows ELT sector numbers steady

The latest quarterly data from English UK’s Quarterly Intelligence Cohort (QUIC) shows that student weeks in the first three months of 2024 were at 82 per cent of the 2019 levels, which was higher than the previous quarter but below the same period of the previous year.

June 12, 2024 Studytravel Magazine

The QUIC 2024 sample is comprised of 126 English UK  schools, representing a record high 39 per cent of total membership.

Collectively, those members delivered 127,576 student weeks in 2024 Q1, 87 per cent of which were to adult students.

For members that submitted data in both years, there was a 15 per cent decrease in adult student weeks in 2024 Q1 compared with 2023 Q1, but junior student weeks increased by three per cent.

Graphic source - English UK/Bonard.

Overall, the sector was at 82 per cent of 2019 Q1 student week volume, which was less than the 92 per cent registered in the 2023 Q1 QUIC report but was a similar rate of recovery to 83 per cent across 2023 as a whole in the QUIC scheme and higher than the 75 per cent recorded in 2023 Q4.

Teaching occurred at 113 premises in 2024 Q1 for participants in the QUIC scheme, which was five per cent higher than in the same period of the previous year.

Source markets: In 2024 Q1, Saudi Arabia was the top source country by student weeks, as it was in the same quarter of the previous year, with 22,059 weeks which was more than twice as many as second-placed Brazil (10,683). Turkey (8,833 weeks) was in third, followed by Italy and Kuwait.

English UK noted that despite maintaining positions, all of the top three source markets delivered fewer student weeks than in 2023 Q1.

However, the association said that more than a third of source countries sent higher volumes in 2024 Q1 than in 2019 Q1, indicating growth potential across a number of markets.

The most significant year-on-year growth came from China, which jumped from 16th place in Q1 last year to 11th place, and English UK said its performance is expected to improve in each quarter this year.

In the junior segment, Italy, Spain and Brazil were the top three source markets, collectively accounting for 40 per cent of junior weeks. Argentina and Peru were the next largest junior senders.

Graphic source - English UK/Bonard.

Recruitment channels: Agents remained comfortably the most significant recruitment channel and accounted for 74 per cent of student weeks in 2024 Q1, a similar ratio to the same period last year.

English UK said that 80 per cent of weeks in 2024 Q1 were delivered to individual students and 20 per cent were to groups – an identical ratio to 2019 Q1. Typically, group bookings represent a larger share in the summer months.

Course type: General English was the dominant course type, accounting for 91 per cent of adult student weeks and 82 per cent of junior weeks in 2024 Q1 – higher ratios than in Q1 of 2019, when it represented 74 per cent and 86 per cent respectively.

For adults, English for Academic Purposes (seven per cent) was the only other programme type to command more than one per cent share, while in the junior segment 18 per cent of weeks for summer/winter camps.

English UK, which represents around 330 language schools in both the private and public sectors, operates the Quarterly Intelligence Cohort (QUIC) scheme with research partner Bonard.

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