The PIE News: ELT: UK data showing “steady recovery” in Q3

Data on the English language teaching sector’s source markets has shown that a steady recovery is already underway, as figures overall are up by over 200% compared to last year.

Nov 25, 2022 The Pie News

The positive figures came from a “strong rebound” in junior student weeks, noting a good quarter for centres catering towards them – junior student weeks were up a whopping 3,254% on last year’s Q3.

The data, which is taken from roughly a third of English UK’s centre membership, gives a snapshot of the sector that helps indicate where it might be going.

Notably, group bookings accounted for 36% of the total student weeks in Q3 this year – an almost three times a larger proportion than 13% in 2021.

student weeksJunior student weeks were up over 3000% on last year’s Q3.

“We’re really pleased for our members – the Q3 data shows a real sense of recovery and is testament to their resilience and hard work,” said Annie Wright, joint acting chief executive of English UK.

“We will continue to support recovery with our lobbying work for a youth group travel scheme and our other campaigning work to help where our industry needs it most,” she added.

The top five junior source markets saw Italy come back to the top, taking just shy of 30% of the market. Spain, France, Germany and Brazil were the following second to fifth, with the top 10 source markets representing over two-thirds of the student weeks in both junior and adult sectors.

“To mitigate the impact of Brexit, English UK continues to lobby very hard for the under-18 segment”

“Comparing the Q3 2022 student week volume to Q3 2019, we note that recovery in the junior segment has reached approximately 60%, hence there is room for further growth,” Patrik Pavlacic, chief intelligence officer for BONARD, told The PIE News.

“It has to be noted that recovery also varies on a market-to-market basis. While Italy is at 58% [overall], student weeks from Germany already surpassed the pre-pandemic levels and reached 145% of the Q3 2019 levels,” he added.

“The real effect of Brexit is most likely to be seen in 2023 – part of the 2022 business for English UK member centres were still bookings from 2019,” Pavlacic commented.

“To mitigate the impact of Brexit, English UK continues to lobby very hard for the under-18 segment to be exempt from passport requirements,” he continued.

Adult source markets that performed the best were Saudi Arabia, which took 18% of the market share, China behind at just 8% and Italy, Brazil and Japan following behind.

Russia and China were also in focus due a lower rebound than expected – which may be due to difficulties in country relations, including the difficulty of movement from Russia due to sanctions and the ongoing war with Ukraine. Travel from China continues to be disrupted by the pandemic.

Brazil was also put in the spotlight in the report, as compared to Q3 in 2019, Q3 2022 saw student weeks at 103%, showing a rebound is on the horizon.

“We’re really pleased for our members – the Q3 data shows a real sense of recovery”

“There was pent up demand in Latin America in general, and markets in the region, such as Brazil, were thus first to recover,” said Pavlacic.

When examining the share of junior students and adult students in student weeks, there was another small uptick in the amount of juniors – Q3 2022 saw 40% junior students, while Q3 2019 only 36%.

However, Pavlacic does not think that any big changes in market share will be on the horizon in terms of student weeks.

“If we look at student weeks – key metrics for QUIC – it is not very likely that it will reach equal distribution in the near future, as junior students tend to study for shorter periods of time – the average length of stay in 2019 was 1.8 weeks for juniors, and 5.7 weeks for adults,” he said.

Overall, Pavlacic declared that the UK market is in fact on target to meet BONARD’s forecast of a 55-60% recovery for 2022, and 80% for 2023.

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