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Q&A

MICHELLE ALVAREZ, President of UCIEP, answers our questions about the operating environment in the USA and advocacy efforts made to government.

Fact box

Full name: Consortium of Univer- sity and College Intensive English Programs Year established: 1967 Number of members: 65 Type of members: Intensive Eng- lish language providers at colleges and universities in the USA Association’s main role: political advocacy, professional development and joint marketing Government recognition: yes Code of practice: yes Complaints procedure: yes Agent workshops/fam trips: no Contact details: UCIEP Central Office c/o Language Institute Georgia Institute of Technology 151 6th St. NW O’Keefe Building South Wing Atlanta, GA 30332-0374, USA, E-mail: info@uciep.org

What did UCIEP achieve in 2008 for its members? UCIEP together with the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP) and other professional organisations worked hard on advocating for the Coleman Action Bill, which would require all English language programmes in the USA to be accredited. In September 2008, these advocacy efforts were visible when the US Senate approved the English language programme accreditation bill. Although

”These advocacy efforts were visible when the US Senate approved the accreditation bill”

it passed the US Senate it was not voted on in the House of Representatives. As a result, this bill did not become law in 2008.

How do you believe Obama’s election will impact on the international education industry in the USA? UCIEP members have discussed the possible effects of President Obama’s proposed policies that would

make it easier for international students to study in the United States. One of these effects is improved international cooperation. It is hoped that this [new attitude from the new government] will make international students decide to study in the United States, hence increasing the numbers of international students in the country.

Does UCIEP have any specific agendas for 2009, and please explain why? UCIEP continues to take an active role in advocating for international students. Some of UCIEP’s current efforts include: becoming more active on our own campuses by communicating with our legislative liaisons; continuing to collaborate with other organisations with similar missions and views (AAIEP and Nafsa) to develop position statements on matters pertinent to our field; and finally, advocating for the passage of Senate Bill 3658 requiring the accreditation of English language training programmes.

What are your expectations for market performance among UCIEP members for the year ahead? Market performance currently varies among the UCIEP programmes. UCIEP members are carefully monitoring the world economic situation in an effort to predict the impact that the current global economy may have on enrollment later this year. It is hoped that the IEP enrollment numbers will remain consistent or increase.

Travel UpdateTravel UpdateTravel UpdateTravel UpdateTravel Update

The

Indonesian

and Australian

governments have agreed to a new reciprocal work and holiday visa ar- rangement that will enable university- educated students – aged between 18 and 30 years – to travel and work in each other’s country. Available from July this year, the scheme will differ from other holiday visas in that appli- cants will have to have the support of their respective governments, possess or be studying towards tertiary qualifi- cations and be proficient in English or Indonesian. The visa will be limited to

just 100 applicants per year.

  • A five-year campaign to prevent

the expansion of London’s Stansted Airport in the UK has been overturned by the High Court. The Stop Stansted Expansion (SEE) group had petitioned against a proposed second runway since plans were outlined in December 2003. Nick Barton, Commercial and Development Director at the airport, said the decision was good news for those who worked at the airport and

for

the

hundreds

of

businesses

that

re-

lied

upon

it.

“The

decision

secures

our

future and ensures we can continue in- vesting in the airport to deliver sustain- able improvements... through modern facilities and better service standards,” he said. The project will see the airport handling 35 million passengers per year, an increase of 10 per cent.

  • Icelandair is launching a new

route from London to Seattle via Reykjavik in July, in cooperation with Alaska Airlines, that will enable onward connections to many cities in western USA and Canada.

  • According to the German National

Tourist Board (GNTB), the economic crisis is impacting on visitor numbers.

Overnight stays in Germany expected to fall by two per cent year, a marked decrease on the

are this 2.1

per

cent

last

year.

growth in visitor numbers “The global economic crisis

has said

reached international tourism,” Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive at

GNTB, forecasting a trend for

“shorter,

closer

and

cheaper”

trips.

However,

growing

interest

from

Dutch,

Danish

and

Polish

tourists

is

helping

to

offset

the lack of American, British and Span- ish tourists in Germany this year.

  • Taiwan is attempting to lure more

tourists to the country by encouraging five-star hotels to offer one night of ac- commodation for just US$1 in May.

out

Asian airports represented four of five airports voted best by

indications are that some technology could be available, for deployment on a limited trial basis, at some European Union (EU) airports in 2010.” The 100- millilitre restriction was introduced in the aftermath of an alleged bomb plot that sought to blow-up transatlantic airliners in August 2006. The newly developed scanner will be trialled at a number of airports next year.

200,000 passengers in 126 airports. Airports Council International indicated

Qatar

Airways,

the

flag

carrier

that Seoul, Singapore, and Nagoya were joined Canada in the top five.

Hong Kong by Halifax in

  • A new generation of scanners

could see the restriction on liquids in hand luggage lifted in the UK within 12 months. The Department for Transport security executive, Transec, has been working alongside analysts to create a technology that can distinguish be- tween benign and potentially harmful liquids. A spokesperson said, “Current

airline of Qatar, has announced plans to expand international operations. Flights to Sydney and Melbourne are set to commence later this year, as are services to Goa and Amritsar in India. “Qatar Airways’ robust expansion is continuing undeterred by the current economic climate,” commented Qatar Chief Executive Officer, Akbar al Baker. The carrier also intends to increase its European presence as well as services

to Asia and Australasia by two more European routes.

launching

Clarification: In our February issue’s news about new website, mylanguagetravel.com, we reported that Internet Advantage was one of two companies working with mylanguagetravel.com to improve search engine optimisation. In fact, this is not the case. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

12 May 2009

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