Nicola Hancox, Editor of StudyTravel Magazine
Opinion... from the Editor

The US features heavily in our news coverage this week, and while negative headlines may grab more reader attention they are countered by an equal measure of positive US news this week!

...but we'll start with the negative. Yes, President Donald Trump's controversial and well-publicised travel ban on six mainly Muslim countries (Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen) has been green-lighted by the US Supreme Court.

Several revisions to the travel ban have been made throughout the year (Iraq was removed from the restricted list, while Iranians were granted permission to enter the US on a valid student visa), a ban many oppose as it blatantly isolates a particular religious group and sends an unwelcoming message to potential students, regardless of religion and origin, thus deterring them from choosing to study in the country. This is highlighted by a recent EnglishUSA survey out this week.


The survey, which was completed by 125 IEP members, found that 70 per cent experienced a decline in enrolments this fall compared with the same semester last year. The global economic situation; perceived visa denials; loss of government-sponsored students; current US visa policy and the dollar exchange rate were all cited as reasons for the decrease, but the US political climate was overwhelmingly the most common reason given (72 per cent).

Discerning providers have been busy, however, exploring other avenues in terms of international student recruitment and there have been several announcements this week of IEPs and higher education providers joining forces with pathway providers.

Global provider Study Group has signed an agreement with Western Washington University, its 11th partner in the US and first on the west coast. Using an organisation with over 24 years international experience, Western Washington's new ISC will offer pathway programmes and support the university's existing Intensive English Program (IEP).

Back on the east coast and Boston-based Cambridge College has determined to expand its international footprint by entering into a pathway arrangement with International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI). With the pool of students shrinking both domestically and internationally, competition between providers is heated, notes ILI's Caroline Gear, therefore collaborations like the above will be key to progression.

Meanwhile, Atlantis Language Institute (ALI), located on the campus of Atlantis University in Miami, Florida, has entered the IEP landscape, following its recent accreditation by CEA. Playing to the university's strengths as a career and technology-centered institution of higher learning, ALI gives international students access to business certificate programmes and summer 'boot camps' in business and technology focussed pursuits and will run an Intensive English plus Career Visits programme, highlighting the importance of differentiation in such a crowded marketplace.


By Nicola Hancox