Matthew Knott, News Editor of StudyTravel Magazine
Opinion... from the News Editor

It's a busy season at the StudyTravel Magazine news desk, with a veritable mixed bag of stories and developments, not to mention reporters returning from all corners of the globe filing reports from key industry events.  

In the USA we have episode #52 of the Trump travel ban saga! I jest of course, but there have been so many twists and turns it feels like a long-running NBO TV series.


The latest developments may - to some extent - placate the international education industry. More countries have been added to the list of restricted nations on the US travel ban in the shape of Chad, Venezuela and North Korea - perhaps unsurprisingly for the latter given recent rhetoric; but crucially in most instances, student visas (F-1) and exchange visas (J-1) will continue to be valid routes of entry.


Importantly, the revisions to the travel ban explicitly state that Iranians can enter the US via student visas. Iran is comfortably the largest source market amongst the restricted nations, and indeed was the 11th most prominent nationality on US campuses in the 2015/16 academic year.


The travel restrictions may impact on short-term language students and visiting researchers as travel visas are banned for some countries, although it has to be said that the eight listed nations are probably not major source markets for the ELT sector.


The caveat is that students - explicitly Iranians - will be subject to "enhanced vetting". What that means in practice remains to be seen. And what damage has already been done in those markets?


This won't be the final episode, as next month the Supreme Court is due to pass judgement on the validity of the original travel ban, implemented in March.


I mentioned that our reporters are all over the world at the moment: I was at the European Association for International Education (EAIE) in Seville recently; Georgina has just returned from down under where she attended the English Australia (EA) annual conference; I'm off to Washington next week for EnglishUSA's Stakeholders' Conference; Editor Nicola Hancox is attending the ST Alphe Secondary Focus Conference in Frankfurt this weekend, and our Editorial Assistant Jared Tinslay will be flying off to Spain soon for Fedele's new-look workshop.


You can read Georgina's overview of the EA event here, not to mention a story on the newly introduced updates to the National Code for providers, which will enhance welfare protections for under-18s and herald other measures to provide transparency for students when they are operational from next year.


We have a news story on the phenomenal growth of English-taught bachelor degree programmes across Europe, according to a report by EAIE and StudyPortals, which regular readers will know that I mused upon in last week's opinion column!


Elsewhere, we have news of: the pilot development of a high school product in South Africa from Cape Studies; a new summer venue for English plus provider Exsportise; new members for language school accreditation body Eaquals; and a vocational provider being deregistered in New Zealand.


There are also a couple of interesting video interviews to draw your attention to on the STtv news channel. As well as the regular weekly news updates, we have an interview with Maura Leão, President of Brazilian agency association Belta and of the global Federation of Education and Language Consultant Associations (Felca); and a chat with Annop Kanthatham, President of Thai agency association Tieca.


Have a great week!



Matthew Knott

News Editor