“There are many ‘vanilla’ programs on offer in our
industry, which may not stimulate passionate students. Our
students are looking for more creative and rewarding educa-tional
experiences, particularly experiential-based learning,”
managing director Richard Brown tells The PIE Review.
Parents now have a thriving array of junior programs to
choose from. CES’s managing director, Justin Quinn, says
its “4-to-1” junior program – an intensive class with four
students to one teacher – sells out a year in advance.
While age-specific programs aren’t new, those targeting
mature learners are a more recent trend. CES has recently
expanded its over-50s program – including history, culture,
food and social activities alongside English – which Quinn
predicts will continue to grow.
Andrew Mangion, executive chairman of global brand
EC English, says his schools started receiving requests from
older learners for separate classes a few years ago. “Because
a large part of language learning is communication and
sharing of life experience, a class of over-30s will be very
different to a class of young adults,” he relates.
EC launched its first 30+ course in 2012, and now has
over-30s centres in New York, Toronto, London, Dublin and
Malta. Like the Quinns, Mangion has pioneered the global
expansion of a business that his mum originally started in
Malta in 1991. “It’s been a real adventure,” he told The PIE
News in an interview five years ago. He related that as well
40 | THE PIE REVIEW | ISSUE #24
In the halcyon
days, enthusiastic and
cashed-up students from
came to Australia as making acquisitions, he had been focused on the “profes-sional
development of our staff, bringing on board some
great people and ensuring that they’re very engaged, and
ensuring that we’re developing our product”.
Another entrepreneur in the industry is David Scott, an
Australian who co-founded English Learning Company
in Sydney in 2003. “In the halcyon days, enthusiastic and
cashed-up students from comfortable backgrounds came to
Australia to improve their English, enjoy the sunshine, travel
up the coast and then go home,” he relates.
“These days, less enthusiastic and often hard-up students
book the longest and cheapest possible courses with the
primary focus on work and immigration outcomes so they
don’t have to go home.”
EC’s executive chairman, Andrew Mangion, says
that while the study travel sector has evolved, it
remains somewhat ”un-technological” compared
with other industries