RIDING THE WAVE
ELC responded by splitting its school in two. Its daytime
classes focus on the “traditional” combination of full-time
study, activities and travel. In the evening, it offers cheaper
courses that migrant workers can slot in after work.
As student demographics have shifted, courses that
combine language learning with vocational skills and work
experience have proliferated.
CIBT Education Group operates several brands offering
ELT and business & management courses in British Co-lumbia,
Canada. CEO Toby Chu says: “When I started this
journey 25 years ago, the wealth and affordability standard
for international students were quite different. Programs
today must be more career-driven with a clear end-game in
mind: job opportunities.”
Some schools have adapted to pave every stage of their
students’ career path. ILSC Education Group, which started
teaching English and French in Canada in 1991, founded
Greystone College, its vocational training arm, in 2002. It
has since opened college branches at all of its school loca-tions
in Canada, Australia and New Delhi.
“Students will often begin with a language course at ILSC
to achieve a certain language level entry requirement, and
then matriculate to a Greystone College diploma course
in business or hospitality,” relates CEO Paul Schroeder,
who founded the company with his partner Paul Zysman,
who had previously worked in Africa training community
42 | THE PIE REVIEW | ISSUE #24
organisers. He and Schroeder found themselves in a growing
Canadian business that started with philanthropic aims.
ILSC is also among a clutch of institutions offering
pathway programs to help students transition to higher edu-cation
– as is ILAC, an English language school chain with
partnerships with universities and colleges across Canada.
ILAC’s co-president, Jonathan Kolber, says the school’s
brand has evolved as it has diversified – it also offers test
preparation courses, business English and gap year pro-grams,
and allows students to build modular courses with
elements covering everything from media and current
events, to business and Canadian culture.
Previously, ILAC’s brand was about offering “the expe-rience
of your lifetime – learning English was the key but
not without social events, making international friendships
that last a lifetime, falling in love with Canada”, Kolber says.
that saw us spread our
wings has made the
company more sustainable “
The healthy paranoia
Today, it’s about “giving students opportunity: to learn the
language, to grow, to build a future, to train for and work in
Canada, to immigrate to Canada, to change their life”.
Also in the UK, entrepreneur David Game, the namesake
of David Game College, segued into university preparation.
Its UFP director, Mansour Kaveh, says consultation with uni-versities
prompted the college to design a one-year course
which has soared in popularity in the last 30 years. David
Game’s UFP is accepted by “the majority of British univer-sities”
and it has expanded into a wide range of subjects
including computing, law and most recently, medicine.
Diversifying is a smart business decision, agrees Ian Pratt,
managing director of Australia-based Lexis English. It was
he who sensed that teaching English in a single location was
not going to be a sustainable model. “We initially looked
to replicate our operating model across multiple locations,
across languages, and then across products,” he explains.
PHOTO: LEXIS SUNSHINE COAST
Lexis English is in some phenomenal
Australian locations but it has also
opened schools in Japan and Korea