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Export Award Win For English Language School

2pm, Monday 6 May

- Aspect International Language Academies- NZ

Aspect International Language Academies New Zealand has won a Trade New Zealand Export Award for earning almost $7 million in foreign exchange in 2001 providing English language programmes for international students.

Media are invited to attend the presentation of the Aspect ILA Export Award by the Minister of Trade Negotiations, the Hon. Jim Sutton, at 2pm, Monday 6 May, 116 Worcester Street, Christchurch. The Trade NZ Export Awards are sponsored by DHL Worldwide Express.

Aspect ILA NZ established the first English language school in Christchurch in 1979 and became the first New Zealand institution to have two schools with the expansion of its operation to Auckland in 1987.

Aspect ILA NZ is part of Aspect International Language Academies, a leading global language-training organisation with 20 schools and 13 offices around the world.

Susan McAllister, Managing Director of the two New Zealand schools, says Aspect ILA is a New Zealand market leader in providing English language training and teacher training.

“Our competitively priced, high quality, innovative programmes have a strong emphasis on student satisfaction and pastoral care. These are the key reasons that clients choose to study with us.”

Ms McAllister says almost 3000 students from 35 countries attended Aspect ILA`s Auckland and Christchurch schools last year, a significant increase over the past two years.

Although the students came predominantly from Asia, there were significant enrolments from a broad range of other regions, including Central and South America, Continental Europe, Scandinavia and Russia.

Predominantly-export focused, Aspect ILA`s significant increase in foreign exchange earnings in 2001 was driven by rapid growth in student numbers from North Asia - Korea and China.

Ms McAllister says that recent growth in the international education industry in New Zealand has been aided by the recovery of the Korean economy and the booming Chinese economy and rapidly growing middle class.

“Favourable exchange rates and the relative ease in obtaining student visas make New Zealand an affordable and accessible education destination,” she says.

“Internationally, there is increased awareness of New Zealand as a quality education destination. This is the result of successful marketing efforts by the New Zealand international education industry. Branding campaigns and marketing initiatives by New Zealand Tourism, Trade New Zealand and Education New Zealand have also increased awareness of this country as a quality education destination.”

Ms McAllister says highly motivated and professional staff are essential to the successful operation of the Aspect ILA New Zealand businesses.

“Staff bring with them extensive international and local industry experience as well as ensuring rigorous quality assurance systems and procedures.”

Aspect lla NZ also employs full time quality assurance personnel to continuously audit and improve all aspects of its administration, content and delivery.

Ms McAllister says the students' welfare is also paramount. Homestays are visited and assessed for suitability and are contracted to provide a high level of care. Multi and bilingual staff are employed at both schools so that students can discuss any issues they have in their first language.

Trade New Zealand Account Manager Ian Reedy says despite being a large and growing company with complex operations, Aspect ILA has maintained a quick and responsive approach to client demands and needs.

"Aspect ILA is a very successful operator with an excellent export marketing and distribution strategy and a strong and effective focus on providing its clients with service quality.

"A big focus is put on student satisfaction and pastoral care with frequent reviews. Staff are constantly seeking information from agents and international contacts on industry best practice."

Ms McAllister says Aspect ILA`s marketing strategy focuses primarily on relationship building with educational agents in key markets.

“Our marketing team understands the complexities of the international education business environment and works closely with suppliers to develop innovative products and services to meet their business needs.”

Lee Aiken , Aspect ILA’s New Zealand Marketing Director, says referrals from satisfied clients and repeat business are a significant part of the business. Aspect invests in a comprehensive marketing programme that includes agent visits, participation with other New Zealand institutions in industry fairs, displays in Trade New Zealand offices, advertising, and a website.

Susan McAllister says while growth in the Asian markets has provided the big increase in student numbers in the past two years, diversity in Aspect ILA`s student mix is considered essential to maintaining the long term growth and stability of the schools.

"While we continue to develop and grow the Asian markets we are focusing on growing student numbers from South and Central America, Eastern and Central Europe in the next few months.

“We are currently developing new programmes and services for these markets which we will launch later this year. With over 100 private English language schools now in New Zealand - it is critical that we continue to innovate and differentiate ourselves in the market place.”

Ends

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