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How the government can help us become the world’s premier ELT destination again: English UK launches new position paper

  Publisher : Lynne   27 April 2023 10:00

English UK will launch its new campaigning position paper in a Parliamentary reception in May. 

The paper, called Help us become the world’s premier ELT destination again, contains nine asks of the government, several focusing on repairing the damage caused by the end of Freedom of Movement. 

Huan Japes, membership director of English UK, said: “UK ELT has been innovative and resilient but while recovery is on the right track we still aren’t on a level playing field with our international competitors. 

“We are working hard to get back to the world-leading position we had pre-Covid, but the home of English language learning is deterring English language students and the issues facing us now can only be alleviated with government action. 

“Attracting English language students back to the UK needn’t be hard or expensive – but the sector cannot do it alone. Simple, cost-neutral solutions would allow UK ELT to carry on doing what it does best: attracting the world to study here, and then our nation can enjoy the benefits of this once more.

“We want to get that message across to as many MPs, peers and opinion-formers as possible which is why we’re launching the paper in Parliament.”

The new document, which replaces one published during the pandemic, has nine asks of government. They cover an expansion of the youth mobility scheme, youth group travel for children, resumption of the List of Travellers scheme, student work rights and the right to apply for follow-on visas without leaving the country, educational oversight and support for staff recruitment and international marketing, and a national growth target for ELT students in the UK. 

The paper says: “Our language schools are resilient and innovative, but UK ELT is competing with one hand tied behind its back. All the benefits ELT has brought to the UK can be ours once more. A few simple tweaks by the government could create a level playing field between us and our global competitors, and then we can do the rest.”

It adds: “Attracting English language students back to the UK needn’t be hard or expensive – but the sector cannot do it alone. With the right support, our industry can bring huge benefits to the UK economy once more.”

The parliamentary reception, hosted by London MP Stephen Hammond, is being sponsored by PSI. It is being held on the afternoon of May 11, the day before English UK’s member conference, and members of the association are being encouraged to attend and invite their constituency MPs. 

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