UK Universities Will Have Consequences if Summer Schools Collapse, Expert Warns


United Kingdom’s summer schools that send thousands of international students to the UK universities are on the brink of collapsing, and their survival is of particular importance for the country’s universities, the director of studies at the independent English language school Studio Cambridge, Tim Essex wrote in an article published by Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The article points out that the lack of support for the English-language teaching (ELT) sector could also damage the government’s international Education Strategy, which was launched in 2019 to increase the capacity of UK language training in order to achieve the goal of having 600,000 international students in the country by 2030.

Moreover, Essex writes that the decision of the government to remove quarantine restrictions for adults from the EU who are fully vaccinated is good news for the English-language teaching (ELT) sector, yet language schools are still facing uncertainty after two years of COVID-19 restrictions and border closures.

“While most cities hardly notice them for the majority of the year, language schools are vital for UK plc: they are the entry point to UK education for half a million overseas visitors a year who spend a little short of £1.5 billion among them. That’s a lot of students and a lot of money, the article reads.

According to the national association of English language centers in the UK, English UK, the number of students in private language schools decreased by 85 percent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decrease has caused the sector a £590 million loss, reports.

Out of 415 UK language schools, 69 were closed during the first year of the pandemic, many others closed after them as well, while 54 percent of workers were discharged from jobs.

Essex warned these numbers will worsen during this year, claiming that it is very important for both, ELT and the universities sector to understand the role of language schools in drawing students to the United Kingdom.

“Anecdotally, the link is clear – helping students with their university applications is a routine part of the day of any director of studies, as are students mentioning their intention to go on to UK universities when we discuss their plans and needs on arrival,” he added.

Furthermore, the article highlights that the English-language teaching (ELT) sector brings £20 billion annually to the UK economy and supports nearly 35,000 jobs in the United Kingdom, a total of 9,000 directly. Hence, with it being damaged, universities across the UK will lose the most.

During the 2019/20 academic year, the United Kingdom hosted 556,625 international students in total, exceeding 500,000 for the first time.

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