During the week of 22nd August 2016, Go Enrol sent out a poll to language schools in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Our goal was to get direct feedback from schools on whether they were noticing any impact on bookings since the referendum on the UK leaving the EU.
We asked the question:
What impact do you think BREXIT has had on your school’s course bookings?
The response options were:
- Very Positive – we have seen a lot more bookings due to the vote
- Positive – we have seen some improvement in booking numbers due to the vote
- Unsure – bookings are up/down/the same, but I can’t say if BREXIT played a role
- No Impact – booking levels are as we expected
- Negative – we have seen bookings go down due to the vote
- Very Negative – we have seen bookings drop substantially due to the vote
In total 16 schools replied. Ten schools from England, three from Ireland, two from Scotland and one from Wales.
No school in England said the result had been positive for them and a few were prepared to say it had been negative. In contrast, some schools in Scotland and Wales reported that bookings had improved, with none of them saying it had been negative.
From our sample, it was clear that the impact, if any, BREXIT is going to have directly is yet to be fully understood. Ian Mucklejohn from Vacational Studies expressed that:
None of our students can understand why the vote went this way.
In the immediate week after the vote, one school has told us that bookings were very negatively impacted, but that the weaker pound has helped bring bookings back to expected levels. The impact of the pound was one noted by other schools such as inlingua Edinburgh which told us:
We had an increase due to the depreciation of the pound.
Paul Clark from LTC Eastbourne also reported that the weaker pound was positive. He did, however, balance this by explaining that the “perception of xenophobia” and “fear of need for visas” are leading agents to more seriously consider alternative locations such as Ireland and Malta. These are long term issues and as Paul said:
[it’s] too soon to say what the effect has been.
As for the schools from Ireland who took part in the poll. They all reported that either they were unsure if BREXIT had had any impact or that it had not had an impact.
Stephen Parkes, CEO of Go Enrol, said:
What this snapshot shows is that BREXIT has not perhaps had the immediately devastating impact some had expected. The short-term benefits have been mixed, with a weaker pound being a key factor in helping some schools see a boost in bookings. Voting to Leave has, however, created uncertainty for schools and students around issues such as visas.
Until the government and the EU make clear what the future policies will be, it is up to everybody in the sector to support and help educate prospective students about what the current situation is.
If you have any questions about the poll or want to get in touch with Go Enrol, please use the contact form below.