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News in brief

THAILAND: The Singapore International School of Bangkok announced in November that its corporate social responsibility programme for this year will take the form of its teachers teaching a 10-week English course for students at local state schools. Two schools will be offered free English classes on Saturdays, with the aim of equipping students with “a minimal foundation in the language.”

CANADA: An estimated 23 language schools across Canada have closed permanently since the pandemic began, according to the Vancouver Sun, which reports accredited English and French language schools’ association Languages Canada as forecasting at least three or four of its member institutions will not re-open after Covid. Vancouver, the most popular destination for language tourism within Canada, is especially badly hit due to high rents in the city centre neighbourhoods of Yaletown and West End where most schools are located.

TAIWAN/UK: At the end of October, the island of Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding with the UK on education cooperation, including an element of “English language” collaboration. Under the agreement, the UK becomes a “delivery partner” at the end of October, as part of the Taiwanese plan to become bilingual in Chinese and English by 2030, according to UK Minister of State for trade policy Greg Hands. There are currently 3,800 Taiwanese students at tertiary education institutions in the UK.

UAE: A branch campus of an Austrian university, Modul University Dubai, is among six higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates that have had their licences revoked after a review of standards and accreditation by the Ministry of Education’s Commission for Academic Excellence ended in October. The review has placed another six institutions, including the London Business School in Dubai, on probation.

JAPAN: A one-stop shop where foreign financial services companies can file “regulatory paperwork” in English is being considered in Japan, according to the Japan Times. An office of the Financial Services Agency, close to the Tokyo Stock Exchange, could open as early as 2021. The move is seen as part of a strategy to lure banks away from Hong Kong, capitalising on international unease over the stability of the territory following crackdowns on its pro-democracy movement.

Image courtesy of Library
Matt Salusbury
Matt Salusbury
MATT SALUSBURY, news editor and journalist, has worked for EL Gazette since 2007. He is also joint Chair of the London Freelance Branch of the National Union of Journalists and co-edits its newsletter, the Freelance. He taught English language for 15 years in the Netherlands, in Turkey, in a North London further education college and now as an English for Academic Purposes tutor, most recently at the London School of Economics. He is a native English speaker and is also fluent in Dutch.
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