This month we talk to Andrew Lennox, President of Glasgow School of English. Global School of English-Edinburgh. Hamilton School of English-Edinburgh. The schools specialise in providing English language courses for overseas students at great value for money without compromising on quality.
Q. When did you join IALC and why?
We joined in year 2010. IALC offered a membership organisation to private language centres that provided a supportive environment to our type of schools. With the rise in international chains buying up more and more independent schools it seemed sensible to get the strength of a collective family of like minded schools world wide. This family atmosphere is no better illustrated in the events arranged by IALC.
Q. How is 2015 going for you, and how does it compare to last year?
The schools are doing ok compared with last year. This is despite the world economic problems in many of the traditionally strong markets.
Q. What developments do you expect in Scotland in 2015? How will they impact the language travel industry?
Scotland has always been a hard sell to try and attract overseas students away from London and the South Coast. Students will be looking for good value for the money they spend but get good quality.
This year, from agents, we have seen an increasing awareness of this fact. This can only help us in Scotland to pull students away from England offering low cost, high quality and a unique cultural experience.
Q. Anything new this year?
Yes we purchased the Glasgow school property and embarked on a major refurbishment. This started at Christmas time 2014 and finished at the end of April 2015.
Q. Where do the majority of your students come from?
In Glasgow school the majority of students are Government sponsored and come from Saudi Arabia and Libya.
In Global school –Edinburgh the majority are from European countries.
Q. What are your most popular student activities?
Scottish Country Dancing. Bowling nights. Cultural sightseeing trips.
All of these activities are contained within our weekly social programme.
Q. 3 things that make your school special for your students?
Welcoming. International. Good value for money.
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Q. How did get started in the industry? How did you reach your current role?
After 25 years in further education colleges in and around Glasgow city and a visit to China in 1995, I decided to set up my own English language school in Glasgow. The school started with 25 Chinese students, two teachers and two classrooms in 1997.
Q. Languages you speak or would like to speak?
Unfortunately I do not speak any languages other than English. However I would have liked to speak Mandarin.
Q. Favourite travel destination?
It used to be China but Russia is coming up fast in my likes.
Q. Favourite pastime?
Q. Favourite meal?
Can eat anything
Q. Dream dinner guest(s)?
Andrew Lennox at the IALC 2015 Workshop in Rouen