News from Adam

Welcome to the latest edition of our CEO’s column News From Adam.

The government’s recently announced legislative changes to the ESOS Act and the agenda they have described in their draft consultation document, Australia’s International Education and Skills Strategic Framework, gives us pause as a community to stop and reflect.  

It’s so very encouraging that the government is placing quality and integrity at the centre of their reforms. At NEAS, those two words “quality” and ”integrity” sit at the core of who we are. We are very well positioned to support the government in its understanding of the impact its suggested changes will have on our sector. For example, is the government aware of just how fundamental international education and migration has been, and still is, to our economy? International students are an important labour source across a range of skill levels. These skills are learned through courses at the education providers affected by the changes.  

It’s important for them to be armed with an understanding of the various nuances that exist within our sector. Universities are very different from TAFE providers, stand-alone ELICOS centres, and cross-sector private providers. NEAS knows the differences between this diversity of international education provision, and so understands the very meaning of quality in each of these contexts. Let’s not forget too, that NEAS quality assures in related areas of policy concern for the government. Namely, homestay provision. Has the government considered quality provision in this sector as a means of solving accommodation shortages? It is widely used by international students, young and old, and might be another avenue of consideration to support the incentive they are offering universities to deliver to students beyond their caps. NEAS is close to the homestay provider industry, and recently launched the NEAS Homestay Standards, which would facilitate improved quality capacity. 

Finally, NEAS is ready to engage with the government and similar member associations such as us, to achieve the best outcomes for everyone. 

May 2024

Congratulations to Cairns College of English and Business (CCEB)!

Congratulations to Cairns College of English and Business (CCEB) for completing a successful Quality Review Activity with NEAS.

CCEB has completed a Self-Assessment activity. This activity supports member institutions in evaluating their quality and planning for continuous improvement. Through the Self-Assessment, CCEB has reviewed its practices, incorporated feedback, and set forth actionable goals for enhancement.

CCEB is set to elevate its educational standards by implementing NEAS templates for moderation and validation to ensure courses align seamlessly with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and with the ‘Can Do’ statements displayed in classrooms.
To safeguard the well-being of under-18 students, all visitors will undergo Blue Card (Working with Children Check) status checks, and those without a Blue Card will be accompanied throughout their visit. In a further commitment to safety, CCEB plans to conduct a comprehensive review of its Work Health and Safety (WHS) plan within the next six months and has begun a three-month trial of a new Safety Management System.

CCEB’s dedication to incorporating feedback from previous NEAS Quality Review activities into its planning highlights its commitment to excellence and continuous development.

May 2024

Congratulations to Sunshine Coast International College (SCIC)!

Congratulations to Sunshine Coast International College (SCIC) on completing a successful Quality Review Activity with NEAS.

Conveniently situated in the city centre, SCIC’s campus is being modernised to better cater to its diverse student body. Students come to SCIC from Southeast Asian countries, primarily China and Vietnam, and South American countries, mainly Brazil and Colombia. Students are enrolled in General English from Beginner to Upper Intermediate, English for Academic Purposes (EAP), and Cambridge English Advanced courses, offered in the morning and evening. At SCIC, students receive comprehensive support, including course information, assessment details, and welfare support, provided during orientation sessions and outlined in the SCIC Student Handbook.

Under the expert guidance of Academic Manager, Fariba Soltan, SCIC has been actively enhancing its organisational culture and academic standards by implementing various initiatives, including revamping teacher induction and mentoring processes, refining course offerings and assessment processes in response to government changes to English language requirements for student visas, and prioritising professional development for its teaching staff. Emphasising excellence, SCIC has adopted a new assessment rating system, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), aligned with international standards, and conducts regular performance appraisals for teachers, while actively incorporating student and teacher feedback into curriculum updates.

May 2024

Congratulations to Times Academy!

NEAS congratulates Times Academy on completing a recent quality review activity.

Times Academy has demonstrated its dedication to excellence through proactive measures aimed at enhancing its operations during a recent Self-Assessment activity. The centre highlighted several key action items geared towards continual improvement and adherence to quality standards.

One of the primary action plans is to strengthen its course evaluation processes by engaging teachers in assessment validation workshops. The centre has also unveiled strategies to ensure the ethical and accurate promotion of its offerings. This includes providing targeted workshops for new staff and reinforcing marketing staff’s understanding of recruitment processes. Moreover, the centre is actively working on enhancing safety protocols and risk management strategies for students under 18.

This proactive approach to self-assessment and continuous improvement exemplifies Times Academy’s commitment to delivering high-quality education in a safe and supportive environment.

May 2024

Highlights and Takeaways from the 2024 NEAS Management Conference

The 2024 NEAS Management Conference left a lasting impression on all attendees! With an innovative new format, the conference dedicated one day to intensive professional development and another to engaging, forward-thinking discussions on the industry’s future. Attendees gained invaluable insights on staying ahead of the curve and leading in educational excellence. 

Collaborating for Professional Growth 

The insightful sessions at the Academic Manager Workshop on Thursday featured ELT professionals who shared their expertise on management trends, professional practices, technological advancements, and global developments. This inclusive approach was beneficial for everyone, from new leaders to seasoned managers, fostering a vibrant exchange of best practices, ideas, and perspectives. 

Reflecting on the wealth of knowledge sourced from our membership and partners is incredibly rewarding. 

Forward Thinking: Innovation and ELT Excellence 

This year’s keynote speakers were nothing short of exceptional – engaging, thought-provoking, and future-focused! 

In his opening plenary, Louka Perry invited us to rethink how we teach and learn by shifting paradigms. He prompted us to consider the importance of the environment – emotional, physical, and social – in which we absorb new information. He asked us to reflect on the purpose of our learning, questioning whether our focus should be on acquiring knowledge or on the learning process itself. Finally, he encouraged us to consider the role of new technology and how we can use it to enrich our human experience. 

Eddie Woo was simply a force of nature! Echoing Louka’s considerations, he emphasised the importance of how we learn, over the specific information we acquire. He identified collaboration, connection, and complexity as key components of lasting professional learning and encouraged us to integrate these elements into the design of our training. 

Ailsa Lamont delivered a compelling presentation on the pressing issue of climate change. She highlighted how this issue impacts us as ELT professionals: our students care deeply about it. She provided practical examples of how we can contribute to sustainability through simple practices and empowering our students with the vocabulary to engage in these important conversations. 

Finally, it was time for a reality check regarding technology. Bosco Anthony burst our bubble by highlighting the advanced technology already in existence. He discussed the use of virtual reality for work placements in healthcare, flying cars, and AI-integrated glasses. Bosco explained that the question is not whether we should use AI, but how to make the most of the time it saves us. 

Through engaging discussions and thought-provoking presentations, the conference underscored NEAS’ commitment to driving excellence and shaping the future of ELT. 

The Role of NEAS: Past, Present and Future

In the afternoon, we connected with the wider ELT community, engaging in conversations about homestay, education agents, and wellbeing and mental health. We explored the potential of hosted accommodation amid the housing crisis, the challenges of recruiting international students, and the importance of providing safe environments for students and employees. 

Our CEO, Adam Kilburn, concluded the day with a presentation on NEAS’ role, renewing our commitment to: 

  • Quality: Our core business, guiding our professional development offerings. 
  • Our Members: Serving the diverse communities within ELT. 
  • Thought Leadership: Leading the sector with innovative ideas. 
  • Giving Back: Supporting members, partners, and the broader community. 

The conference culminated in an Awards ceremony celebrating 59 new endorsements across various categories: 

  • Quality Provider Award – New Member 
  • Quality Product / Service Award 
  • Premium Product Award 
  • Online Delivery Award 
  • Quality Education Agent Award 
  • 25 Years of Quality Commitment Award 
  • NEAS Master Practitioner Award 

The event ended on a high note with a cocktail hour, offering ample opportunities for networking and connection. 

Thank you for your support! 

On behalf of the NEAS team, Quality Assessors, Board, and Advisory Council, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all members who attended the conference and to the sponsors who made it possible. We are proud to serve the ELT community, fostering opportunities for knowledge sharing and mutual learning.

May 2024

Congratulations to Native English College!

NEAS congratulates Native English College on becoming the latest quality endorsed member. Since opening its doors in January, Native English College has welcomed students both onshore and offshore, benefiting from an active marketing department and strong relationships with agents. The college fosters a culture of friendliness, professionalism, and familial support. Open communication is a hallmark of its culture, further enhanced by excursions and other extracurricular activities.

NEAS uses a 360-degree stakeholder feedback approach in its quality endorsement process, collating and analysing input from stakeholders. During recent focus group sessions at Native English College, students expressed satisfaction with the course design and outcomes, finding them suitable for their pathways. Feedback from NEAS student surveys was overwhelmingly positive, with nearly 100% of students praising the course delivery, assessment, and teaching approaches.

The supportive culture at Native English College was also emphasised, with one respondent commenting, ‘It is a very nurturing environment, both for teachers and students.’ Excursions and other extracurricular activities further enhance the student experience by providing opportunities for students to enjoy each other’s company, communicate in English, and be supervised by a teacher.

May 2024

Congratulations to Australia Education Management Group (AEMG)!

Established in 2001, the Australia Education Management Group (AEMG) promotes international education and cross-cultural exchange by facilitating partnerships between education providers and research centres in China, Australia, New Zealand, the US, and Europe. AEMG engaged the services of NEAS Assist to review the benchmarking of its Academic Language and Study Skills 1 and 2 courses (ALS1 and ALS2) against the IELTS public band descriptors.

NEAS Assist, the consultancy arm of NEAS, offers expert, tailored assistance to further enhance the quality of ELT centres. AEMG provided comprehensive curriculum, assessment information, and evidence for the review. The resulting NEAS benchmarking report outlines the methodology applied and evidence examined, providing advice for quality improvement, and specifying the conditions for the report’s conclusions. Students successfully completing the ALS1 or ALS2 courses demonstrate English proficiency equivalent to the specified standards, with the report being valid for a period of two years.

May 2024

Congratulations to Catch-up Education!

Congratulations to Catch-up Education for the successful completion of its 2024 Quality Review initiative. Founded in Sydney in 2016, Catch-up Education is an Australian-registered education agency that primarily recruits international students from France, French overseas collectivities, and other regions such as Mauritius, Fiji, Tahiti and New Caledonia. The agency facilitates study opportunities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, the USA, and Japan, with a particular emphasis on ELICOS and Higher Education courses in Australia. In addition to recruitment services, Catch-up Education offers comprehensive support services, including online courses, internships, demi/au-pair placements, airport transfers, and initial accommodation arrangements. The agency has established partnership agreements with NEAS members and holds certifications from ISEAA and ICEF, underscoring its dedication to providing quality education and student support.

NEAS conducted its assessment of Catch-up Education’s operations and services using Area J of the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework, focusing on these important Quality Principles: the presence of an ethical framework underpinning the practices of the agency and its counsellors; provision of information to stakeholders that is ethical, accurate and consistent; use of governance structures that are effective and transparent; supporting a performance and development culture for staff; implementing systematic risk management processes; and routinely obtaining stakeholder feedback to inform the continuous improvement of services. More information on Area J can be referenced here:

NEAS employs a 360-degree stakeholder feedback model in its review procedures. Interviews with students and providers identified the agency’s professionalism and reliability. Students praised Catch-up Education for its adherence to legal requirements and processes, expressing satisfaction with the support they received. Their feedback highlighted a sense of being well-cared for in a professional yet friendly manner, with comments such as “He gave me a good balance and took away all the stress I’ve got, like all the administration,” and “He has become a friend and I visit him when I can,” indicating a deep level of trust and rapport. Facebook reviews and comments further validated these sentiments, with the agency receiving a commendable 4.8-star rating from 18 reviews. Telephone interviews revealed that all clients were highly satisfied with how Catch-up Education understood and responded to their individual needs, goals, and preferences. Education providers echoed this sentiment, recognising Catch-up Education’s comprehensive support and recounting instances where Sylvain had gone above and beyond to assist students in need, earning him praise as someone who “tends to provide the full packet of support” and who “scooped [students] from trouble.”

May 2024

Congratulations to The Preparation Center for Languages and Mathematics at Mahidol University International College (MUIC)!

The Preparation Center for Languages and Mathematics at Mahidol University International College (MUIC) is a premier educational institution committed to fostering excellence in language and mathematics proficiency. Situated within MUIC, the centre offers a wide range of courses designed to cater to the individual needs and goals of students.

Congratulations to The Preparation Center for Languages and Mathematics for its successful completion of the NEAS Quality Review for 2024. This review encompassed structured meetings and focus group discussions involving management, students, teachers, and professional staff. Additionally, the use of anonymised Quality Principles Surveys helped identify focal points for the Quality Review process, while comprehensive stakeholder feedback was analysed in alignment with the key Principles and Drivers of the NEAS Quality Assurance Framework. For more information on the Quality Assurance Framework, please refer to this section of the NEAS website:

The centre provides a rigorous English and academic preparation program spanning four proficiency levels. Tailored to assist students in gaining admission to MUIC courses, the program attracts a diverse student body, including Thai and international learners, with the latter comprising less than 5% of the cohort, primarily from China, Myanmar, and South Korea. Led by experienced instructors, the centre benefits from stable teaching and support staff, fostering a collaborative atmosphere focused on student success. The centre’s collegial environment is characterised by regular meetings and reviews, ensuring continuous improvement and alignment with student needs. With a high staff retention rate, the centre maintains a deep understanding of its culture and operations, further enhancing its ability to support students effectively. Additionally, the centre offers scholarships for the children of MUIC staff and Mahidol University employees, underscoring its commitment to fostering a supportive community and facilitating access to quality education.

May 2024

How Valuable Are Industry Conferences? Exploring the Benefits

The 2024 NEAS Management Conference is upon us! Doesn’t time fly? 

With only a few days left to the big day, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the many benefits of attending events like this. 

Networking opportunities are undoubtedly at the forefront of conference benefits. Engaging with peers and industry leaders promotes knowledge sharing and discussions about best practice. Last week, we shared tips on how to make the most of these interactions. We encourage you to connect with this wonderful community of insightful and innovative professionals that make up the ELT sector. 

Accompanying networking are the benefits of expanding knowledge and developing professional skills. Interacting with esteemed leaders and industry innovators provides insights into emerging trends and advances skill development. With practical insights and actionable strategies, the 2024 NEAS Management Conference was specifically designed to inspire you and empower you to enhance your skills, advance your careers, and achieve your goals.  

Another benefit of the NEAS conference is that it offers exposure to industry leaders who share their expertise and insights. These thought leaders offer invaluable perspectives, inspire innovation, and provide guidance on navigating challenges and seizing opportunities in the industry.  

Lastly, participating in industry conferences can enhance your professional visibility and elevate your brand presence within the industry. Whether you are presenting research findings, speaking on a panel, or simply engaging in discussions, active participation in conferences establishes you as a leader and subject matter expert, both within your organisation and in the ELT sector. 

While these are only a few of the advantages of engaging in industry conferences, we are certain you would agree that there are many more. We look forward to seeing you there and finding out what you value the most about these events! 

May 2024