South Africa’s ELT industry has recovered from the 2015 fall and is growing again, latest EduSA statistics show. With government accreditation on the horizon, stakeholders are positive about the future.
The latest 2017 statistics from language school association Education South Africa look similar to those of 2014. "Almost copied," as EduSA Chair Johannes Kraus told The PIE.
Still, this calls for celebration.
South Africa's ELT industry experienced a 19% growth in student numbers last year, showing signs of recovery from a visa policy impasse that suddenly plugged the healthy flow of students into the country in 2015.
A settlement has been reached between the South African government and Education South Africa following court proceedings, after last year's worrying declines in ESL enrolments due to a visa policy impasse.
EduSA has resorted to court action over what it has called an “unconstitutional rejection of study visas”, following a longstanding policy impasse that EFL providers say has significantly damaged their business.
To overcome a current stalemate situation around new immigration rules in South Africa, some English language schools are undergoing a new accreditation process to resolve issues over long-term study visa issuance.
Changes to visa regulations introduced this year are harming EFL schools, according to South Africa's association of English language providers, which estimates that immigration rules may cut some schools’ business by up to 60%.