Sunshine Coast International College (SCIC) in Sydney, Australia has recently joined QE, so we spoke to Rupert Johnstone (CEO) to learn more about the school, their reasons to apply to join Quality English and their plans for 2021.
- Why do you think your school is a Quality English school?
Sunshine Coast International College (SCIC) is both proud and delighted to become Australia’s only Quality English member institution! The SCIC Management Team regards membership of the Quality English community as a great fit both strategically and culturally for the College. SCIC has conducted extensive research into Quality English membership benefits and decided that timing is now optimal for us to pursue this opportunity.
- Why did you decide to apply to join Quality English?
As a relatively new (established in 2013), ambitious, quality-oriented and standalone ELT provider in Sydney, SCIC mirrors the values, ethos and mission of Quality English. We are looking forward to actively engaging with the Quality English agent community, as well as sharing best practice and exploring partnership prospects with our QE sister schools. The first e-Mission last week was fantastic! One of our main strategic goals in joining the QE community is to expand and diversify our student population through a strong and fruitful partnership with the QE agents. While we already enjoy a very diverse nationality mix of over 25 nationalities – roughly 40% of students are from Latin America, 40% from Asia and the remaining 20% from Europe and the Middle East combined – we are looking to improve this further, as it adds so much to the student experience and classroom ambience. We also see considerable advantages in being able to network extensively with our QE sister schools, in terms of teacher training, joint marketing and curriculum development opportunities.
- Why would you recommend Quality English from what you know so far?
I have nothing but the highest regard for both the consummate Quality English team and the association itself. Particularly during a period of such global economic turbulence, this is in fact exactly what the industry needs: a worldwide community of quality-oriented independent English language schools, that can speak with one voice and counter the powerful chain schools. I have known Quality English CEO Jonathan for several years and we have discussed at length the values of QE membership, and the need for a stronger presence in Australasia. Education Agents are in constant need of reliable partner institutions in all major English-speaking destinations, a market opportunity that QE fulfills in a unique and effective manner. I am happy to recommend QE membership unreservedly based on the outstanding recent onboarding service SCIC has received, which has included comprehensive support and multiple promotional initiatives.
- What are the main reasons to recommend SCIC to an international student wishing to study in English?
SCIC has a unique position in the Sydney ELT market, where we are widely known and respected as being an extremely friendly, welcoming and supportive language school. In its (October 2020) Annual Quality Review by Australian ELT accreditation body NEAS, inspectors noted “an overwhelming sense of community and student care came across in all meetings and focus groups conducted at Sunshine Coast International College, and student survey responses indicate a high degree of satisfaction with the level of support received, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.” This SCIC Family Culture has served the College particularly well during the recent period of national border closure, as we have had to depend exclusively on the onshore market – and have been very successful in attracting a large number of transfer students, largely those who are recommended by their friends to move to SCIC. These students also cite as main reasons for their move the convenient campus location and spacious modern premises, dynamic classroom learning environment, day/evening class schedules, reasonable tuition rates, availability of face-to-face classes, and attractive array of courses and social activities. Through our popular EAP Course, SCIC also offers students access to an enormous range of professional, vocational and higher education qualifications at over 20 popular Australian Colleges and Universities.
- What are your plans for 2021?
With the Australian national border still closed to non-citizens, and no firm timetable for reopening, it is currently difficult for us to know the exact rollout of our 2021 development plan. However, we will at some stage be launching our new High School Preparation Program, which is already accredited and ready for liftoff! This will prepare students in the 15-18 age range for entrance to Sydney’s extensive network of public and private high schools, and include both General and Academic English components, together with study skills for High School success as well as Australian cultural familiarisation. Next month we will launch our expanded EAP Course – this will now cover 5 instead of 2 levels, and take students from an IELTS-equivalency of approximately 4.5 to over 7.0 proficiency, so students will be able to prepare for high-level medical degrees as well as postgraduate studies. Another exciting SCIC plan includes the integration with our new sister school Linx Institute, which provides vocational courses and employment opportunities in the growing fields of Aged Care, Child Care, Community Services, and Leadership & Management. We remain hopeful overall that – post COVID-19 vaccine rollout – “pent-up” demand for overseas study will surge and that Australia will become an even more popular study destination, due to its successful containment of the virus and perception as a safe, friendly and SUNNY country!
In January, SCIC joined us for QE Live on Instagram and showed us their school. You can watch the video here.