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UK English language courses are popular, but UK visa difficulties are not

Even though some Libyan students currently face difficulties obtaining UK visas, there appeared no shortage of interest in an event to promote English language courses in Britain.

A steady flow of visitors to the two-day exhibition and seminar at Tripoli’s Radisson Blu hotel surprised and pleased organisers. On this last day of the event there were around 600 potential students, all eager to improve their English.

“The event was well received,” Annie Wright from English UK, one of the organisers, told the Libya Herald “It exceeded our expectations.

“A lot of them spoke good English” she said, “and most of them had a good idea what they needed”.

One requirement that both the exhibitors from more than dozen UK-based English language schools, and some of their visitors agreed upon, was the difficulty in obtaining visas to go to Britain to study.

There have been complaints on social media about the difficulty of obtaining study visas from the British embassy in Tripoli.

Indeed the show included a briefing on applying for visa, which emphasised to need to ensure that the forms are filled in fully and correctly.

“We held the sessions to help clarify the problems some students face in acquiring their visas,”said  Sami Alyagobi, country product manager at Education First.

Shane Wilkinson, managing director at Bournemouth Business School International explained “ The visa system we have [in the UK] is designed to allow in only genuine students. Students who apply to study need to understand very clearly, that they have to make sure that their applications are one hundred percent correct and contain every piece of information requested.”

“It was a great delight to come to Libya. This is our first mission in the country.” John Lopez, higher education and international manager at Harrow College, told the Libya Herald. “It’s been very good. People have been so interested that I ran out of brochures.”

Lopez added that Harrow College had agreed with both Tripoli and Sirte universities to provide teacher training for Libyan English language teachers.

On the first day of the event, there was a number of workshops, including on the methods and approaches to teaching English, the development of English-language courses for specific purposes , quality assurance at English language schools and how to choose the right one.