Our history – Founded in 2011 as an English Language School in East London we taught general English courses and IELTS, but as we saw the potential in recruiting for colleges and universities in 2014 ESL was born.
Our team still has a focus on education and with a staff of 70 a third of them are from academic backgrounds. Over the past 4 years we have gone from a staff of 6 to 70 and now we recruit more than 2500 students for 50 or so universities and colleges we have had partnerships with. We have five offices/schools, three in London and one each in Birmingham and Manchester.
Let me tell you about the student journey we are creating.
A student comes to one of our centres and meets an advisor, we give them an initial assessment to see their level of English. If they are unable to perform well, for example they fall between Pre-Entry and Entry 3 then we put them onto our General English Course. The course is for a few months, but they can stay for as long as they want. All our provisions are free so the student doesn’t have to be governed by costs. We actually had people who joined this and spent eight months on it.
If they fall just below Level 1 then they join our Functional Skills Course and likewise with our Level 2 course. In many instances colleges and universities will admit students on to their Foundation Courses if the student passes with a good Level 2 certification.
We also have HND courses in Business so if that is what the student needs for entry into university they take that course which lasts for between 6 to 8 months.
When a student possesses a high level of English, in all four skills, they sit down with the advisor who goes through all the universities we work with and finds the course that is most suitable. They then come to our training programme. In most cases universities use IELTS as a means of assessment. Or make their own IELTS style test so we teach IELTS. As you are aware IELTS Academic is not only an English assessment test but also one that tests the students ability of functioning in an academic environment, so we do not send the students’ application until we know they can deal with an IELTS test.
Upon becoming successful with their assessment test the student is then helped with all the paperwork and student finance again all free of charge.
Therefore, a student with limited ability can stay with us and go through the whole system and eventually go to university. Over the last few years this has happened over and over again and as a teacher myself all the money in the world cannot buy the satisfaction of having one of these students enter university and change their lives.
But that is the past and present. For the future we want to continue with our service of assisting students into college or university whether they are international or EU, but we also want to work closely with helping British born people into university too. There are many parts of our communities that feel society doesn’t really care or help them. Thankfully our staff have a strong desire to help these people too. So, one of our focuses will be to help and assist UK students.
We also, as an institution, want to expand our educational department. We work with a few colleges to administer their Level 2 or Level 3 courses, but we want to do more. We know the needs of students not only in London but also throughout the country and when universities wish to expand and open their own campus in another major city then we can be in a position to assist them right from recruitment to administering the course for them.
There are so many opportunities out there and most people are unaware of them, but we want to change that and bring people to higher education.
To build a community you need people who care about the wellbeing and welfare of its citizens and we plan to do that. We eventually will become a college ourselves administering courses we believe in and taking the responsibility of changing people’s lives. We do this with an openhearted approach, with the desire and respect needed to help people feel the grace of success.