Belfast Telegraph

Derry company invests in Romanian students

A NORTH West company has secured its first business in Romania.

Londonderry-based North West Academy of English has formed a partnership with a leading college in Bucharest, which will see the first students from the Eastern European country come to the city this year to study English over a period of three months.

The Academy has also won new business in France. The company recently invested £330,000 in sales and marketing activities to attract more students from Europe and other markets to participate in its English courses.

Invest Northern Ireland is providing assistance of £69,927 to an expansion project which is expected to create four new jobs including the appointment of a new sales and marketing professional.

As well as expanding its marketing activities in Europe and China, the Academy is linking up with further education colleges to attract overseas students from sectors such as catering, hospitality, tourism and nursing.

The Academy took part in the recent Invest NI trade mission to the Russian business centres of Moscow and St Petersburg. It has also opened an office at Shenyang in China.

John McGowan, managing director of the North West Academy of English, said: "The Romanian business is an extremely important breakthrough for us in a very challenging marketplace.

"It positions us for continued growth there.

"We've also won additional business in France. Research shows that there are currently two billion students worldwide wishing to study English as a means to improve their career prospects by achieving a recognised qualification."

"By broadening our base we expect to drive exports to 100% of sales and to more than double annual turnover," he added.

The new export successes were welcomed by Des Gartland, manager of Invest NI's North West Regional Office in Derry.