April 2006 issue

Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
City Focus

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Feedback UK

A rapid decline in Chinese students and a move away from learning English for university study marked out this year's trends in our Feedback Survey of the UK.

UK feedback at a glance
Total number of students: female 94, male 46 (unknown 10) 150

Average age in years: 24

Average length of programme in weeks: 16.2

Average number of students per class: 9.5

Average number of hours of lang. tuition per week: 20.3

% of students who found their course through an agent: 50

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 60

% of students who had been on another language programme: 27

% of students who would recommend their school: 91

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W Europe (35%)
Asia (27%)
C & E Europe (15%)
C & L America (19%)
Middle East (1%)
Africa (1%)
Unknown (2%)
1. Japanese (11%)
1. Swiss (11%)
3. Brazilian (10%)
3. Korean (10%)
5. French (8%)
6. Italian (5%)
6. Russian (5%)
8. Mexican (4%)
8. Thaiwanese (4%)
8. Colombian (2%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (7%)
Too many students who speak my language (19%)
Too many students from one other countries (7%)
None of these (64%)
Unknown (3%)
College study in the UK (14%)
College study elsewhere (6%)
College study at home (15%)
Current or fututre work (58%)
For pleasure only (6%)
Unknown (1%)

How did you find your programme? Standard of the teaching
It was recommended by an agent (50%)
It was recommended by a friend/relative (29%)
II found it on the Internet (16%)
I saw it advertised (3%)
No reply (2%)
Excellent (59%)
Good (38%)
Satisfactory (1%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (21%)
Good (56%)
Satisfactory (11%)
Poor (1%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (10%)
Excellent (30%)
Good (31%)
Satisfactory (16%)
Poor (1%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (9%)

Standard of your social programme? What is your accomodation while in the UK?
Excellent (17%)
Good (45%)
Satisfactory (27%)
Poor (6%)
Unsatisfactory (3%)
Unknown (14%)
Host family (60%)
Residential/single room (17%)
Residential/dormitory (6%)
Other / unknown (16%)
No reply (1%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (86%)
No (12%)
Unknown (2%)

Yes (61%)
No (37%)
Unknown (2%)

Yes (33%)
No (64%)
Unknown (3%)

Student nationality
The most notable change in this year's UK Feedback survey, which canvassed students at both private and tertiary language centres, is the glaring lack of Chinese students compared with the results of our previous surveys of separate sectors. Last year, Chinese students made up 24 per cent of the total student body in the UK tertiary sector - the largest student nationality represented - and nine per cent in the private sector, the second largest nationality (see Language Travel Magazine, April 2005, pages 16-17 and August 2005, pages 18-19). This year, the figure was one per cent across both sectors. Some schools pointed out that this trend was not the norm across their year-round student body but our survey could indicate that a recent increase in visa refusals for Chinese students coming to the UK, as reported in our most recent UK Market Report, is taking its toll on this valuable student market (see Language Travel Magazine, October 2005, page 29).

Student motivation
Another important trend noted in this year's survey, possibly related to lower numbers of Chinese (and Asian students in general), was the decrease in students who said that they were learning English in order to go on to study in the UK or another English-speaking destination. Last year, 38 per cent of language students in the private sector and 68 per cent of those in tertiary institutions gave this as their motivating factor for study, compared with just 20 per cent of respondents this year. The predominant reason given for a language travel trip in our current survey was work reasons, cited by 58 per cent of students.

Student enrolment
Agency recommendation remained the most common way for students to find a language course, with 50 per cent of respondents initially finding out about their school from an agency, and 60 per cent booking their programme through an agency. Last year, the tertiary sector revealed less of a reliance on agents, although similar figures of 50 per cent and 62 per cent for finding and booking a programme were charted in the private sector survey. When asked why they chose a particular school, students mentioned the usual reasons of price, location and reputation, and for some, the fact that their school was accredited by the British Council played a major role in their decision-making process.

Standard of the schools
Satisfaction levels among our student respondents were generally high, with 91 per cent of students saying that they would recommend their course. The most popular accommodation option was host family, chosen by 60 per cent of respondents, and 89 per cent of these found it to be at least satisfactory. A further 23 per cent of students were in residential accommodation, and of these, 71 per cent found their accommodation to be at least satisfactory. Of the 19 per cent of students who said there were too many students speaking their own language in their class, 25 per cent were Swiss (the joint-top nationality with Japanese).

Living in the UK
Eighty-five per cent of respondents said that the cost of living in the UK was higher than in their own countries, 13 per cent said that it was the same and just one per cent said it was lower.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
Embassy CES, Cambridge; Embassy CES, Oxford; Eurolang, Scarborough; European Centre of English Languages, Brighton; Gloscat, Cheltenham; Hampstead School of English, London; Lake School of English, Oxford; Language Studies International, Brighton; Live Language, Glasgow; Regent, Margate; Regent, Oxford; St Giles International, Brighton; St Giles International, London; Sidmouth International School, Sidmouth; University of Edinburgh IALS, Edinburgh; The English Studio, London; University of Glasgow EFL unit, Glasgow; Wimbledon School of English, London.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.




Asociacion Gallega
      de Escuelas de
      Espanol - AGAES
English Australia
English in the North

GSM International

Malta Tourism
English Australia

Bow Valley College
Richmond School
      District #38

Aspect (Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand,
      Scotland, South
      Africa, Spain, USA)
Bell International
English in the North
GSM International
LAL Language and
      Leisure (England,
      Malta, South Africa,
Langbourne College
Leeds English
      Language School
Malvern House
Millfield Enterprises
Oxford House
Queen Ethelburga's
Regency College
Sheffield Hallam
St Giles Colleges
      (UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
      Study Centre
Wayfarer School of
      English (Oxford)
West London
      Business College

Le Génie des

Die Neue Schule
Inlingua Berlin
Lichtenberg Kolleg
Prolog- International
      House Berlin
Teikyo University
      Berlin Campus

      Educational &
      Cultural Services

Alpha College of
High Schools
      International (HSI)
      (England, Australia,
      Canada, Ireland,
Language Centre of

EC - English
      Language Centres
      (England, Malta)
Malta Tourism

Quest Romania

Liden & Denz
      Language Centre

Asociacion Gallega
      de Escuelas de
      Espanol - AGAES
Eugenia International
International House
      Sevilla - CLIC
Kings College
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Japan, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Spain, Switzerland,

Odessa Language
      Study Centre

American Language
Bridge - Linguatec
California School of
Global Language
Kaplan Educational
      Centers (Canada,
      England, USA)
University of Illinois
      at Urbana-
University of
      Nebraska at Lincoln
Zoni Language


Global Lifestyles

Twin Group
Work Experience UK

Contact Europe
French in Normandy

Alpha College of

Academia Iria Flavia
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL