December 2002 issue

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

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Ireland Feedback

Ireland's English language student body is becoming increasingly diverse, and agents are more important than ever as a means of student recruitment.
Ireland feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 103: female 55, male 48

Average age in years: 24.6

Average length of programme in weeks: 9.6

Average number of students per class: 8

Average no. of hours of language tuition per week: 21

% of students who found their course through an agent or educational adviser: 52%

% of students who booked through an agent: 56%

% of students who had been on another language programme: 34%

% of students who would recommend their school: 90%

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Asia 31%
Central and Eastern Europe 7%
Western Europe 53%
South America 5%
Unknown 4%
1.Spanish 20%
2.Chinese 19%
3.Italian 14%
4.German 12%
5.Japanese 6%
6.Korean 5%
7.French 4%
8.Colombian 2%
9.Turkish 2%
10.All other countries 1%

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students 8%
Too many students who speak my language 20%
Too many students from one other country 9%
None of these 63%

For college study in Ireland 15%
For college study in another English-speaking country 9%
For college study in my home country 20%
For current or future work 46%
For pleasure only 10%

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise English with native speakers?
I saw it advertised 6%
I found it on the Internet 20%
It was recommended by an agent 52%
It was recommended by a friend/relative 19%
Unknown 3%
Very easy 10%
Quite easy 41%
Quite hard 45%
Very hard 3%
Unknown 1%

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? Standard of your social programme
Yes 56%
No 37%
Unknown 7%
Excellent 9%
Good 43%
Satisfactory 34%
Poor 4%
Unsatisfactory 1%
Unknown 9%

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent 16%
Good 43%
Satisfactory 31%
Poor 2%
Unknown 8%
Excellent 33%
Good 29%
Satisfactory 24%
Poor 5%
Unsatisfactory 2%
Unknown 7%

Standard of the teaching Compared to your home country, the cost of living in Ireland is...
Excellent 46%
Good 43%
Satisfactory 8%
Poor 1%
Unknown 2%
Higher 81%
Lower 3%
Same 16%

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (68%)
No (27%)
Unknown (5%)

Yes (51%)
No (43%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (31%)
No (60%)
Unknown (9%)

Student nationality
Across the 10 English language schools that took part in our Feedback survey this year, there was a large spread of nationalities, from countries as disparate as Venezuela, Poland and Libya. There were notably more South American nationalities this year, compared with last year's survey (see Language Travel Magazine, December 2001, pages 18-19). The number of Chinese also increased to represent the second-largest student nationality in Ireland, after Spanish, while Japanese numbers noticeably declined from 18 per cent last year to six per cent this year. Overall, Western Europeans accounted for 54 per cent of total enrolments, a slightly lower figure than shown in last year's survey.

Student age and motivation
Fifty per cent of students were aged between 20 and 25 years old, with a further 13 per cent aged from 26 to 30. It follows, therefore, that over half of the 103 students that we surveyed said they were currently students, although 46 per cent said they were learning English for current or future work purposes. Fifteen per cent of students were studying to prepare for college study in Ireland - including 75 per cent of all Chinese students - while 20 per cent said they would use their English skills for college study in their own county.

Student enrolment
The average length of stay in Irish schools has increased on last year, from 7.6 weeks to 9.6 weeks this year. However, the market continues to show indications that it attracts many short-term Western European students, as most of the 58 per cent of respondents enrolled on courses of six weeks or under were from Western Europe. In terms of recruitment, agents continue to be the most important student recruitment channel, with 52 per cent of students choosing their course because of an agent, and 56 per cent booking via an agency.

Standard of the schools
Most students seemed pleased with their class size, which averaged eight students per class, although 20 per cent said there were too many students of their own nationality. Overall, 90 per cent of students said they would recommend their school, while three per cent did not reply. Looking at specific areas of the language learning programme, the teachers received the highest accolade, with 89 per cent of students rating them as good or excellent. Fifty-nine per cent said the same of their academic programme, while just 52 per cent agreed that the social programme was good or excellent.

Living in Ireland
Host family accommodation was the most popular choice for living arrangements, with 60 per cent of students living with Irish families. A further 26 per cent were in residential accommodation. Sixty-two per cent of students voted accommodation as good or excellent, with a further 24 per cent deeming it satisfactory. The typical spend per week on course and accommodation increased from e250 last year to e344.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
Alpha College of English, Dublin; Aspect ILA, Dublin; Centre of English Studies, Dublin; Clare Language Centre, Ennis; Cork English College, Cork; Dorset College, Dublin; Dublin City University Language Services, Dublin; Dublin School of English, Dublin; Geos English Academy, Dublin; Sherkin Island English Language Centre, Sherkin Island.

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