February 2004 issue

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New Zealand feedback

Although the number of Chinese students who took part in this issue's Feedback survey was much lower than last year, Asians still make up a huge proportion of English language students in New Zealand.

New Zealand feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 161 - female 83, male 77 (unknown 1)

Average age in years: 23.6

Average length of programme in weeks: 18.1

Average number of students per class: 8.6

Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 23

% of students who found their course through an agent: 46

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 58

% of students who had been on another language programme: 19

% of students who would recommend their school: 87

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Asia (86%)
Western Europe (8%)
Eastern Europe (2%)
Middle East (2%)
Unknown/other (2%)
1.Japanese (30%)
2.Chinese (23%)
3.Korean (22%)
4.German (5%)
5.Taiwanese (4%)
5.Vietnamese (4%)
6.Saudi Arabian (3%)
7.Indonesian (1%)
7.Italian (1%)
7.Swiss (1%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (16%)
Too many students who speak my language (24%)
Too many students from one other country (16%)
None of these (41%)
Unknown (3%)
For college study in New Zealand (25%)
For college study in another English-speaking country (8%)
For college study in my home country (13%)
For current or future work (45%)
For current or future work (45%)
Unknown (1%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise English with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (5%)
I found it on the Internet (20%)
Recommended by an agent (46%)
Recommended by a friend/relative (29%)
Very easy (5%)
Quite easy (29%)
Quite hard (55%)
Very hard (11%)

Standard of the teaching Standard of your academic programme
Excellent (39%)
Good (51%)
Satisfactory (9%)
Poor (0%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Excellent (11%)
Good (53%)
Satisfactory (29%)
Poor (3%)
Unsatisfactory (0%)
Unknown (4%)

Standard of your accommodation Standard of your social programme?
Excellent (22%)
Good (34%)
Satisfactory (34%)
Poor (5%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (4%)
Excellent (11%)
Good (34%)
Satisfactory (39%)
Poor (8%)
Unknown (8%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? What do you like most about New Zealand?
Yes (58%)
No (35%)
Unknown (7%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (76%)
No (22%)
Unknown (2%)

Yes (58%)
No (40%)
Unknown (2%)

Yes (40%)
No (56%)
Unknown (4%)

Student nationality
Asia remains the dominant student provider region in New Zealand, accounting for 86 per cent of respondents in our latest survey. However, the proportion of Chinese students - who dominated the market in our last survey with a 67 per cent share - dropped to 23 per cent in our survey of 2003 trends. Japanese students were the single largest nationality, at 30 per cent, up from nine per cent, while Koreans came in third place with a 22 per cent market share, behind Chinese. Western Europeans accounted for only eight per cent of total respondents, with Germans being the largest single nationality within this group, but accounting for just five per cent of total students.

Student age and motivation
As a direct result of the significant drop in Chinese students last year, who generally study English as a gateway into further education, there has also been a shift in the main reason students gave for studying in New Zealand. The main reason students said they were learning English was for current or future work, which accounted for 45 per cent of replies, compared with 33 per cent previously. Learning English for further studies in New Zealand was the motivating factor for 25 per cent of students last year, compared with 49 per cent in our 2002 survey. In addition, at 23.6 years, the average age of students in this survey was significantly higher than the 21 year old average in 2002.

Student enrolment
Although a respectable 46 per cent of students had first found out about their chosen school through an educational adviser or agent, this was down by 21 percentage points on the results of our previous survey. This may be owing to the huge slide in Chinese numbers again, as agent usage in China is extremely high. Twenty per cent of students claimed to have found out about their school on the Internet, compared with only 11 per cent previously, and word-of-mouth recommendation was also up from 16 per cent in 2002 to 29 per cent in this survey. Only 19 per cent of students had been on a language travel programme before, most of whom had taken an English course in the USA, UK or Australia.

Standard of the schools
With fewer Chinese students at schools in New Zealand, the satisfaction rate of respondents has increased. In 2002, 74 per cent of students said they would recommend their school to others, while last year 87 per cent said they would do so. When we asked students about the nationality mix of their class, 24 per cent said that there were too many of their own nationality, 92 per cent of whom were either Chinese, Japanese or Korean. This is not surprising given that these three nationalities accounted for 75 per cent of our total respondents. However, the majority of students did seem satisfied with individual elements of their courses. The standard of the teaching was said to be either excellent or good by 90 per cent of students, while the standards of the academic programmes and the social programmes were rated at least good by 93 per cent and 84 per cent of students respectively.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: ACG English School, Auckland; ASL Advanced School of English, Auckland; Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre, Whitianga; Dynaspeak English, Auckland; Garden City English School, Christchurch; International English Institute, Christchurch; Lincoln University English Language School, Canterbury; Seafield School of English, Christchurch; University of Otago Language Centre, Otago; Worldwide School of English, Auckland.
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