January 2003 issue

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

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Australia feedback

Agents play an important role in the recruitment of students to Australia, as shown in this issue's Feedback survey of students studying English at language schools throughout the country.

Australia feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 298: female 136, male 160, unknown 2
Average age in years: 23.76
Average length of programme in weeks: 17.5
Average number of students per class: 13
Average no. of hours of language tuition per week: 21.2
% of students who found their course through an agent or educational adviser: 57%
% of students who booked through an agent: 64%
% of students who had been on another language programme: 24%
% of students who would recommend their school: 86%:unknown 4%

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Asia (76%)
W Europe (14%)
Latin America (7%)
Middle East (1%)
Others/unknown (2%)
1.Japanese (23%)
2.Chinese (18%)
3.Korean (10%)
3.Thai (10%)
4.Taiwanese (8%)
5.German (5%)
6.Swiss (4%)
7.Brazilian (3%)
8.Indonesian (2%)
Bangladeshi (2%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (19%)
Too many students who speak my language (16%)
Too many students from one other country (13%)
None of these (48%)
Unknown (4%)
For college study in Australia (48%)
For college study in another English-speaking country (7%)
For college study in my home country (8%)
For current or future work (30%)
For pleasure only (4%)
Unknown (3%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise English with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (4%)
I found it on the Internet (16%)
It was recommended by an agent (57%)
It was recommended by a friend/relative (22%)
Unknown (1%)
Very easy (6%)
Quite easy (35%)
Quite hard (48%)
Very hard (9%)
Unknown (2%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? Standard of your social programme
Yes (64%)
No (32%)
Unknown (4%)
Excellent (16%)
Good (38%)
Satisfactory (34%)
Poor (5%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (5%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (17%)
Good (54%)
Satisfactory (24%)
Poor (1%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (3%)
Excellent (24%)
Good (37%)
Satisfactory (28%)
Poor (3%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (6%)

Standard of the teaching What do you like most about Australia?
Excellent (48%)
Good (40%)
Satisfactory (9%)
Unsatisfactory/poor (1%)
Unknown (2%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (15%)
No (80%)
Unknown (5%)

Yes (37%)
No (59%)
Unknown (4%)

Yes (58%)
No (36%)
Unknown (6%)

Student nationality
Australia has always been popular with Asian language travel students, but in recent years the market's reliance on Asian nationalities has eased. This trend was evident in our previous Australia Feedback surveys which tracked a declining share for Asia for four consecutive years (see Language Travel Magazine, February 2002, pages 18-19). However, in this year's Feedback survey, the proportion of Asian students who took part in our survey was up from 48 per cent last year to 76 per cent. The growth in market share of Asian students can be attributed to Australia's popularity over the USA as a safe destination - which particularly affected the Japanese market - and the rising number of Chinese students taking a language course in Australia.

Student age and motivation
The main motivation for taking a language course in Australia was academic reasons, as opposed to learning the language for work purposes, which was the number-one motivating factor last year. Forty-eight per cent of students were learning English for college studies in Australia, compared with only 25 per cent last year. Of those who said they were learning English for their further studies in Australia, 78 per cent were from Asia. Thirty per cent of respondents this year said they were learning the language for current or future work, compared with 52 per cent last year.

Student enrolment
Agents were extremely important in the enrolment of the students who took part in our survey this year. Fifty-seven per cent of our respondents said they had first heard about their school through an educational adviser or agent, with the proportion of those who booked through an agent rising to 64 per cent. Of the 121 students who gave reasons why they had chosen their particular school, 38 per cent said it was as a result of the recommendation of an agent, while a further 31 per cent said it was recommended to them by friends or relatives. Sixteen per cent said the location of the school had been a deciding factor, while eight per cent indicated it had been the price that had swayed their decision and a further four per cent mentioned the schools' facilities.

Standard of the schools
Overall, students were quite satisfied with their schools. Eighty-eight per cent rated their teachers as excellent or good, while 85 per cent said their academic programme was at least good. Ninety per cent considered the social programme to be excellent, good or satisfactory. Accommodation was also at least satisfactory according to 89 per cent of respondents (44 per cent of students were staying with host families).

Living in Australia
Forty-nine per cent of our respondents found the cost of living in Australia to be higher than at home. This included 93 per cent of Thai, 77 per cent of Chinese and 65 per cent of Taiwanese students. In addition, all of our Brazilian respondents said the cost of living was higher in Australia than at home.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Australian Centre for Languages, Sydney, NSW; Australian International College of Language, Southport, QLD; Burleigh Heads Language Centre, Burleigh Heads, QLD; Calusa, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA; Cambridge English Language Centre, Sydney, NSW; East Coast College of English, Brisbane, QLD; English College of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA; Eynesbury College, Adelaide, SA; Geos Melbourne School of English, Melbourne, VIC; Institute of Continuing & Tesol Education, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD; Intensive English language Institute, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA; Language Studies International, Brisbane, QLD; Milner International College of English, Perth, WA; Pacific Gateway International College, Brisbane, QLD; Phoenix Academy, Fremantle, WA; Regent Language Centre, Port Douglas, QLD; SA Adelaide Language Centre, Adelaide, SA; Sydney English Language Centre, Sydney, NSW; South Australian College of English, Adelaide, SA; Sydney West International College, Westmead, NSW; Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC; Sydney Institute of Tafe, Sydney, NSW; University of New England, Brisbane, QLD; University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, QLD.

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