July 2005 issue

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

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Malta feedback

The reputation of Malta as solely a young person's destination is definitely out of date, as this year's Feedback survey reveals that older, business-oriented students also study English in the country.

Malta feedback at a glance
Total number of students: female 58, male 40 (unknown 3) 101

Average age in years: 27

Average length of programme in weeks: 13.2

Average number of students in class: 8.6

Average number of hours language tuition per week: 19

% of students who found their course through an agent: 43

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 78

% of students who had been on another lang. programme: 28

% of students who would recommend their school: 93

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W Europe (49%)
Asia (23%)
C & E Europe (18%)
Middle East (3%)
South America (5%)
Unknown (2%)
1. Chinese (17%)
2. German (15%)
3. Swiss (11%)
3. Swedish (11%)
5. Turkish (8%)
6. Japanese (6%)
7. Italian (5%)
7. Russian (5%)
7. Colombian (5%)
10. Spanish (4%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (9%)
Too many students who speak my language (26%)
Too many students from one other country (2%)
None of these (59%)
Unknown (4%)
For college study in Malta (9%)
For university study in another country (18%)
For university studies at home (10%)
For corrent/future work (53%)
For pleasure only (10%)

How did you find your programme? Standard of your social programme
Recommended by a friend/relative (21%)
Recommended by an agent (43%)
I found it on the internet (31%)
I saw it advertised (5%)
Excellent (10%)
Good (40%)
Satisfactory (28%)
Unsatisfactory (6%)
Poor (5%)
Unknown (11%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of the teaching
Excellent (19%)
Good (64%)
Satisfactory (8%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (7%)
Excellent (49%)
Good (40%)
Satisfactory (8%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (2%)

Standard of your accommodation Student occupation
Excellent (15%)
Good (34%)
Satisfactory (30%)
Unsatisfactory (10%)
Poor (2%)
Unknown (10%)
University college student (35%)
Business (31%)
Teacher (5%)
High school student (2%)
Other (22%)
Unknown (4%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (70%)
No (19%)
Unknown (11%)

Yes (31%)
No (57%)
Unknown (12%)

Yes (38%)
No (49%)
Unknown (13%)

Student nationality
For the first time, Chinese students were the most numerous in our Malta survey, and although six students were all at the same school, the other Chinese survey participants were studying at a range of schools. Chinese students have overtaken Germans to be the number-one nationality, with Germans relegated to second place. Swedish students rose up the league table this year, although many were studying at the same institution. Swiss and Turkish students also increased in number.

Student profile
The average age of students has increased since we undertook our previous Feedback survey of Malta (see Language Travel Magazine, October 2004, pages 14-15). This year';s survey was conducted outside the summer season and therefore involved fewer of the younger clientele. Nevertheless, it does indicate that Malta has successfully built up its out-of-season business with older language learners. Forty-three per cent of the 101 students in our survey were over the age of 26, and 31 per cent of students were business people. The average length of stay was 13.2 weeks – up from six weeks last year. However, the most typical length of stay was two weeks, but the high proportion of students studying for a longer period of time – up to a year – brought up the overall average.

Student enrolment
The proportion of students booking through agencies is up again, for the second time in a row. Last year, 44 per cent of students found their school via an agency and 61 per cent booked through an agency. This year, 43 per cent of students initially found their school through an agency, but 78 per cent of clients booked at an agency – one of the highest levels of agent usage in any student market. When asked specifically why they had chosen their school, some students gave interesting answers, including the fact that their school had a gym, had a beach club, was small or was cheap – or at least, cheaper than the UK.

Motivation and satisfaction
Most students seemed satisfied with their school, with 93 per cent of students saying they would recommend it to others, while four per cent did not give a verdict. The teachers were most highly thought of, with 89 per cent of respondents judging them to be excellent or good. The accommodation and social programmes were not so well thought of, however, with only half of the total respondents (49 per cent and 50 per cent respectively) saying these were excellent or good. A further 10 per cent found their accommodation unsatisfactory and six per cent thought the same of their social programme. In terms of motivation, current or future work was cited by 53 per cent of students as the reason for their trip.

Living in Malta
Seventy-six per cent of respondents found it quite or very easy to practise their English with locals and only 44 per cent found Malta to be more expensive than their home countries, so Malta fared quite well on these local living factors. The proportion of students staying with host families had declined since last year from a figure of 51 per cent to just 21 per cent, with many more students staying in residential accommodation this year.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
Britannia College, Valletta; Clubclass Residential Language School, St Julians; Easy School of Languages, Valletta; EC Malta, St Julians; English Language Academy, Sliema; Geos Malta, Sliema; IELS, Sliema; Inlingua, Sliema; Linguatime, Sliema; Magister Academy, St Julians; NSTS, Valletta.

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