June 2002 issue

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UK Feedback

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Anglo Continental, Bournemouth; Anglo European School of English, Bournemouth; Anglolang Academy, Scarborough; Aspect ILA, Oxford; Barnet College, London; Concorde International, Canterbury; Embassy CES, various; Eurocentres, various; Geos English Academy, Brighton & Hove; Harrow House International College, Swanage; Internexus, London; King Street College, London; Marble Arch Intensive English, London; OISE, Cambridge; School of English Studies, Folkestone; Severnvale Academy, Shrewsbury; St Clares, Oxford; Torbay Language Centre, Paignton; TW Languages for Business, Altrincham; University of Lincoln European Students' Office, Hull; University of Newcastle Language Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The English language students taking part in our UK Feedback survey represented 39 different countries, and many of them had serious study goals in mind.

UK feedback at a glance

Total number of students: 195, female 97, male 94 (unknown 4)

Average age: 24.6 years

Average length of programme in weeks: 19.75

Average number of students per class: 11

Average no. of hours of language tuition per week: 20

% of students who found their course through an agent or educational adviser: 40%

% of students who booked through an agent: 46%

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

% of students who would recommend their school: 84%

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Asia (40%)
Western Europe (29%)
Latin America (11%)
Central and Eastern Europe (10%)
Middle East (8%)
North America/Africa (1%)
Unknown (1%)
1.Japanese (16%)
2.Chinese (13%)
3.Korean (8%)
4.French (6%)
4.Spanish (6%)
4.German (6%)
5.Swiss (5%)
6.Libyan (4%)
6.Brazilian (4%)
7.Colombian (3%)

In my class there are...
Too many students (22%)
Too many students who speak my lang. (22%)
Too many students from one other country (18%)
None of these (35%)
Unknown (3%)

How will you use your English in the future?
For college study in the UK (22%)
For college study in another country (10%)
For college study in my home country (11%)
For current/future work (49%)
For pleasure only (7%)
Unknown (1%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise English with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (16%)
I found it on the Internet (17%)
Recommended by an agent (40%)
Recommended by a friend/relative (26%)
Unknown (1%)
Very easy (11%)
Quite easy (36%)
Quite hard (40%)
Very hard (12%)
Unknown (1%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study? Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser?
Yes (79%)
No (17%)
Unknown (4%)

Yes (47%)
No (49%)
Unknown (4%)

Yes (36%)
No (61%)
Unknown (3%)
Yes (46%)
No (43%)
Unknown (11%)

Standard of your social programme Standard of your academic programme
Excellent (14%)
Good (37%)
Satisfactory (30%)
Poor (9%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (8%)
Excellent (14%)
Good (51%)
Satisfactory (22%)
Poor (6%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (6%)

Standard of your accommodation Standard of the teaching
Excellent (20%)
Good (45%)
Satisfactory (21%)
Poor (7%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (5%)
Excellent (40%)
Good (47%)
Satisfactory (10%)
Poor (1%)
Unknown (2%)

Compared to your home country, the cost of living in the UK is……
Higher (79%)
Lower (6%)
Same (15%)

Student nationality
Across the 21 language teaching centres in the UK that took part in our survey, there was a slight rise in students of Asian nationality this year, compared with last year's survey (see Language Travel Magazine, June 2001, pages 22-23). Notably, Chinese students, who did not figure in the top-five student nationalities last year, were the second-largest student group this year, representing 13 per cent of students. The Japanese remained in the number-one position, while Spanish and French students were higher up the league table behind Koreans at number three. Students from the Middle East had a higher presence this year and Libyans featured in the top ten provider countries (see right).

Student age and motivation
Clearly the most important motivation for students was their current or future work. While some students also signalled that they were learning English for their studies at home or abroad, 49 per cent mentioned work as a motivating factor. A further 22 per cent cited further studies in the UK as their reason for studying abroad, while 11 per cent were learning English for studies at home. Almost half of all students surveyed were in the 20-to-25 year old age bracket and 56 per cent were university students.

Student enrolment
Given the serious reasons for study, it is unsurprising that many students were enrolled on relatively long courses in the UK. The typical length of stay was 19.75 weeks, which is an increase on the 15.5 weeks recorded last year. This may be linked to the university-based programmes that took part in our survey this year, which attract longer-term students. Advertising seems to have become a more relevant recruiting medium for UK schools this year, as the number of students who chose their school because of an advertisement doubled, to reach 16 per cent. Agencies remained the most important recruitment medium, influencing 40 per cent of students, while the number of students who actually booked through an agency was a slightly higher 46 per cent (11 per cent did not specify how they booked).

Standard of the schools
Excluding the five per cent of students who did not answer this question, 89 per cent of students said they would recommend their school to others. The standard of the teachers received particular praise from our respondents, with 40 per cent rating them as excellent and a further 57 per cent classing them as good or satisfactory. In terms of individual nationalities, Chinese students represented almost half of those students who said they would not recommend their school to others.

Living in the UK
Seventy-nine per cent of students said they found the cost of living in the UK to be higher than in their home country. Of those who found it cheaper or the same cost as at home, students from Switzerland and Japan were well represented.