June 2009 issue

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UK feedback

Asia lost a chunk of its market share in this year’s Feedback survey on the UK. Meanwhile, Middle Eastern students proved to be an increasingly important source market for UK education providers.

UK feedback at a glance

Total number of students: (female 88, male 71, unknown 11) 170
Average age in years: 26.2
Average length of programme in weeks:
Average number of students in class:
Average number of hours of language tuition per week:
% of students who found out about their course through an agent:
% of students who booked through an agent or adviser:
% of students who had been on another language programme:
% of students who would recommend their school:

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
1. Asia 28%
2. W Europe 22%
3. Middle East 22%
4. C & E Europe 13%
5. Latin America 8%
6. Africa 2%
No reply 5%
1. Chinese 10%
1. Saudi Arabian 10%
3. Korean 8%
3. Libyan 8%
5. French 6%
5. Japanese 6%
7. Spanish 5%
8. Colombian 3.5%
8. Turkish 3.5%
10. German 3%
10. Brazilian 3%

In my class there are... How easy is it to practise your language skills with native speakers?
1. The right number of students (56%)
2. Too many students (14%)
3. Too many students from one other country (13%)
3. Too many students who speak my language (13%)
No reply (4%)
1. Quite easy (42%)
2. Quite hard (38%)
3. Very hard (10.5%)
4. Very easy (9%)
No reply (0.5%)

How did you find your programme? Did you book your course through an agent or an educational adviser?
1. Recommended by an agent (33%)
1. Recommended by a friend/relative (33%)
3. I found it on the internet (27%)
4. I saw it advertised (2%)
No reply 5%
Yes (43%)
No (51%)
Unknown (6%)

Student reasons for school selection included:
“The course is affordable and the school is located in London so it’s very convenient”
“Because it was recommended by the travel agency which has a good reputation in my country”
“Because my friend told me the teachers are good and cooperative”
“Because there are few Japanese so I thought that I could have a lot of chance to improve my English skills”
“The factors were; location, recognised by the British Council, Internet and appearance”

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (89%)
No (9%)
Unknown (2%)
Yes (62%)
No (33%)
Unknown (5%)
Yes (34%)
No (60%)
Unknown (6%)

Student nationality
UK providers continue to attract a diverse range of student nationalities. Overall, a total of 38 different nationalities took part in our survey on the UK this year, compared with 32 previously (see LTM, May 2008, pages 36-37). Although Asia remains important, it no longer dominates enrolment data. Just 28 per cent of all survey respondents hailed from this world region this year, down from 37 per cent previously. Last year’s joint market leaders (Korea and Thailand) regressed with Koreans making up just eight per cent of all respondents (compared with nine per cent in 2008), while Thai students dropped out of the top 10 entirely with just three per cent of the student body. Having disappeared from the poll of top nationalities last year, China managed to secure joint first place with Saudi Arabia (both achieving a 10 per cent share of the marketplace). The most notable trend is the surge of Middle Eastern students opting to study in the UK. This world region secured a 22 per cent slice of the pie this year, compared with just two per cent in 2008.

Student motivation
A greater number of our student respondents (42 per cent) indicated that they currently used English for their studies at home compared with the 28 per cent that said they already used English at work. A further 16 per cent reported that they presently used English for both studies and work purposes. Current or future employment, however, was the predominant reason given for a language travel trip abroad, cited by 42 per cent of students. This was followed by further studies in the UK (28 per cent, compared with 20 per cent in 2008, which may reflect more Saudi scholarship students in our survey) and university study at home (14 per cent).

Student enrolment
Primary agent usage slowed again this year with just 33 per cent of respondents initially finding out about their school via an agency, compared with 37 per cent in 2008. And the number of students booking via an agency was 43 per cent, compared with 50 per cent previously. Students valued the opinion of friends and family as much as an agency (also 33 per cent) with the Internet chiefly used by 27 per cent of students. Other factors that influenced students’ decisions about where to study included price, reputation and whether or not a school was British Council-accredited.

Standard of the schools
Class sizes ranged from one to 20, although 42 per cent of all classes contained more than 11 students. Averaging out at nine students per class, just 14 per cent complained that there were too many individuals per lesson. Of those that shared this opinion, 19 per cent were Chinese. Meanwhile, 90 per cent of the student base said they would happily recommend their school to others, down slightly on the 94 per cent recorded in our previous survey.

Living in the UK
The average cost of a one-week course, including accommodation, was estimated to be UK£315 (US$472), a marked increase on the UK£258.90 (US$388) recorded last year. However, it should be noted that several respondents claimed that their average spend per week was at least UK£1,000 (US$1,499)! Seventy-nine per cent of students surveyed found the cost of living to be higher than in their home countries – a majority of whom were either Saudi (12 per cent) or Chinese (12 per cent).

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Anglophiles Academic, London; Bloomsbury International, London; Bury Language School, Bury St Edmonds; Centre of English Studies, London; Foyle Language School, Derry, N. Ireland; Glasgow School of English, Glasgow; Harrogate Tutorial College, Harrogate; Intensive School of English, Brighton; International House Salisbury, Salisbury; The Lake School of English, Oxford; Leeds English Language School, Leeds; Live Language, Glasgow; Manchester Academy of English, Manchester; Oswestry School, Oswestry; Riversdown House, Warnford; St George’s School for Girls, Edinburgh; St Giles, various; Stafford House School of English, Canterbury; Waterloo School of English, London; Wimbledon School of English, London.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.





Britannia Student

English Australia
Feltom Malta  
International House
      World Organisation
Languages Canada /
      Langues Canada  
Perth Education City

Feltom Malta  
LTM Star Awards  

Hub and Spoke
      Connections Limited

Malta Tourism

BASP (Buenos Aires
      Spanish School)
Ecela - Latin
      (Argentina, Chile,
Ability Education
Embassy CES  
English Australia  
Geos Oceania
      (Australia, New
Language Studies
      (Canada, France,
Pacific Gateway
      International College
Perth Education City
Southbank Institute
      Of Technology  
University of
University of Western
      Sydney College  

Berlitz Canada
Bow Valley College
Camber College
English Bay College
Hansa Language
      Centre of Toronto  
IH Toronto  
King George
      International College
Languages Canada /
      Langues Canada  
Ottawa International
      Student Programmes
Richmond School
      District #38  
Stewart College of
Vancouver English

Bell International 
      (Malta, UK) 
International House
      World Organisation
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
London Metropolitan
Malvern House
      College London  
Shakespeare College
St Clare's Oxford
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
Queen Ethelburga's
Twin Group
      (Ireland, UK, USA)
University of Essex -

Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France  
Universite de Paris
SILC - Séjours
      (England, France,

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

Genki Japanese
      and Culture School  
Kai Japanese
      Language School  
      Language School  

      University of Creative

Clubclass Residential
      Language School  
Feltom Malta  
Malta Tourism

The University
      Of Auckland -
      Massey University  

Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute  

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Costa Rica,
      Ecuador, England,
      France, Germany,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Singapore,
      South Africa, Spain,

Angelo State
Arizona State
Brown University  
inlingua Language
      Service Center  
Syracuse University
University of Arizona
University of
      California Riverside  
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)