March 2004 issue

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Australia feedback

Australian language schools are attracting more students from outside Asia and our Feedback survey this year shows that students are appreciating the student mix in their classrooms as a result.

Australia feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 133 - female 69, male 63 (unknown 1)

Average age in years: 23.4

Average length of programme in weeks: 16.9

Average number of students per class: 11.2

Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 26

% of students who found their course through an agent: 52

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 68

% of students who had been on another language programme: 24

% of students who would recommend their school: 82

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Asia (60%)
W Europe (24%)
Latin America (8%)
C & E Europe (3%)
Middle East (2%)
Africa (1%)
Unknown/Others (2%)
1.Chinese (18%)
2.Japanese (16%)
3.Korean (13%)
4.German (10%)
5.Thai (5%)
6.Swiss (4%)
6.French (4%)
7.Taiwanese (3%)
7.Colombian (3%)
7.Italian (3%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (10.5%)
Too many students who speak my language (15%)
Too many students from one other country (13%)
None of these (60%)
Unknown (1.5%)
For university study in Australia (34%)
For university study in another country (7%)
For university studies at home (12%)
For my current or future work (34.5%)
For pleasure only (4.5%)
Unknown (8%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (13.5%)
Good (51%)
Satisfactory (28.5%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (4%)
Excellent (23%)
Good (44%)
Satisfactory (23%)
Poor (5%)
Unsatisfactory (0%)
Unknown (5%)

Standard of your social programme? Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser?
Excellent (17%)
Good (51%)
Satisfactory (23%)
Poor (5%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (2%)
Yes (68%)
No (27%)
Unknown (5%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise English with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (7%)
I found it on the Internet (15%)
Recommended by an agent (52%)
Recommended by a friend/relative (25%)
Unknown (1%)
Very easy (7%)
Quite easy (38%)
Quite hard (46%)
Very hard (9%)

Standard of the teaching What do you like most about Australia?
Excellent (37%)
Good (51%)
Satisfactory (9%)
Poor (1%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (1%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (87%)
No (10%)
Unknown (3%)

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

Yes (45%)
No (52%)
Unknown (3%)

Student nationality
The two most noticeable changes that distinguished this year's Australian Feedback survey from our 2003 survey, in terms of student nationality, were a decrease in the number of students from Asia and a rise in students from Western, Central and Eastern Europe. Asian student numbers decreased from 76 per cent of total respondents last year to 60 per cent this year, while students from Western, Central and Eastern Europe increased from 14 per cent last year to 27 per cent this year (see Language Travel Magazine, January 2003, pages 16-17). Nevertheless, Chinese students made up the largest nationality group this year, overtaking the Japanese who were in top place in our previous survey.

Student age and motivation
Learning English for university study in Australia or for current or future work purposes were the two most popular reasons for undertaking a study trip, with 68.5 per cent of students pointing to these reasons as their motivation. Overall, 41 per cent of our Asian respondents were learning English in order to go on to university in Australia, while 26 per cent were studying the language for current or future work purposes. Forty-three per cent of students from Western Europe were learning English for their work and a further 34 per cent were studying for their university studies at home.

Student enrolment
Bookings through agents increased from 64 per cent of students last year to 68 per cent this year. Agent usage was particularly high among our Asian respondents, with 66 per cent of them going through an agent to book their course. Of the students who answered the question, 30 per cent admitted that they chose the school solely due to the recommendation of their agent, while a further 24 per cent said that price was a more important factor and 13 per cent chose the school due to the fact that there were few other students of their nationality already studying there.

Standard of the schools
Overall, the standard of teachers in Australia receiving the highest student rating, with 88 per cent of students saying that they were either excellent or good. The social programmes were voted excellent or good by 68 per cent of students and 67 per cent thought the same of their accommodation. Sixty per cent were also satisfied that their classroom contained just the right number of students and nationality mix.

Living in Australia
Our survey showed that the Australian people were a big hit with inter-national students, with the majority of students choosing them as their favourite aspect of Australia. Despite this, 46 per cent of students claimed that they found practising their English skills with native English speakers quite hard, with 38 per cent finding it quite easy and only seven per cent finding communication very easy.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Access Language Centre, Sydney, NSW; AMES International, Melbourne, VIC; Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT; Embassy CES, Melbourne, VIC; English College of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA; Geos Queensland College of English, Brisbane, QLD; Language Studies International, Brisbane, QLD; Magill English Language Centre, Gosford, NSW; Phoenix English Language Academy, Perth, WA; SA Adelaide Language Centre, Adelaide, SA; SIS International College, Bondi Junction, NSW; St Paul's International School, Bald Hills, QLD; University of New England, Armidale, NSW; University of Queensland ICTE, Brisbane, QLD
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