March 2005 issue

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Agency Survey
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New Zealand

Student satisfaction rates continued to grow in this year's Feedback survey of New Zealand, as classrooms welcomed a greater spread of nationalities.

New Zealand feedback at a glance
Total number of students: female 75, male 60 135

Average age in years: 24.3

Average length of programme in weeks: 15.9

Average number of students in class: 9.6

Average number of hours language tuition per week: 23.4

% of students who found their course through an agent: 53

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 59

% of students who had been on another lang. programme: 26

% of students who would recommend their school: 93

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W Europe (23%)
C & E Europe (7%)
Asia (63%)
Middle East (4%)
C & L America (2%)
Unknown (1%)
Chinese 21%
Japanese 18%
Korean (16%)
German (11%)
Russian (4%)
Spanish (4%)
Swiss (4%)
Thai (3%)
French (3%)
Omani (2%)

In my class there are... How will you use your Italian in the future?
Too many students (7%)
Too many students who speak my language (13%)
Too many students from one other country (12%)
None of these (66%)
Unknown (2%)
For college study in New Zealand (30%)
For college study in another English speaking destination (9%)
For college study at home (12%)
For current/future work (42%)
For pleasure only (6%)
Unknown (1%)

How did you find your programme? Standard of your social programme
Recommended by an agent 53%
Recommended by a friend/relative 27%
I found it on the Internet (13%)
I saw it advertised (5%)
Unknown (2%)
Excellent (22%)
Good (40%)
Satisfactory (26%)
Poor (5%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (5%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (24%)
Good (56%)
Satisfactory (16%)
Unknown (4%)
Excellent (33%)
Good (33%)
Satisfactory (21%)
Poor (4%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (7%)

Standard of the teaching What is your accommodation while in New Zealand?
Excellent (57%)
Good (38%)
Satisfactory (3%)
Unknown (2%)
Host family (49%)
Residential/single room (21%)
Residential/dormitory (7%)
Other (19%)
Unknown (4%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (81%)
No (14%)
Unknown (5%)

Yes (56%)
No (39%)
Unknown (5%)

Yes (40%)
No (55%)
Unknown (5%)

Student nationality
In a continuation of a trend revealed in last year's Feedback survey of New Zealand, the nationality mix of students in New Zealand language schools was more evenly spread this year with just 63 per cent of students coming from Asia, compared with 86 per cent last year (see Language Travel Magazine, February 2004, pages 14-15). The decline in Asian students has been well documented in New Zealand in the past year and meant difficulties for a number of schools in the country. In terms of nationality diversity, however, the drop in Asian students has balanced out the classroom profile. The percentage of students from Western Europe grew from eight per cent last year to 23 per cent this year while other world regions, such as Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America, also increased their student representation. Chinese students were the most prevalent nationality but their overall share dropped from 23 per cent to 21 per cent this year.

Student motivation
The most usual reason for students learning English in New Zealand was for current or future work purposes, picked by 42 per cent of students overall, including 40 per cent of Asian students and 58 per cent of Western Europeans. Further college study in New Zealand was the second most important reason, chosen by 50 per cent of Central and Eastern Europeans, 35 per cent of Asians and just six per cent of Western Europeans. Surprisingly, all of the students who were learning English in New Zealand for pleasure only were from Asia, contradicting the opinion that Asian students typically travel overseas for academic reasons.

Student enrolment
Agent usage continued to be quite high, with 53 per cent of students saying that they had found their course through an agent and 59 per cent booking through an agency. Overall, Central and Eastern European students were the biggest users of agents - 70 per cent - while Asian students were the least likely to book through an agent, with just 55 per cent using this method. Internet use has decreased among students with just 13 per cent using this tool to find their course, compared with 20 per cent last year.

Standard of the schools
Overall, this year's respondents found the standard of their teachers and academic programme to be high, with 95 per cent saying that their teacher's were either excellent or good, and 96 per cent finding their academic programme to be at least satisfactory. Of the 13 per cent of students who thought there were too many students of their own nationality in the classroom, 33 per cent were from China, 28 per cent were from Germany and a further 28 per cent were from Japan. Of the seven per cent of students who agreed that there were too many students in the class, the average class size was 16.6 students and the largest class size was 21.

Living in New Zealand
Forty-seven per cent of students found the cost of living to be higher than at home, including 70 per cent of Central and Eastern Europeans, 58 per cent of Asians and 83 per cent of Middle Eastern students. And 48 per cent of students found it quite or very easy to practise English with locals, up from 34 per cent last year.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: ACG English School, Auckland; Canterbury Language College, Christchurch; Christchurch College of English, Christchurch; Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Christchurch; Garden City English School, Christchurch; International English Institute, Christchurch; Kapiti English Language Academy, Wellington; Linguis International, Christchurch; Massey University English Language Centre, Wellington; Massey University English Language Centre, Auckland; New Zealand School of Business and Technology, Auckland; Rotorua English Language Academy, Rotorua; English Language Academy, University of Auckland, Auckland; University of Waikato Language Institute, Tauranga; University of Waikato Language Institute, Hamilton; University of Waikato Language Inst., Auckland; Worldwide School of English, Auckland.
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