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November 2003 issue

Contents
News
Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Direction
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Q&A
Destination
City Focus
Status

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Ireland feedback

A higher proportion of students studying English in Ireland intended to continue on to university study this year, according to our Feedback survey. This is due to the higher number of Chinese students among those canvassed.

Ireland feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 82, female 52, male 29 (unknown 1)

Average age in years: 24.3

Average length of programme in weeks: 12.17

Average number of students per class: 7.8

Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 20

% of students who found their course through an agent: 46

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 48

% of students who had been on another language programme: 38

% of students who would recommend their school: 93


Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W Europe (49%)
Asia (37%)
C & E Europe (12%)
Latin America (1%)
Other/unknown (1%)
1.Chinese (20%)
2.Swiss (17%)
3.Japanese (15%)
4.Italian (12%)
4.Spanish (12%)
5.German (5%)
5.Russian (5%)
6.Belgian (2%)
6.Korean (2%)
6.Polish (2%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (11%)
Too many students who speak my lang. (33%)
Too many students from one other country (12%)
None of these (43%)
Unknown (1%)
For college study in Ireland (20%)
For college study in another English-speaking country (7%)
For college study in my home country (27%)
For current or future work (40%)
For pleasure only (6%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise English with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (4%)
I found it on the Internet (13%)
Recommended by an agent (46%)
Recommended by a friend/relative (37%)
Very easy (7%)
Quite easy (52%)
Quite hard (35%)
Very hard (5%)
Unknown (1%)

Standard of the teaching Standard of your academic programme
Excellent (56%)
Good (33%)
Satisfactory (9%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (1%)
Excellent (17%)
Good (59%)
Satisfactory (13%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (8%)

Standard of your accommodation Standard of your social programme?
Excellent (35%)
Good (41%)
Satisfactory (16%)
Poor (4%)
Unknown (4%)
Excellent (12%)
Good (39%)
Satisfactory (22%)
Poor (10%)
Unsatisfactory (4%)
Unknown (13%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? What do you like most about the Ireland?
Yes (48%)
No (43%)
Unknown (9%)
1.Language
2.Countryside
3.People
4.Culture
5.Nightlife
6.Shopping
7.Food
8.Sport

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Country
Yes (73%)
No (24%)
Unknown (3%)

City/town
Yes (45%)
No (52%)
Unknown (3%)

School
Yes (34%)
No (63%)
Unknown (3%)


Student nationality
The league table of the top nationalities of students who took part in this issue's survey reveals the swift rise of Chinese students in the Irish market. Chinese students were the largest single nationality, accounting for 20 per cent of respondents, while just two years ago, they were in fourth place with 10 per cent (see Language Travel Magazine, pages 18-19, December 2001). Japanese numbers were up again this year, improving on their fifth position last year (see Language Travel Magazine, pages 14-15, December 2002). Swiss students also made significant gains, taking second position with a share of 17 per cent. The increase in Chinese and Japanese students boosted the total share of Asian students by six percentage points this year compared with last year, while Western Europe's share was down by four percentage points. Latin America also slipped, accounting for only one per cent of respondents, compared with five per cent last year.

Student age and motivation
While the main motivation for taking a language course in Ireland among our respondents was for current or future work, the proportion of those who were going on to study in Ireland was up by five percentage points this year. This is a direct result of the increased number of Chinese students in Ireland. Nine per cent of students were intending to go on to another English-speaking country to study.

Student enrolment
With the growing importance of learning English for academic reasons, the average length of stay, at 12.2 weeks, was higher than last year's 9.6-week average. In terms of recruitment, although 48 per cent of students said they had booked their course through an agent this year, this figure was down from 56 per cent last year. Ireland is becoming the first choice English language destination for a growing number of students. When asked if they knew the country in which they wanted to study before starting their search for language courses, 73 per cent of students said yes, compared with 68 per cent last year.

Standard of the schools
Overall, the quality of the schools that took part in our survey was high, with 89 per cent of students saying the standard of the teaching was either excellent or good, 76 per cent saying the same of both the academic programme and accommodation, and 73 per cent rating the social programme to be at least satisfactory. Students generally benefited from small classes, of between three and 17 students, averaging out at just under eight students per class. However, because of the high concentration of Chinese students at one school in particular, 33 per cent of students overall - which included 63 per cent of all our Chinese respondents - indicated that there were too many students of their own nationality in their class. Half of all Swiss students also gave this answer.

Living in Ireland
Host family accommodation was by far the most popular choice, accounting for 66 per cent of living arrangements, and the typical spend per week on tuition and accommodation was €340 (US$377).


Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Aisling Ireland, Dublin; Alpha College of English, Dublin; Clare Language Centre, Ennis; Dublin School of English, Dublin; EPTI, Drogheda; Galway Language Centre, Galway; Holywell Language Centre, Ballyvaughan; International House, Dublin; Irish College of English, Malahide; Munster School of English, Limerick.
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