October 2004 issue

Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
City Focus

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Malta feedback

Although Malta is developing as a year-round language travel destination, its summer season remains dominated by European students on short stays, as confirmed by this issue's Feedback survey.

Malta feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 71(female 44, male 27)

Average age in years: 25.3

Average length of programme in weeks: 6

Average number of students per class: 7

Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 21

% of students who found their course through an agent: 44

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 61

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

% of students who would recommend their school: 92

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Asia (13%)
W Europe (56%)
South America (4%)
C & E Europe (25%)
Unknown (2%)
1.German (18%)
2.Spanish (13%)
3.Italian (10%)
3.Russian (10%)
5.Chinese (7%)
6.Swiss (4%)
7.Austrian (3%)
7.Colombian (3%)
7.French (3%)
10.Japanese/Czech (2.5%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (11%)
Too many students who speak my language (15%)
Too many students from one other country (11%)
None of these (56%)
Unknown (7%)
For university study in Malta (5%)
For university study in another country (7%)
For university study at home (20%)
For my current or future work (54%)
For pleasure only (14%)

How did you find your programme? Standard of your social programme
I saw it advertised (11%)
I found it on the Internet (26%)
Recommended by an agent (44%)
Recommended by a friend/relative (19%)
Excellent (14%)
Good (42%)
Satisfactory (28%)
Poor (9%)
Unknown (7%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (14%)
Good (52%)
Satisfactory (23%)
Poor (4%)
Unknown (7%)
Excellent (17%)
Good (45%)
Satisfactory (24%)
Poor (4%)
Unsatisfactory (4%)
Unknown (6%)

Standard of the teaching What is your accommodation while in Malta?
Excellent (44%)
Good (48%)
Satisfactory (3%)
Poor (1%)
Unknown (4%)
Host family (51%)
Residential/single room (15%)
Residential/dormitory (1%)
Other (31%)
Unknown (2%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? What do you most like about the USA?
Yes (61%)
No (28%)
Unknown (11%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (66%)
No (28%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (25%)
No (66%)
Unknown (9%)

Yes (35%)
No (59%)
Unknown (6%)

Student nationality
The range of student nationalities at English language schools in Malta continues to diversify, with the share of Asian students increasing again this year, notably with the entrance of Chinese students into the market. Chinese students were not significantly represented in our Feedback survey last year (see Language Travel Magazine, December 2003, page 13) but they accounted for seven per cent of students this year. However, Western Europe remains responsible for the majority of students, although its share has slipped from 63 per cent in our 2003 survey to just 56 per cent this year. Aside from Chinese, the five most important student provider markets this year were the same as last year, albeit with slight changes in market share.

Student motivation
Students in Malta seem keen to have fun while they are studying, judging by the fact that nightlife was in fourth position when students were asked to to put in order of preference a number of different aspects of life in Malta. The main motivation for studying English, however, was for current or future work purposes. Only 27 per cent of students said they were studying in Malta for further studies in their home or another country. And just five per cent - all of whom were Russian or Chinese - were planning to stay and study in Malta.

Student enrolment
Last year, 58 per cent of students booked through an agent and this year this figure increased to 61 per cent so agencies clearly remain important to Maltese language schools. Indeed, while just 44 per cent of students initially found out about their school through an agency, the proportion booking with an agency remains satisfactorily higher. Although a significant majority of students in Malta are short-term language students - 41 per cent of all students surveyed, all of whom were Western or Eastern European, were studying for just one or two weeks - the overall average length of stay increased from 4.2 weeks last year to six weeks this year.

Standard of the schools
The teachers received a glowing recommendation from their students, with 92 per cent of students voting them to be excellent or good (four per cent did not respond), although this is down on the 99 per cent of last year. The social programme notched up the lowest rating, although 56 per cent of students still rated it as either good or excellent. The average number of students in a class, at seven, remained the same as last year. Most students were satisfied with the nationality mix in their class although 15 per cent, mainly Russian and German students, felt there were too many students of their own nationality in their class.

Living in Malta
On the whole, students seemed satisfied with the way they integrated with locals. Just over 70 per cent of students related that they found it very or quite easy to practise English with local Maltese. Fifty-nine per cent of students noted that Malta was more expensive than their home countries, but 30 per cent found the cost of living to be the same.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
Burlington Academy, St Julians; EC - European Centre of English Language Studies, St Julians; English Language Academy, Sliema; European School of English, St Julians; Geos English Language Centre, Sliema; IH Malta - Gozo, Gharb; Institute of English Language Studies, Sliema; Inlingua, Sliema
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