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September 2002 issue

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Canada Feedback

Word-of-mouth recommendation plays an important role in the recruitment of overseas students to Canada, as the results of this issue's Student Feedback survey reveal.

Canada feedback at a glance
Total number of students, female 125, male 118 (unknown 4) 247
Average age in years: 24.08
Average length of programme in weeks: 14.3
Average number of students per class: 13
Average no. of hours of language tuition per week: 22.6
% of students who found their course through an agent or educational adviser: 32%
% of students who booked through an agent: 37%
% of students who had been on another language programme: 25%
% of students who would recommend their school: 90%

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
Asia (64%)
Latin America (22%)
Western Europe (7%)
Middle East (3%)
Central & Eastern Europe (1%)
Africa (1%)
Unknown (2%)
1.Japanese (25%)
1.Korean (25%)
2.Mexican (12%)
3.Chinese (9%)
4.Brazilian (5%)
4.Swiss (5%)
5.Taiwanese (4%)
6.Saudi Arabian (2%)
6.Colombian (2%)
6.Venezuelan (2%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (22%)
Too many students who speak my language (18%)
Too many students from one other country (15%)
None of these (41%)
Unknown (4%)
For college study in Canada (22%)
For college study in another English-speaking country (6%)
For college study in my home country (12%)
For current or future work (50%)
For pleasure only (10%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise English with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (6%)
I found it on the Internet (17%)
It was recommended by an agent (32%)
Recommended by a friend/relative (43%)
Unknown (2%)
Very easy (8%)
Quite easy (35%)
Quite hard (44%)
Very hard (12%)
Unknown (1%)

Standard of your social programme Standard of your academic programme
Excellent (16%)
Good (41%)
Satisfactory (24%)
Poor (7%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (10%)
Excellent (23%)
Good (47%)
Satisfactory (21%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (0%)
Unknown (7%)

Standard of your accommodation Standard of the teaching
Excellent (26%)
Good (38%)
Satisfactory (22%)
Poor (3%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (9%)
Excellent (49%)
Good (43%)
Satisfactory (4%)
Poor (1%)
Unsatisfactory (0%)
Unknown (3%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser?
Compared to your home country, the cost of living in Canada is...
Yes (37%)
No (54%)
Unknown (9%)
Higher (50%)
Lower (20%)
Same (28%)
Unknown (2%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (79%)
No (17%)
Unknown (4%)

Yes (40%)
No (54%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (56%)
No (37%)
Unknown (7%)

Student nationality
The proportion of Asian students studying English at the 20 language schools that took part in our Feedback survey this year was up by 18 percentage points on last year's survey (see Language Travel Magazine, September 2001, pages 20-21). However, this year's result was inflated by one language centre, whose students made up a third of our total respondents and over 80 per cent of whom were from Asian countries. Excluding this language centre, Asians still accounted for 52 per cent of students, six points higher than last year. Looking at all respondents, Korean and Japanese were the two largest single nationalities, while Chinese made up the third largest nationality this year, accounting for nine per cent of students. Middle Eastern students, who were absent from our survey last year, made up three per cent of respondents and Saudi Arabians were the sixth largest nationality group.

Student motivation
Similar to last year, learning English for work purposes was the most important motivating factor for students, while only 28 per cent of students were learning English in preparation for their further studies in Canada or another country, and 12 per cent were learning it for their studies at home. Nevertheless, the majority - 55 per cent - of respondents were students who, in their home countries, used English for their studies. This meant that the average age, at just over 24 years, was relatively low.

Student enrolment
When we asked students where they had first heard about their school, 43 per cent said it had been recommended to them by friends and relations. Agents were the second most important form of recruitment this year, accounting for 32 per cent of enrolments, although this was down from a high of 51 per cent last year. Of those students who had first heard of their course through an agent, 40 per cent said they had seen it on an agency website, indicating the importance of this marketing medium. The proportion of students who had actually booked their course through an agent was 37 per cent.

Standards of the schools
Over 90 per cent of our survey respondents rated their teachers as being good or excellent, while 70 per cent said the same of their academic programme. The social programme was deemed to be at least good by over 80 per cent of students. Accommodation was graded as either satisfactory, good or excellent by 86 per cent of respondents. Almost half of the students were staying with Canadian host families, where standards were high: 75 per cent of those living with families said the standard was either excellent or good. Overall, 90 per cent of students said they would recommend their school to others (six per cent did not respond to this question).

Living in Canada
Fifty per cent of students said they found the cost of living to be higher in Canada than in their home countries. They included 86 per cent of Chinese, 66 per cent of Koreans and 62 per cent of Mexicans.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
Algonquin College, Ottawa, ONT; Camosun College, Victoria, BC; Canada Language Centre, Vancouver, BC; Centre Linguista, Montreal, QB; English Language Institute, Vancouver, BC; International Language Institute, Halifax, NS; Jigsaw International Language Academy, Toronto, ONT; Lethbridge Community College, Lethbridge, AB; LSC, Vancouver, BC; Maple Leaf Language College (Eurocentres), Vancouver, BC; Mount Royal College, Calgary, AB; Providence College, Otterburne, MN; Queen's University School of English, Kingston, ONT; The Language Circle, Hamilton, ONT; Vancouver English Center, Vancouver, BC; VLCI, Vancouver, BC; YMCA International, various.

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