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Australia shines in student satisfaction survey

A new survey in Australia has revealed that over 87% of students were satisfied or very satisfied with their Australian English language experience, despite a 17% decline in enrolments in the Elicos (ELT) sector over the past three years.

Photo: Australian Trade Commission

83% indicated that Australia was their first and only country of choice

Further results from the latest English Language Barometer (ELB) – undertaken by Global education analysis company, International Graduate Insight Group – show that overall learning satisfaction has increased to an impressive 91%, up from 86% in 2009.

The report “Maximising Student Elicos Experience” said: “Each overall satisfaction indicator is above the Australian International Student Barometer (ISB) indicating that the ELICOS sector is leading the industry in meeting students’ expectations.”

Of the 9,000 respondents, 83% indicated that Australia was their first and only country of choice when deciding where to study, up from 81% in 2009. And 53% of them said preparation for further study was their main reason for studying, a rise from 48% in 2009.

Education agents retained their stronghold on marketing with 52% of respondents citing them as the main influence on their final choices of what course to study and where,  just a slight drop from the 53% reported in 2009.

Students from 49 English language colleges across Australia were asked to share their views on their experience in a wide‐ranging online survey. Although the number of respondents fell from 10, 716 students at 57 colleges in 2009 this year represented a wider population of participating colleges, 66% compared to 50% two years ago.

Despite the sparkling survey results, the country has seen a significant decline in international student numbers which the report chalks up to the financial global crisis, the high Australian dollar, significant domestic regularity reforms, negative publicity around international student safety and growing global competition.

“Now is a critical time for the ELICOS sector to ensure a focus on student satisfaction as a means to provide successful outcomes for their students, to encourage and foster recommendations, and to support the ability of Australian providers to sustainably attract and retain international students,” encourages the report.

Sue Blundell, executive director of peak group English Australia, told The PIE News the report gives insight on where to focus their energies to improve services in areas that students think are important like support for finding work opportunities and speaking English outside of the classroom.

“These two aspects were highlighted as both important and needing improvement in the 2009 survey.  It is pleasing to see that these areas show good improvement amongst a number of others,” she said. “We know that we can compete with anywhere in the world for quality.”

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