Tracking figures provided by 22 participating schools, the Deloitte-produced report shows that arrivals were down 8.4% and student weeks 6.6% in July, compared to the same period 12 months ago.
July is the busiest month for English language schools on the island, as evidenced in a report by the National Statistics Office Malta.
“The world is experiencing political uncertainty… that is affecting the ELT industry”
A large majority of participating schools registered a decrease in student arrivals (73%), with 59% reporting a drop in student weeks.
As few as 23% of reported an increase in arrivals, while 41% reported an increase in student weeks.
This is in contrast with 2017 figures, which showed an increase in the number of students choosing Malta to learn English, and with the 12% growth on the first four months of 2018.
“While 2017 showed a substantial increase in student arrivals, predictions from FELCA are showing that 2018 is a year where numbers might go down for language learning across the board,” FELTOM CEO James Perry told The PIE.
June 2018 also showed an 8% increase compared to June 2017, but the association is expecting August to show a similar decrease as July, Perry revealed.
Perry explained that industry stakeholders attribute the decrease, at least in part, to the swift losses suffered by the Turkish lira. Turkey one of the three sending markets showing the sharpest decline, together with Germany and South Korea.
He also added that fluctuations in the ELT industry are a product of widespread political uncertainty and changing trends in the international education landscape worldwide.
“The world is experiencing a lot of political uncertainty at the moment that in return is affecting the industry at large,” he said.
“The high school market is on the rise and new upcoming destinations are competing… thus effecting the global market share.”