Foreign students attending English language courses up by 1.6% in 2016

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Foreign students attending English language courses went up by 1.6%Last year, foreign students attending English language courses at local specialised schools numbered 76,730, equivalent to an increase of 1.6 per cent over 2015, the National Statistics Office said today.

The majority of students attending English language courses in Malta came from Italy (24.5 per cent), Germany (14.2 per cent) and France (11.1 per cent). Together, these accounted for 49.8 per cent of total students.

The largest share of language students were aged 15 years or less, accounted for 31.3 per cent of total students. Students aged 50 and over were in the minority and numbered 5,071. Female students outnumbered males, and accounted for 60.4 per cent of the entire student population.

July was the busiest month for English language specialised schools with 19,334 arrivals, or 25.2 per cent of the annual total. This was followed by August and June with 12.9 and 11.0 per cent of total arrivals respectively. A similar pattern was also recorded in 2015.

The most popular course offered by specialised English language schools was General English. This course alone accounted for 53,304 students (69.5 per cent) attending during 2016. This was followed by the Intensive English course, with 17.2 per cent of total students.

The share of foreign students attending English language courses in 2016 when compared to total inbound tourists for the same year, stood at 3.9 per cent. This share ranged from 3.0 per cent to 4.8 per cent among males and females respectively.

Foreign students enrolled in specialised schools for English language spent a total of 229,005 weeks in Malta. The average length of stay during the year under review stood at 3.0 weeks, down by 0.2 weeks when compared to 2015. Students from Colombia recorded the highest average duration with an average of 13.5 weeks per student. These were followed by South Korean and Turkish students with an average duration of 10.2 and 6.2 weeks per student respectively.

In 2016, teaching staff in English language specialised schools numbered 1,221. The largest share of teaching staff (36.3 per cent) were aged between 18 and 24. Female teaching personnel made up for 72.1 per cent of the total teaching staff. Non-teaching staff amounted to 799, of which 61.3 per cent were employed on a full-time basis.

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