The Malta Independent 5 June 2023, Monday
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Number of EFL students up nearly 69% in 2021 – NSO

Thursday, 19 May 2022, 13:58 Last update: about 2 years ago

In 2021, foreign students attending English language courses at local licensed English Language Teaching (ELT) schools numbered 27,853, equivalent to an increase of 68.9 per cent over 2020, the NSO said Thursday.

In 2020, the number had drastically decreased because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The total number of student weeks for 2021 totalled 137,108 weeks. Teaching English as a Foreign Language: 2021 The majority of students attending English language courses in Malta came from Italy (17.6 per cent), followed by France (14.9 per cent) and Poland (12.2 per cent).


Overall, 76.3 per cent of total students originated from an EU country. The largest share of language students fell within the 18-25 age bracket, accounting for 27.1 per cent of the total students following ELT courses. Students aged 50 and over were in the minority and numbered 2,295. Female students outnumbered males, and accounted for 58.1 per cent of the entire ELT student population. July was the busiest month for local licensed ELT schools for courses attendance, accounting for 26.8 per cent of the annual total.

June and October followed at 20.0 and 11.0 per cent respectively (Table 4). The most popular course uptake in local licensed ELT schools was ‘General English: Standard’, whereby a total of 17,747 students, or 63.7 per cent opted for this course. This was followed by the ‘Intensive English’ course, with 21.5 per cent of total students.

Foreign students enrolled in local licensed ELT schools spent a total of 137,108 weeks in Malta. The average number of student weeks during the year under review stood at 4.9 weeks. With an average of 13.4 weeks, students from China recorded the highest number of student weeks, followed by Colombian and South Korean students with average student weeks at 12.1 and 11.2, respectively.

The number of tuition weeks in 2021 increased to 100,198 from 48,876 in 2020. In 2021, teaching and academic staff in local licensed ELT schools numbered 475, with the largest proportion (31.6 per cent) being in 55 and over age group. Female teachers accounted for 66.9 per cent of the total. Non-teaching staff amounted to 384, of whom 71.4 per cent were employed on a full-time basis.

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