Our Koreans are not Austrians

28th April 2000 at 01:00
WOULD James Rogers kindly provide evidence to support his claim that FE colleges "promote their (EFL) courses in the EU" and "say a Korean is an Austrian"? ( "War of words over English language courses", FE Focus, April 14).

In my college, students are carefully interviewed to ascertain whether they qualify for funding from the Further Education Funding Council. Those who do not must pay the full rate - often several thousand pounds.

EFL students in FE colleges are not in this country specifically to learn English. They live, work and pa tax in this country, and many could not afford to study in a private language school.

The largest increase in EFL student numbers has been due to non-funded students (151 per cent, as opposed to a 21per cent increase in funded students). This hardly supports his claim of FE colleges "poaching" his students.

Private language schools might consider the merits of a system that educates on the basis of need,rather than the ability to pay.

Laurence Whiteside

Cambridge Regional College

Kings Hedges Road


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