QILT uncovers international students first pandemic response

It could have been worse for unis –  it probably will be

“Australia remains an attractive destination for international students, despite the impacts of COVID-19,” according to a media statement from Education Minister Alan Tudge, yesterday.

At least it was when the survey was conducted, July-October last year, by the estimable team responsible for the excellent Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching.

What international students think now, after another year of being locked out of campus off and on we will not know until next year’s survey.

But even a year back, satisfaction levels among on-shore international students were way down on the pre-pandemic pinnacle. Satisfaction with the overall education experience was down 12 per cent (the drop for locals was 9 per cent).  Overall, 18 per cent had “seriously considered” bailing from their study institution (admittedly only 1 per cent up on 2019), mainly for health/stress/financial reasons.

There are some alarming stats for institutions that rely on Chinese students.  With Malaysians, they were especially unhappy with pretty much everything last year, reporting below international averages on all five categories of education experience – 11 per cent below for “learner engagement.”

Nor were Chinese students were not as enthusiastic as those from other sample countries on their lived-experiences, reporting “substantially lower positive ratings” on improving their English, use of the transport system, personal safety and making friends.

And as for claims that Chinese students use study as a way to work part-time and migrate –  55 per cent nominated the former and 42 per cent the latter, “lower than students from other countries.


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