What worries international students and what they want

Back in 2020 researchers reported on international first year students’ experiences on the basis of qual and quant research

Chi Baik, Sophie Arkoudis, Stuart Palmer and Dina Uzhegova, (all Uni Melbourne), with Ian Teo (Australian Council for Educational Research) looked at what would help people who came to university via pathways. Their report is out, from the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

They found that direct entry and pathways did not make much of a difference in progression from first to second year. But three issues need addressing. Peer-connection and institutional-allegiance can be a problem for direct entry students. While the generality of students are happy with their written English, some are concerned by their speaking skills. Some are frustrated by insufficient access to institutional support.

Ex study, accommodation and work are the two issues that impact most for first years.

The report presents providers with six recommendations;

* national data for individuals by pathway

* a unique identifier for internationals across all sectors

* a short academic transition programme for direct entry students

* peer led/facilitated support

* university-based work experience and casual employment for international students

* “a visible, dedicated international student office” advising on accommodation, health, jobs as well as academic support.