How do international students rate their Australian study experience?

The latest Student Experience Survey (SES), which provides a comprehensive overview of student experience at Australian universities and other education providers, was recently released on the Australian Government’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website. While this survey is restricted to on-shore students, it does break down student responses by demographic to tell us more about how different groups are evaluating their university experience. 

The 2018 edition of the SES provides great insight into the experiences of international students at Australian universities and education providers. Not only does it give an overall picture of how positively international students are rating their studies in the land Down Under, it also highlights strengths and weaknesses in the different areas of post-school curriculum. To save you from reading through the entire report, we’ve broken down the evaluations of both undergraduate and postgraduate international students. 

Undergraduate international students

Just over two thirds of international students rated their Australian undergraduate experience positively (76 per cent).  While this does represent the majority, it should be noted that international students were less likely to rate their overall experience positively – in contrast, 80 per cent of their domestic counterparts evaluated their time at university favourably. 

For the most part, international students rated other aspects of their undergraduate educational experience positively: 

  • 80 per cent assessed Skills Development positively 
  • 58 per cent rated Learner Engagement positively 
  • 79 per cent evaluated Teaching Quality positively 
  • 83 per cent valued Learning Resources positively.

Postgraduate international students 

Postgraduate results followed a similar pattern to the undergraduate ratings, with international students less likely to rate their Australian educational experience positively. Postgraduate international students ranked their overall experience three percentage points lower than domestic students, while both rated other aspects of their educational experience in a relatively similar fashion. In some categories, postgraduate international students rated their experience more favourably than their undergraduate counterparts. 

  • 82 per cent rated Skills Development positively 
  • 59 per cent assessed Learner Engagement positively 
  • 73 per cent ranked Student Support positively 
  • 84 per cent evaluated Learning Resources positively.

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