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|Web of Science®
|The experiences of international and local students at three Australian universities
|Mullins, Gerald Patrick
|Higher Education Research and Development, 1995; 14(2):201-231
|Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
|ACUE (now Learning and Teaching Development Unit)
|Gerry Mullins, Neil Quintrell & Lisa Hancock
|In 1992 international fee‐paying and local students currently enrolled at the three tertiary institutions in South Australia were surveyed by a common questionnaire on students’ study‐related and personal experiences, and issues related to students’ choice and subsequent evaluation of their institution. The breadth of the student sample and the comparative data the questionnaire generated present an overarching view of the experiences and evaluations of a diverse range of university students. The results of the survey show that while international students experience more problems, and experience them to a more serious degree than their Australian counterparts, the nature of the issues which are of most concern are generally shared. These are concerns about financial issues such as access to Austudy for local students, and the level of fees for international students and the ability to find part‐time work for both groups. The other broad group of issues of concern was study related: workload, fear of failure, loss of motivation, doubts about academic ability, nervousness and tension. Notably, in spite of the differences ‐between the three institutions – the University of Adelaide representing a ‘traditional’ university, Flinders University of South Australia, a ‘1960s’ university and the University of South Australia a ‘post‐1987’ university – the student responses across the three institutions were remarkably similar. In terms of student evaluations of the quality of the education and services provided, Australian students were consistently more likely to rate aspects of teaching more positively than their international counterparts, but for both groups it was evident, particularly in their comments, that aspects of teaching such as the quality of lectures, accessibility of staff, availability of resources and staff: student ratios were of major concern. The findings lead to the recommendations that universities could improve both local and international student experience by providing clear information about courses and course expectations, by the provision of effective feedback on assignments, by embedding the teaching of academic skills within courses, by increasing course flexibility to enable students to balance study and earning demands, and by ensuring that student support services are adequately resourced.
|Available online: 01 Nov 2006
|Appears in Collections:
|Centre for Learning and Professional Development publications
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