Things are looking up for international students

Over the last few months, we’ve been filled with hope as institutions have begun to open their doors to students from around the world. Inevitably, countries have taken differing approaches with some more cautious than others, but what remains clear is a desire at all levels to get back to some form of normalcy and with a return to our campuses we can begin to re-create those vibrant communities of learning.

If you want to know how students are really feeling we, at i-graduate, are uniquely positioned to give insights in real time on the global views of international students. Our bi-annual student barometer process is now live (since early October) and we already have responses from over 7,000 students. Each participating institution gets a ‘live’ dashboard of their own key results and we can aggregate the data to give everyone a global view. The data we have highlighted here is from 8th November 2021, so as up to date as you could possibly wish!

More satisfied and happier students
The key top line indicators show a very positive picture with overall satisfaction up from 83% to 89% and overall happiness up from 83% to 91% compared to this time in 2020 when the vast majority of campuses were closed globally.

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Offering better value for money
If we drill down a little into our broad range of indices, in Autumn/Fall 2020 there were major concerns about value for money mainly driven by a lack of access to facilities as well as concerns about the value of online learning which led to a satisfaction rate of only around 73%. There has been a major turn-around now with 84% of students feeling their course offers value for money and this a vital index since it has a strong correlation with whether your students will recommend your institution to others and maintain that vital international student flow in the future.

Making friends again
Another key area where international students suffered was the ability to make friends, however sophisticated the online environment was. It’s fantastic to see a rise in ‘making friends from other countries’ (up 5%) and ‘making friends from my own country’ (up 7%) since 2020. All of this contributes to an increased sense of belonging as well as feeling part of an academic community all of which have suffered such a hit over the last 18 months.

It’s good to be back
So, overall we can see a real swell of positive emotion as our students return to campuses. We will keep you updated over the next couple of months as we get more responses from the largest survey of its kind globally and nowhere else will you be able to get up-to-date views of international students from across the world as they come back to our campuses. (Next time we will zoom in to looking at the learning and living experiences as they compare with 2020).



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The ISB helps institutions make informed decisions to enhance the international student experience and drive successful recruitment and marketing strategies.

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