Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) has a long tradition of welcoming international students, dating back to the 1800’s. Over the past 10 years, the growth of IUB’s international student population has continually exceeded the national average, up from 3,687 students in 2006-07.
In light of this growth and the large, complex, organizational structure of IU it has become increasingly important to assist the leaders of IU’s academic and service units in identifying the key drivers of international student enrollment and satisfaction through the recruitment and admission process; satisfaction with pre-arrival, arrival, and on-campus orientation experiences; and satisfaction with campus living, learning, and service and support environments. Most importantly, in the increasingly competitive field of international higher education it’s vital that university leaders have the information needed to further improve levels of international student satisfaction, support, and involvement in campus life.
To meet this need, the International Student Barometer was first administered on the IUB and IUPUI campuses during the Fall 2009 semester. IUPUI, located in Indianapolis, is IU’s other core campus with a population of 2,031 international students and coordinates their administration of the ISB separate from the IUB campus. During the Fall 2016 semester, the ISB survey was also expanded to include the IU South Bend, IU Kokomo, IU East, IU Northwest, and IU Southeast campuses. These campuses have a combined international student population of approximately 300 students, ranging from 17 on the IU Northwest campus to 197 on the IU South Bend campus.
During the most recent expansion of the ISB to include IU’s regional campuses, the small populations on each campus created some limitations in the level of detail available. However, with the majority of campuses achieving a survey response rate over 50% the results remained compelling despite the small sample sizes. A summary of the findings was provided to the leadership of each campus and presentations were provided to the two campuses that make up the majority of these 300 students.
On the IU Bloomington campus, the strong survey participation and population size allow us to better harness the survey results. Over 100 key leaders from each of the major schools and service units across campus are invited to join the results presentation provided by i-graduate and the summary findings report is widely disseminated. Additionally, individualized reports are generated off the survey data for 17 schools/ areas of study and 24 of IU’s major service units. These reports address the survey elements of most relevance to the school/service unit and include; comparison of satisfaction for each element against the international and USA benchmarks; comparison against that element’s satisfaction measure from the previous ISB administration; and information on respondent distribution and overall satisfaction across academic levels and country of origin. This additional level of disaggregation and reporting enables IUB to provide area and school leaders with the information most salient and actionable for their areas in order to drive positive change. This input has been used to drive several improvements over the years, including but not limited to; Application to offer satisfaction, new student orientation and first night welcome, food services, and access to worship facilities.
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