University of Waikato, New Zealand: Staying competitive by spotting trends early using the Barometer data


Although only 51 years old, the University of Waikato in New Zealand has carved out a reputation as one of the boldest and most innovative institutions in the country – and further afield.

Using the Barometer data
The University of Waikato has participated in the International Student Barometer (ISB) since 2007 and continues to improve the service it provides to international students.

In 2013, the ISB showed that 82% of respondents said they would recommend the university to others and more than 90% were satisfied with their experience at the University of Waikato. The survey also ranked the University of Waikato 11th in the world for careers office support.

In 2014, the University of Waikato took part in the Student Barometer (SB) for the first time, which surveys domestic students.

“Wfound 93% of respondents were satisfied with their overall Waikato experience and 87% would recommend the University of Waikato as a place of study,” says Michelle Jordan-Tong, head of student and academic services.

In the SB survey, 84% of respondents were satisfied with the employability aspect of their degree, thanks to a continued focus on these important services. “We’ve really beefed up our career services, providing advice on interviewing, updating CV’s and providing job-seeking skills and work placement opportunities” says Michelle Jordan-Tong.

Work placements are of huge importance to the University of Waikato, which has long had compulsory work experience components in its business, science and engineering degrees. The university has introduced student internships across campus, helping to address employment-related concerns. In 2013, almost 2,000 students completed work placements.


For the Future
The University of Waikato continues to use the ISB & SB data to improve the experience for both its international and domestic students. Most recently, wireless and internet facilities were improved following the domestic student survey.

In 2015, the University of Waikato participated in a combined ISB/SB survey and plans to continue with that strategy every two years.

University of Waikato Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones says universities have to adapt to a changing world to stay competitive. “You have to be quick to respond to surveys like the ISB and SB, spot trends and be prepared to take risks with your courses and qualifications and how they’re delivered.”

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

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