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The International Student Experience

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Title: The International Student Experience


1
The International Student Experience
  • Background
  • Exit Survey Results
  • Transition to University from Year 12
  • English language abilities at admission and
    academic progress for postgraduate coursework
    students

2
Background
  • Recent History student numbers (onshore
    offshore)

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 to date
2705 3232 4133 4758 4564
3
Background
  • Students by country of origin

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
China 110 258 748 1344 1585
India 33 49 86 120 139
Malaysia 827 973 945 887 817
Europe 153 212 236 229 165
Nth America 222 247 265 228 188
4
Background
  • Students from over 80 countries
  • Rapid growth in students undertaking postgraduate
    coursework programs
  • We hope to see this expand with the return of
    AusAID scholarship holders

5
Exit Survey Results 2003 and 2004
  • Reasons for selecting the University of Adelaide
  • Perceptions of the University
  • Opinion of the support services provided
  • Plans post completion
  • Recommendations for change or improvement

6
Exit Survey Results 2003 and 2004
  • 186 respondents in 2003
  • 207 respondents in 2004
  • Mix of undergraduate, study abroad, exchange,
    postgraduate coursework and research students
    from over 20 different countries of origin
    completed the survey.

7
Reasons for selecting the University
2003 2004
Quality of the program 56.1 49.5
Cost of living in Adelaide 52.8 54.4
Agent advice or recommendation 26.7 15.0
Affordability of program (tuition costs) 25.0 21.0
Recommended by former or current student 24.4 23.8
Selected by government/sponsor 7.8 4.9
Awarded University scholarship 3.9 4.4
Degree not available at other University 4.4 3.4
Part of twinning or exchange agreement N/A 29.1
8
Main Findings - Perceptions
  • Perceptions pre and post study. Students were
    asked rate their perceptions on 9 separate
    attributes, using a 3 part rating scale (good,
    average, poor)
  • Quality of teaching, quality of research
    education, quality of program, profile of
    academic staff, graduate employment prospects,
    prestige, student focus, impressive alumni, and
    location
  • Significant difference in student perception
    prior and at completion of study in 2003 were
    found for profile of staff, student focus and
    location (all showed positive change). In 2004
    quality of program and location showed positive
    change.

9
Main Findings Support Services
  • 95 rated their knowledge of support services as
    average or good. (96 in 2004)
  • 87 highlighted that they felt comfortable
    accessing support services when required. (89 in
    2004)
  • 87 indicated that they felt comfortable seeking
    academic advice from school staff. (87 in 2004)
  • 75 participated in the International Student
    Orientation Program. (74 in 2004)

10
Main Findings Support Services
  • 31 attended academic skills or personal
    development workshops. (38 in 2004)
  • 14 rated computer facilities as poor. (10.6 in
    2004) Outranked by food outlets which 17 rated
    as poor in 2004)
  • In 2003, 85 indicated that they would recommend
    the University to others. (9.4 said they would
    not)
  • In 2004, 92.8 indicated that they would
    recommend the University to others.

11
Circumstances impacting on academic performance
2003 2004
Language (writing) 41.7 41.7
Language (speaking) 42.8 34.0
Education System 32.2 23.3
Financial Matters 26.1 23.3
Personal Problems 22.2 19.9
Accommodation Difficulties 18.9 13.6
Health Problems 7.2 7.3
Hostility or prejudices 10.0 6.8
Work Commitments 5.6 6.8
Family Commitments 11.7 3.4
World Political Events 4.4 2.9
None of the above 16.7 21.8
12
Main Findings Post Completion
  • 52.8 indicated that they would consider further
    studies at the University. (64.3 in 2004)
  • In 2003, 41.1 indicated that they would not
    undertake further studies, 7.8 indicated that
    their reasons were the result of dissatisfaction
    with the University.
  • In 2004, 32.4 indicated that they would not
    undertake further studies, 7.2 indicated that
    their reasons were as a result of dissatisfaction
    with the University.

13
Main Findings
  • Recommendations for change free field comments.
  • Computing facilities increase internet and
    printing quotas (2003 and 2004)
  • Student Accommodation (2003 and 2004)
  • Simplified enrolment processes (2003 only)
  • AUU to provide more student activities and
    opportunities for increased interaction with
    local students (2003 and 2004)

14
Main Findings
  • Increase library opening hours (2003 and 2004)
  • Access to student cards on arrival (2003 only)
  • Availability of walk-in appointments at the
    Medical Centre (2003 and 2004)
  • Need to raise the University profile off-shore
    (2004 only)
  • Surprisingly few suggested lowering fees and
    increasing scholarships (2003 and 2004)
  • In 2004, 27 respondents indicated appreciation
    for the support received.

15
Transition to University from Year 12
  • 125 international students started in 2004 (via
    SATAC)
  • Individual Interviews
  • Focus Groups 40 students attended
  • Challenges faced by students student
    perceptions and staff perceptions
  • Our challenges in engaging the students.

16
Transition to University from Year 12
  • Semester 1, 2004 results
  • 40.5 of the students passed the entire course
    load
  • 16.5 failed one course,
  • 20.0 failed 2 courses,
  • 11.5 failed 3 courses, and
  • 11.5 failed all courses they were enrolled in.

17
Challenges as told by students
  • They have worked hard in high school took a
    break at uni, relief from school studies.
  • Students think they are familiar with the
    education system (over confident).
  • Need to highlight
  • the academic differences between school and uni
  • Change the perception that orientation is about
    academic preparation on not just living in
    Australia.

18
Challenges as told by students
  • Students found the major difference between
    school and university
  • 21 students commented on the freedom,
    independence and need to manage their time.
  • 11 commented on the difference in the academic
    environment, it is a do-it-by-yourself effort at
    uni
  • 7 commented on the lack of guidance compared with
    school, in school the teachers are there to
    help us teacher pays more attention to the
    individual at school there is no teacher to
    focus only on you anymore.

19
Challenges staff perceptions
  • Being an independent learner
  • How to use non contact time effectively
  • Poor match between subject undertaken at year 12
    and course selection at university
  • Accommodation many move out of supported
    arrangements to live independently with friends

20
Challenges staff perceptions
  • Knowing when and how to seek help
  • Problem solving (head in the sand)
  • Interacting within the university community
  • Freedom vs family expectations
  • Developmental issues (as with domestic students)

21
Challenges engaging students
  • Students do not see the need to attend
    orientation
  • Many perceive orientation is about living in
    Adelaide
  • Competes with home time (return flight booking
    are often made well in advance with the first day
    of lectures used as booking date)
  • Follow poor advice

22
Challenges Engaging Students
  • Services designed to engage students on arrival
  • Students often feel confident that if they just
    turn up on first day of lectures everything will
    be okay.
  • We have tried (still trying) to engage this
    group, after orientation with workshops lunch
    time events
  • This semester we ran workshops both in the
    mid-term break and after break in first week back
    (with free lunch). 130 invitation sent direct to
    students, 7 attended.

23
Back to the Research
  • From the 125 who commenced in 2004, 64 (51.2)
    are enrolled in 2006.
  • Often the first time we will meet (face-to-face)
    with the students who come to the University
    direct from school is following a semester or two
    of poor results.

24
  • English language abilities at admission and
    academic progress for postgraduate coursework
    students

25
Context
  • English language entry requirements remained
    unchanged
  • Changing programs, increasing numbers of PGCW
    students
  • Creation of alternate entry methods
  • Culture of attributing failure to English
    proficiency levels

26
Grant
  • A small research grant was applied for and
    achieved
  • Original study looks at wider areas including
    research students

27
Research Aims
  • The research aims of the study were to
    investigate the academic performance and outcomes
    for IPC students with reference to their English
    language entry type and proficiency at admission.
  • (this would then help inform policy)

28
Research Aims
  • Six English language entry types were used in
    this study.
  • They can be broadly conceptualised into two
    distinct groups.

29
Standardised measures based on testing
  • Type 1. IELTS - the International English
    Language Testing System
  • Type 2. TOEFL the Test of English as a Foreign
    Language. It is important to note that TOEFL
    scores have been converted to an overall IELTS
    equivalency score for the purpose of this study.
  • Type 3. IELTS or TOFEL plus a English
    Language Program (ELP). Entry with a conditional
    requirement to undertake and pass a specialised
    English Program, such as an Pre-enrolment English
    Program (ELP)

30
English competence assumed
  • Type 4. English is first language
  • Type 5. 2/5 English at least two of the
    students past five years of study were conducted
    in the English language.
  • Type 6. English medium the student has studied
    in the English language medium for at least five
    years in Australia, New Zealand, the United
    Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America,
    South Africa or the Republic of Ireland

31
Research Questions
  • (1) What is the relationship between English
    language entry type (IELTS, TOEFL, English
    medium, 2/5 study, English first language
    speakers) of IPC students and their academic
    performance at university as measured by GPA?

32
Research Questions
  • (2) What is the relationship between English
    language proficiency (as measured by IELTS or
    IELTS equivalent scores) of IPC students and
    their academic performance at university as
    measured by GPA?

33
Research Questions
  • (3) What are the advantages in terms of academic
    outcomes as measured by GPA in raising the
    current minimum IELTS overall entry score of 6.0
    for international postgraduate coursework
    programs.
  • The first two questions are intended to provide
    information that can assist in answering the
    final research question

34
DATA COHORT
  • To establish the data pool for (IPC) students
    the following cohorts were used
  • 2001 intakes from Semesters 1 and 2 and
    Trimesters 1, 2 and 3
  • 2002 intakes from Semesters 1 and 2 and
    Trimesters 1, 2 and 3
  • 2003 intakes from Semester 1 and Trimester 1

35
DATA COHORT
  • The data comprised records for 331 postgraduate
    coursework students.
  • Sex
  • Male 171 (51.7)
  • Female 160 (48.38)
  • Age range
  • 21.1 to 53.5 years with a mean of 28.8

36
DATA COHORT
  • Overall the cohort came from 46 countries with
    the top ten being
  • China (18.8) Malaysia (10.1)
  • India (8.1) United States (8.1)
  • Japan (7.5) Indonesia (5.4)
  • Singapore (3.6) Thailand (3.6)
  • United Kingdom (3.6) Hong Kong (3.3)

37
Research Q1
38
Research Q1
39
Research Q1
NOTE GPA Range 1-7 with 5 being a Credit
40
Research Q1
41
Research Q1
42
Research Q1 - Findings
  • Among the coursework student cohort most students
    (93.5) achieved an overall GPA of pass or
    higher. While few failed they were more likely to
    do so if they were from the IELTS / TOEFL entry
    types.
  • In the first two study periods, the mean GPA
    scores for coursework students whose first
    language was English were significantly higher
    than those for students who had entered via the
    IELTS or TOEFL path.

43
Research Q2
  • Because of the changing student demographics we
    are expecting (currently experiencing) more
    students to be entering using standardised
    measures based on testing

44
Research Q2
45
Research Q2
46
Research Q2
47
Research Q2
48
Research Q3
  • This research shows, however, that if the IELTS
    or equivalent entry score were raised to 6.5
    overall, there would be little significant gain
    in GPAs. On these figures, raising the entry
    score for these groups of students could improve
    their grade point averages by 0.2. Put another
    way, leaving the entry score at 6.0 would result
    in similar grade point averages.

49
Research Q3
  • Raising the cut-off score from 6.0 to 6.5 would
    require alternative pathways for or deny entry to
    46 of students among the current IPC student
    cohort who entered the University via a language
    test path (n152). Hence raising the entry score
    above 6.0 might eliminate more potentially
    successful students than potential failures,
    while retaining some that might not be
    successful.

50
  • Clearly there is much more to success and failure
    than the English language proficiency scores with
    which students enter the University.
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