Research digest for practitioners: September 2018

Research digest for practitioners: September 2018

The September 2018 issue of the Journal of Studies in International Education addresses a wide range of topics in internationalisation. Authors in this issue explore questions ranging from international student satisfaction, to funding, to migration outcomes of international graduates and more. This blog post highlights the major findings and conclusions from selected articles, in the hopes of providing best practices and food for thought for practitioners in the field.

Improving the Student Experience: Learning from a Comparative Study of International Student Satisfaction

By: Ravichandran Ammigan, Elspeth Jones

TOPIC: International student satisfaction and services

This study uses quantitative data from the International Student Barometer (ISB), an international student satisfaction survey, to explore the degree to which international students are satisfied with their arrival, learning experience, living experience and support services. The data are from over 45,000 international degree students in 96 institutions located in three countries: the USA, the UK and Australia. The findings show more generally the types of services and experiences that students find most and least satisfying, at the same time spotlighting specific services and experiences in each of the countries that stand out. For instance, overall students were most satisfied with multi-faith support services, whereas students in the USA were most satisfied with student union services. This study also draws attention to areas that international students rated low, such as making friends with local students, local work opportunities, availability of financial support and campus eating options. Findings can help practitioners evaluate their own services and environments in order to enhance international student satisfaction.

When Internationalization Funding Feels Tight: Satisfaction with Funding and Campus Internationalization Strategies

By: Chris R. Glass, Jenny J. Lee

TOPIC: International educators’ perceptions

What factors influence international educators’ satisfaction with their institution’s internationalisation strategy? This study uses the conceptual framework of mergers (interorganisational dependencies), acquisitions (international student support), and executive succession (retention, development and support of staff) to examine satisfaction with the internationalisation strategy when compared to satisfaction with international funding. Findings suggest that international educator perceptions about funding influence behaviour. For example, among international educators who were unsatisfied with institutional international funding, their perception of the international strategy was influenced by their satisfaction with outsourcing of university functions and perceived competition with other universities.

Internationalization in the Higher Education Classroom: Local Policy Goals Put Into Practice

By: Hedda Söderlundh

TOPIC: Internationalisation policy put to practice in the classroom

This case study, a bachelor’s programme at Malmö University in Sweden, highlights how internationalisation policy comes to life in the classroom. Malmö University was selected as the case study for its commitment to student-centred internationalisation, which focuses on programme-level internationalised curriculum, planning and assessment of learning activities. The author used conversation analysis as a theory and method to analyse classroom interactions. The findings revealed the Malmö University policy goals concerning knowledge, knowledge and understanding, and skills illustrated in the classroom in the following ways:

  1. Internationalisation as (new and old) knowledge: students perform acts of internationalisation as they recall/share international knowledge
  2. Internationalisation as lived experience: students refer to their own international experiences in classroom interactions
  3. Internationalisation as knowledge and understanding: students are asked to give examples or further explain their understanding of knowledge
  4. Internationalisation as skills in intercultural communication: the classroom is designed as an intercultural environment where teacher/students are aware and conscious of the setting

The Migration of International Graduates: Intentions, Outcomes, and Implications

By: Jenny McGill

TOPIC: Migration outcomes of international students

Instead of investigating the economic rationales of international students staying in their host country, this study takes a unique view of how faith-based (religious) motivations affect migration outcomes. The quantitative study explored international theological graduates who pursued advanced degrees in the USA. An online survey captured the perspectives of 405 students who graduated from 1983–2013. Findings revealed that the stay rate of these students was lower (35.8%) than students with degrees in engineering or science, as a third of the sample stayed in the USA for an employment offer. The authors surmised that theological students may be driven by faith-based motivations rather than economic ones in their decision to stay in the USA. A few factors were significant predictors of migration outcomes: overall length of time spent in the USA and having an initial plan to stay in the USA after graduation.

Re-Framing Education Export from the Perspective of Intellectual Capital Transfer

By: Antti Lönnqvist, Harri Laihonen, Yuzhuo Cai, Kirsi Hasanen

TOPIC: Reframing education export as an intellectual capital

The authors argue that reframing education export as an intellectual capital can encourage a two-way process, benefiting both parties. While there are many challenges of education export such as ethical issues, resources and practices, and management, viewing it as an intellectual capital may help institutions identify needed knowledge-related resources and encourage more academics to participate. The authors design a conceptual framework on education export key elements: preconditions and important drivers. This framework is used to analyse a case study at the University of Tampere, Finland. The Faculty of Management works with an organisation in Vietnam to deliver Master’s degrees in Public Policy and Financial Management. Analysing the customer and provider perspective suggests that successful education export requires human, structural and relational capital in addition to the knowledge capital that is exported.

Leasa Weimer
EAIE, the NetherlandsLeasa is Senior Adviser for Knowledge Initiatives for the EAIE.