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PhD. ceremony R.H. Merola, BSc. Movers, shapers, and everything in between: influencers of the international student experience.

When:Th 23-06-2022 at 11:00
Where:Academy building RUG

PhD ceremony: R.H. Merola, BSc
When: June 23, 2022
Start: 11:00
Supervisors: prof. dr. W.H.A. (Adriaan) Hofman, prof. dr. E.P.W.A. Jansen
Co-supervisor: dr. R.J. Coelen
Where: Academy building RUG
Faculty: Behavioural and Social Sciences

Understanding the experience of international students is critical due to the important benefits they bring to their fellow students, the institutions where they are enrolled, and even the nations in which they study. This research aims to identify and understand some of the factors that impact the international student experience. It centers around an exploration of what shapes their experience, both inside and outside the classroom, which is the genesis of the research questions and resulting studies in this dissertation. The central research question is ‘what factors impact the experience of international students, and how do they impact it’?

Findings suggest that integration does play a role in international student satisfaction, and partially explains the relationship between nationality and satisfaction. Quantitative analysis showed that student characteristics such as stage of study impact satisfaction, as does the reputation of the university, number of students enrolled, and proportion of international students. Results offered evidence that the experience at international branch campuses does differ from the experience at home campuses, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has uniquely changed the academic experience at IBCs. Overall, results highlight the complexity of the student experience, and point to the importance of incorporating student-level data in higher education research and policymaking.

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