International students information seeking behaviour: Implications for International education

Catherine Gomes1, Shanton Chang1

1University of Melbourne

This paper presents the latest research on international students’ information seeking behaviour which we have presented at previous ISANA conferences.

Our presentation follows from initial research funded by Universities Australia in 2011. The latest findings look at international students’ sources for information on international services and everyday living. It also highlights the social networks of international students. The results have implications for student services and alumni relations. This session thus builds on our initial results from the 2011 research and now includes focus groups, interviews and a national survey of more than 6500 international students across Australia in different sectors.

Factors determining the success of international student feedback tools

Thomson Ch’ng1Wanamina Waehama2

Vice-President  for  ASEAN  Youth  Organization
Instructor at Dusit Thani Colege Bangkok Thailand

The study entails analysis of the feedback tools used by academic institutions and providers in improving satisfaction levels among international students. Feedback tools such as satisfaction surveys carried out by institutions are necessary since they are key to understanding the issues that affect international students and lead to policies on how to consistently enhance adjustment of international students in varied institutions. Universities and the stakeholders involved in the provision of education across Australia need to utilize the various feedback tools available to ensure the voices and feedback of students are translated into corrective actions that in turn improve students’ experiences when they are at the institutions. Students’ satisfaction with teaching and the learning environment is among the factors that continue to be major concerns in many educational institutions across Australia. It is, therefore, important for institutions and providers to innovatively come up with better ways to improve satisfaction.

The purpose of the research is to identify ways in which feedback tools used by institutions and education providers are key to enhancing international students’ experience. The study analyses how education institutions can use satisfaction surveys from student organizations and professional organizations as feedback tools to determine the level of students’ satisfaction. The survey relied on cross-sectorial samples from the higher education sectors, occupational education, and training as well as English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). Both quantitative and qualitative data will be collected from student organizations and research papers. The findings highlight how applicable feedback tools are in helping higher learning institutions fulfill the needs and expectations of international students.

Keywords: Student feedback tools, Australian Universities, Student experience,


Biographies:

Nana Wanamina is a doctoral student from the Victoria University, Australia. While at the Victoria University, Nana held various leadership positions including being the President of VU International Student Association, a Vice President of Enactus Victoria University that she held from November 2013 to November 2014. She was also at one point the Vice President of Education of VU Postgraduates Association and between November 2014 and February 2015. She was also the Activities Director of the Victoria University Postgraduates Association.

She was also a finalist in the Victoria International Education Awards that were held in 2015 at Melbourne University. She was also among the top four students who were awarded the VUPA Outstanding Contribution to Postgraduate Life Award in 2015. She was recognized for her excellent role as the International Student Association’s President for growing the organization by
300 students just in a year. This accolade was also in recognition of her role in assisting VUPA
students in having the better student experience while at the University.

As a research student, her commitment to research saw her being the Organizer of Higher Education by Research Conference 2015 held at the College of Business. Nana did not stop at that. From July 2015 to date, Nana has been in the Committee for 2015 Research Experience Questionnaire and Focus Group Project at the College of Business. She also acquired extensive managerial skills when between 2011 and 2012; she worked as the Project Manager at Broadway Digital Media. While holding this position, she carried out duties like supervision of customer support team, handling of customer feedback and tracking and compilation of customer feedback report.

Nana is currently an Instructor at Dusit Thani Colege Bangkok Thailand. Here, she taught strategic management, organizational management and leadership.

Nana was also a President of the ASEAN Youth Organization Australia Team in 2015. These leadership positions, experiences, and exposures enriched to a great extent her background and knowledge in international leadership. Her background in international leadership is thus outstanding going by the leadership position she has held and continues to hold in various institutions. During her stint has the Student leader at the Victoria University, for instance, Nana exhibited and was also able to further enhance her team building, communication, interpersonal and leadership skills through the numerous workshops and conferences she attended.

Thomson Ch’ng is a Master of Science (Project Management) graduate of Curtin University Sydney. He is a founding delegate and the Immediate Past President for the Council of International Students Australia (CISA), the national peak representative organisation for all international students in Australia. In his capacity with the council, Thomson has worked with various stakeholders, including to advocate for the needs and interest of his peers and constituency, ensuring a unified voice for all. Originally from Penang in Malaysia,

His commitment to community work and helping international students has resulted in him
winning the 2011 MASCA Testimonial Australia’s Gold Award.

Subsequently in 2013, Thomson won the NSW Premier’s International Student of the Year Award.

Thomson is currently the Vice-President for ASEAN Youth Organization, a leading youth organization representing young people in the Southeast Asia region. In July 2016, Thomson was selected by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to represent Malaysia and ASEAN at the forum.