Satisfaction Amongst International Students at University of Stavanger
A new student survey carried out by the Division of Student Services shows that our international students are very happy with their stay at UiS. It also illustrates how important student satisfaction is for the further recruitment of international students.
The evaluation was directed at students who arrived at UiS in autumn 2009. They were asked to answer 36 questions about their daily life as a student at the University of Stavanger. The evaluation forms were available to the students between the 25th of November and the 15th of December. Seventy percent of the students chose to participate in the evaluation that was created and carried out by the Division for Student Services.
The academic staff at the university have every reason to be thrilled since 91 percent of the students have expressed their satisfaction with the academic level upheld here. Ninety percent of the students were also satisfied with the lecturers’ teaching skills in the English language, while 96 percent were very happy with the administrative support services offered at the University.
The University has co-operated with the student organizations to arrange a variety of events for the students during the autumn semester. Students have had the opportunity to attend a Norwegian course twice a week in the evenings in addition to events such as Orientation Week, Cultural Diversity Day and International Day. International Day, in particular, received a very positive evaluation from the International students with 99 percent expressing their satisfaction with the event. The other courses and events were also assessed favorably by the students.
“For me it was a very interesting course and it was also very funny. I did not want to have a serious and strict Norwegian course, so for me it was perfect,” an anonymous international students shares her opinion about the Norwegian course.
The evaluation reveals that students spend an average of 27 hours a week on their studies. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents hold part-time jobs alongside their studies and 40 percent of the respondents express their wish to work part-time. Those with part-time jobs are working 18 hours a week on average, and the majority of respondents claim that this has no adverse effect on their academic performance.
“The lack of a network and the language barrier are the main reasons why international students have trouble finding part-time work,” says Siri Haugen at the Career Center
Thirty-eight percent of the students are registered in a student organization and its good news for us that 94 percent of the respondents are very happy with the extra-curricular student activities at UiS.
Student Satisfaction Aids Recruitment
Eighty-three percent of the respondents claim to be so happy with their stay at UiS that they will recommend the institution to other students. Sixteen percent of the respondents were still unsure as to whether they would recommend UiS to other students.
“Since the students have only been here for four months, it is entirely natural that they would hesitate to recommend UiS to other students at this point. We hope that the coming semesters will give these students the kind of experiences that will make them excellent ambassadors for UiS” says Erika Torgersen at the Division for Student Services.
The fact that 35 percent of the respondents reveal that they applied to the University of Stavanger because it was recommended by friends and family, illustrates how important student satisfaction is for the further recruitment of international students.
Inspite of the fact that international students are largely very happy with their stay at the University of Stavanger, there are still real challenges when it comes to their social integration. Over 20 percent of the respondents reveal that they don’t mingle at all with local, Norwegian students while 21 percent reveal that they are not happy with the social interaction they currently have with the local students.
“SiS – the Student Welfare Organization, the university and the various student organizations have an obvious responsibility for the social integration of the international students. Yet, real integration requires greater and improved interaction with the local, Norwegian students,” claims Erika Torgersen at the Division for Student Services.
The problem with the availability of student accommodation is also a recurring challenge, both in terms of the number of available student dormitories and also the quality thereof of some of the dormitories. Inspite of these challenges, 84 percent profess to the being satisfied with the quality of student accommodation.
“Earlier in the autumn, we had problems with some of the student dormitories. Fortunately, we have had a constructive dialogue with the students regarding these issues and the situation is now improved,” says Erika Torgersen at the Division for Student Services.
Personnel working with international students have every reason to be happy with the results of the student evaluation. The challenges that are brought to light in the evaluation will need to be worked upon so that the situation can be improved. Hopefully, future evaluations will show an even greater satisfaction amongst our international, academic guests.
Source: University of Stavanger