Socio-cultural adaptation, academic adaptation and satisfaction of international higher degree research students in Australia

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Abstract

The number of international higher degree research students has grown at a significant rate in recent years, with Australia becoming a hub for attracting such students from around the world. However, research has identified that international higher degree research students often encounter a wide range of academic and socio-cultural challenges in adapting to their new environment, which can have a significant bearing on their levels of satisfaction with their studies. This paper outlines the findings of a mixed method study exploring the experiences and perceptions of international higher degree research students from five different countries in Australia. Findings revealed that the most important issues in terms of satisfaction were not directly related to academic studies. Instead, factors such as integration into the community, interacting with other students, relationships with supervisors, and the provision of adequate desk space were often given the greatest weight. Implications for how university policy can better support international doctoral students are discussed. Copyright © 2015 European Higher Education Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-64
JournalTertiary Education and Management
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online dateDec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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student
university policy
studies (academic)
Cultural adaptation
community
International students
Mixed methods
Hub
Supervisors
Factors
experience

Citation

Yu, B., & Wright, E. (2016). Socio-cultural adaptation, academic adaptation and satisfaction of international higher degree research students in Australia. Tertiary Education and Management, 22(1), 49-64.

Keywords

  • International higher degree research students
  • Academic adaptation
  • Socio-cultural adaptation
  • Student satisfaction