The report, released this month, drills deeper into a 2011 I-Graduate survey of 7,029 students – 5,886 at universities and 1,143 institutes of training and polytechnics (ITPs) – who constitute 8% of all overseas enrolments that year.
“The university’s account/ finance department and careers advisory service were also rated poorly”
The majority of both groups were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their overall experience.
But closer analysis shows university students who were “very satisfied” with their learning experience were 27 times more likely to report higher overall satisfaction ratings than those who were “very dissatisfied”. Those at ITPs were 45 times more likely to.
Learning experience broadly covers satisfaction with the course of study, subject choice, learning environment and resources.
Living and support services cannot be ignored, however, says the report which highlights “potential improvement areas that could be leveraged in order to raise student satisfaction levels”.
While most respondents were satisfied with their “arrival experience”, for example, some found difficulties in accessing email and internet, meeting students from New Zealand, and understanding how their course of study worked.
Respondents also said New Zealand was safe and friendly. But there was dissatisfaction about the cost of living and accommodation, opportunities to earn money while studying and financial support.
Institutions could do more to ease these issues, it seems. “The university’s account/ finance department and careers advisory service were also rated poorly. International students at ITPs were dissatisfied with the support provided by the accommodation office and halls of residence, and campus eating places,” states the report.
It adds: “International students at ITPs expected more support to enable them to meet prospective employers and expected the opportunity to network with fellow alumni.”
In good news for the New Zealand government, respondents were “generally satisfied” with their experience of applying for visas, although Saudi Arabians, Koreans and Fijians were more dissatisfied than others about processing times. Only a small proportion complained that they had received poor service from an agent.