Conducted by the International Alumni Job Network and analysis group Nielsen, the survey found that 72% of international students were either satisfied or very satisfied with the return on investment from studying in Australia, the UK, the US, Canada or New Zealand.
The network’s inaugural International Student and Alumni Satisfaction Survey garnered 5,200 responses from students in China, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and found there were discrepancies in levels of satisfaction depending on where the students came from.
“We hear on a regular basis from international students who feel abandoned by their university after graduation”
Of the students surveyed, those from India reported the lowest levels of satisfaction with their return on investment. Forty-two per cent said they were satisfied that their UK education had a positive return, with 43% and 55% saying they were satisfied with the returns from their Australian and US education, respectively.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong students in Australia, and Singaporean and Malaysian students in the UK scored above the global average for returns on investment, with 77% and 78% satisfaction rates, respectively.
Despite the overall positivity, Shane Dillon, founder of IAJN, told The PIE News that institutions and study destinations should aim to improve their levels of satisfaction, as over a quarter of respondents indicated they were not satisfied with their return on investment.
Inaccurate expectations during the recruitment process and a lack of support from providers to help students transition from study to employment were the most likely causes of dissatisfaction, according to Dillon.
“We hear on a regular basis from international students who feel abandoned by their university after graduation; who return to home countries without a professional network or any gateways or support to employment like local students receive,” he said.
“An international education… is still a highly sought after dream for many of the world’s students”
Globally, the report also found high levels of satisfaction with the overall study experience, with 91% indicating they would recommend their country of study. Each country also scored at least 87% likelihood that respondents would recommend their institution.
As well as looking at student satisfaction, the surveys explored employment and salary outcomes, finding the average global monthly income for graduates to be $1,637, and an average 2.47 months wait between graduation and first job.
“An international education and the experience [of living] abroad is still a highly sought after dream for many of the world’s students and education providers need to live up to the promise that an international education is a good investment,” said Dillon.
“This will only be more important as globalisation and the fourth industrial revolution continue to rapidly change the workforce.”