Online from: 2008
Subject Area: Education
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|Title:||“Checking the pulse”: The international student experience and social engagement across Australian universities: reflecting on AUQA feedback to Cycle 2 reports|
|Author(s):||Jane Burdett, (School of Management, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia), Joanna Crossman, (School of Management, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)|
|Citation:||Jane Burdett, Joanna Crossman, (2010) "“Checking the pulse”: The international student experience and social engagement across Australian universities: reflecting on AUQA feedback to Cycle 2 reports", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 3 Iss: 1/2, pp.53 - 67|
|Keywords:||Business studies, Education, Higher education, Students|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/18363261011106885 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – Growing numbers of international students on Australian university campuses in the last decade have generated interest, change and quality challenges. Research suggests that the future success of Australian universities rests on their ability to meet the challenge of providing a stimulating and rewarding higher education experience for domestic and international students alike. The Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) has sought, through its second round of quality reviews, to focus on the performance of Australian universities with regard to international activities. Specifically, this paper seeks to establish the “pulse” in relation to the issues and strategies aimed at the social engagement of international students as part of their wider experience on campus.
Design/methodology/approach – A thematic analysis approach was adopted to explore “internationalisation” in 14 AUQA audit reports published between 2006 and 2010.
Findings – The findings of the study have led to first, the development of a definition of social engagement as an aspect of the international student experience. Second, they identify the key contexts targeted by universities as being relevant to the social engagement of international students. Third, the findings focus on the strategies adopted by universities in enhancing social engagement.
Research limitations/implications – Observations of AUQA university reports point to the need for further research concerned with student engagement with communities beyond the campus and also to explore online software as a tool for social engagement. One limitation of the study lies in the fact that, whilst many university reports allude to student experience questionnaires, the voice of international students in describing their own social experiences is not emphasised.
Originality/value – Together with a focus on social engagement from the student's own point-of-view, the findings of this study are likely to be a useful resource for university staff considering the contexts in which the social engagement of international students is targeted and the strategies they adopt.
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