CQU scores well on global international student survey despite pandemic challenges

12 December 2021

Results from the largest global survey of international students showed CQUniversity scored well despite the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The International Student Barometer survey aims to collect feedback on the experiences and satisfaction of international students.

CQUniversity achieved well above national average results for three of the four criteria used to assess student experiences and satisfaction' with the following results:

  • 91 per cent for the arrival experience with above average satisfaction results related to pre-arrival information' enrolment' orientation and inductions' meeting academic staff and virtual onboarding;
  • 90 per cent for the learning experience with above average satisfaction related to lecturer expertise' communication with staff' course content' language support' learning spaces' employability' careers advice' online learning and campus facilities;
  • 95 per cent for the support experience with above average satisfaction results related to academic learning support' counselling services' library services' student representation' technical support and career advice services.

CQUniversity also scored well against the general living criteria with results on par with the national average. In particular' CQUniversity received a 96 per cent satisfaction rate related to student safety.

Students who participated in the survey also showed strong satisfaction related to CQUniversity's online learning resources' value for money and career preparation.

CQUniversity's Director of International Shehan Thampapillai said the results from the survey were extremely positive' especially since the disruption caused by the pandemic.

"The pandemic has caused an enormous amount of disruption for university students right across Australia' especially international students as they have undoubtedly faced even greater challenges related to their overall study and living experience.

"I am delighted that our students still rated the University highly in several areas' even with the challenges faced' including being apart from friends and family due to international border closures' the isolation of lockdowns' adapting to online study' and in some cases the loss of part-time employment as lockdowns and restrictions took hold'" said Mr Thampapillai.

Mr Thampapillai said that throughout the past two years the University had implemented several measures to help support both onshore and offshore international students navigate their learning journeys during the uncertainty created by COVID.

"CQUniversity has endeavoured to do what we could to help students during the pandemic and operational areas right across the university have worked together to provide students with information' tools and resources to help them.

"We have been able to work with students who were unable to return to Australia to connect them with online learning systems or adjust their study plans while they waited for international borders to re-open.

"We have also provided students in need with essentials such as care packs for students who had to quarantine on arrival at the start of the pandemic and also organised for the delivery of frozen meals and non-perishable essentials so that students facing financial difficulties could still access fresh food.

"We also worked with students to connect them with university and community services that could provide them with additional support'" he said.

CQUniversity's sector-leading online learning platforms and resources were also another factor behind the University's strong showing in the latest survey.

"During lockdowns' when learning had to be delivered online' CQUniversity was able to supply students with a seamless transition from on-campus to online study due to the sophistication of our online learning delivery.

"CQUniversity has been delivering online education to domestic students for two decades and we have long been known as leaders in this space.

"Having such strong systems already in place meant that our international students were not disadvantaged' and their study progression was not disrupted or delayed."

Mr Thampapillai also said CQUniversity was now looking forward to welcoming back new and returning international students' with borders now officially re-opened for eligible student visa holders.

"We are extremely happy to see border restrictions ease and to welcome back fully-vaccinated new and returning students from overseas.

"We have missed our international students on campus and are very hopeful that in 2022 life on campus will start returning to normal.

"We look forward to working with all of our international students to deliver the best experience possible while they are studying in Australia."

The International Student Barometer survey is administered by i-graduate and is the largest survey in the world focusing on international student experiences.

More information about the survey and CQUniversity's outcomes can be found here.