Universities need to develop strategies to improve experiences of international students

Below is a summary of some important research from the blog of “Dr. Education,” aka  Dr. Rahul Choudaha:  DrEducation: International Higher Education Blog -Trends, insights and strategies on internationalization of higher education.  (Posted on 30.6.14)

Dr. Choudaha is the chief knowledge officer for World Education Services (WES) and the lead researcher for the report.  It reveals a wide variation in perceptions of why international undergraduate students in the U.S. leave their institutions of first enrollment before completing their degree.   (My italics.) The study, entitled U.S. Study of International Undergraduate Retention: Implications and Gaps between International Education Professionals and International Students, was sponsored by ELS Education Services, Inc.

Source: NAFSA research on international student research
Source: NAFSA research on international student research

One of the key takeaways of the research was “that poor retention is a function of the mismatch between expectations of students prior to enrollment and the actual experience of students once they are on campus.” Sheila Schulte of NAFSA noted that “The three main implications from the study that can help institutions set transparent expectations with international students are: understanding the diverse needs of the international student body, coordinating internationalization efforts across campus, and investing in programs and services that improve student experiences.”

Here are the related links covering the research:

Infographic on NAFSA International Student Retention Research
Why They Stay or Leave, Inside Higher Ed