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Sussex performs well in survey of international students
More than 90% of international students are satisfied with their overall experience at the University of Sussex, shows an independent student survey.
Almost one thousand of the 5,000 international students at Sussex completed the autumn 2016 ‘wave’ of the International Student Barometer (ISB), with 91% reporting overall satisfaction with their student experience.
The study also showed that 86% of them would recommend Sussex to other students thinking of applying to university.
As in previous years, Sussex performed well for the “arrival experience”, with 90% of students who completed the questionnaire saying that they were satisfied or very satisfied; this put Sussex third out of the 42 UK institutions that took part in the survey.
The same percentage (90%) were satisfied or very satisfied with support services at Sussex. Overall satisfaction was 89% for the learning experience and 84% for the living experience.
The area where Sussex saw the biggest improvement was students’ satisfaction with the process of opening a bank account, which was identified as an area of concern in the previous year’s survey - when only 45% of students said they had been satisfied with this experience when they first arrived in the UK.
Sussex staff responded by implementing a number of improvements in conjunction with local banks, and this time round 86% of respondents said they were satisfied with the new, simpler process.
Head of International Student Support, Sara Dyer, said: “Opening a bank account is an important step for new international students. We are pleased that our work with local bank branches has made the process easier.”
Students were also very satisfied with their “learning” and “living” experiences, placing the University of Sussex 9th out of 42 participating institutions in the UK for the teaching ability and subject expertise of their lecturers, and 11th for the surroundings outside the University.
Professor Clare Mackie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), said: “At Sussex we place a strong emphasis on the quality and effectiveness of our support services, in the context of an all-round excellent student experience. It is pleasing to see progress in a number of areas.”
The survey did of course identify a number of areas where improvements could be made, including internet access in student residences.
Despite a number of improvements to internet access on campus – including the replacement of more than 1,200 wi-fi access points in residences before the start of the 2016-17 academic year - satisfaction with provision dropped by three percentage points to 74%.
Sara Dyer said: “Expectations around the availability and quality of internet access increase year on year, particularly among students coming from countries where provision is extremely high.”
The International Student Barometer survey is independently administered by the International Graduate Insight Group and, with feedback from over 2.7 million students worldwide across all student types, levels and years of study, is considered the leading benchmarking tool to track the international student experience.
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