E-news Issue 7
Wednesday, 08 September 2021
Charles Darwin University
International students rate favourably towards CDU's response to COVID-19.
International students rate favourably towards CDU's response to COVID-19.

International students rate CDU highly on COVID-19 response

A recently-published research illustrates international students’ satisfaction level towards Charles Darwin University (CDU)’s response to COVID-19.

Academics from the Asia Pacific College of Business and Law, Dr Steven Greenland, Dr Muhammad Saleem, Roopali Misra and Bhanu Bhatia, conducted the research to investigate international students’ sentiment towards the support services provided by the University during COVID-19 in 2020.

Dr Greenland said the Australian international education sector was among the hardest hit during the pandemic and more academic research was needed to shed light on the impact.

“The international education sector has lost and will continue to lose billions of dollars. It’s important to analyse the impact on international students and their behaviour,” Dr Greenland said.

According to Dr Greenland, Australia along with the UK, US and Canada are the main international education providers in the global market.

“Countries that respond quickly get a competitive advantage in the market. With hard border closures, Australia is in a disadvantaged position,” he said.

The researchers conducted an online survey among 159 CDU international students and asked them to rate the University’s response to COVID-19 in student support and communication.

“According to the data, CDU did well in three dimensions, which were student wellbeing, social distance and hygiene and effective communication and planning,” Dr Saleem said.

“But more was needed in providing financial support because many international students lost their jobs and family support, causing stress and mental health issues.”

In addition to the survey data, the researchers also collected qualitative data from individual interviews and focus groups with some international students.

“Through the interviews, we gained insights into how CDU compared to other universities and countries,” Dr Saleem said.

“Our results suggested students were relatively satisfied with CDU’s interventions and were recommending CDU to their families and friends.”

The research report can be found here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08841241.2021.1949660