International Student Barometer 2018: satisfaction with learning experience but criticism of accommodation
International students at Leiden University are happy. They are also satisfied with their learning experience. These are the results of the International Student Barometer 2018. Over 1,100 international students from Leiden University took part. But they are also critical – about student housing and their arrival, for instance.
The International Student Barometer (ISB) is an annual survey that is carried out by i-Graduate Insight Group. Two hundred and twelve institutions in 21 countries take part in the ISB. Thirteen Dutch research universities and universities of higher education took part in the ISB in 2018. All international students (bachelor’s, master’s and exchange students) who started at one of the participating institutions in September 2018 were invited to take the survey. A total of 1,128 international students from Leiden University completed it.
Leiden internationals are very happy
From their answers, it is clear that international students at Leiden University are very happy: 92% of the respondents say they are happy, putting Leiden in third place the Netherlands and 47th in the world. The students are also very satisfied with the learning experience in Leiden: Leiden has the highest percentage of satisfied students of all Dutch universities here. Over 95% of the international students were committed to their programme and 90% felt that they were part of a learning-oriented student community.
International students at Leiden University are less stressed or worried about their progress than the national average. The survey also showed that the University’s introduction programme is highly rated by exchange students, that in general Leiden University College has a lot of satisfied students and that international students in The Hague are somewhat more satisfied with the support provided by the University than those in Leiden.
Criticism of accommodation
There was also some criticism from the students. The University’s score is below the national average on the themes Arrival and Living. The students are particularly dissatisfied with topics relating to accommodation: not only availability and the cost and state of housing but also the support received from the Housing Office. They are also less satisfied with the performance feedback that they receive during their studies. In addition, despite having undergone improvement in recent years, the different supporting services at Leiden University – accommodation, career guidance and study advice – still rank below the national average.
More student housing
The University takes the students’ comments in the survey very seriously – particularly those aspects with which they are less satisfied. An improvement plan will be drawn up for the supporting services that is based on the survey results. Vice-Rector Hester Bijl says, ‘We will keep close track on whether these plans do actually lead to an improvement.’
The difficulties that international students face in finding accommodation is a continuing point of attention. The University is working together with the municipalities of Leiden and The Hague and the other educational institutions in both cities to create more housing and introduce schemes to help international students find accommodation. These parties recently agreed to create 270 additional student residences for internationals for the next academic year.