International Research Higher Degree (IRHD) Student in Australia: A Mixed-Method Study

Lucy Baohua YU
The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong


With the globalization of higher education, it is crucial to research on international students and to understand what accounts for their satisfaction in the host country. This paper explores predictors of overall, academic and socio-cultural satisfaction for IRHD at tertiary level in Australia. Survey questionnaires and interviews are used to collect data with the aim of ascertaining key predictors with a view to helping sojourning students adapt to the Australian academic and socio-cultural environment. Results suggest that IRHD students' overall satisfaction and academic satisfaction in Australia are highly related to each other, and they may be strongly influenced by their learning and research, moderately influenced by co-national support and intercultural contact ability. In addition, socio-cultural satisfaction is significantly influenced by living and adaptation ability (defined by the housing condition, good life adjustment and friendships) as well as intercultural contact ability, though the latter may not the most crucial predictor. Implications for supervisors, international students and institutional practice are discussed.

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