Surveying international university students: The case of the 5% response rate
Christine Steinmetz, Sian Thompson and Nancy Marshall
University of New South Wales, Australia
This article is a methodological critique of a survey process undertaken with international undergraduate students at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Despite following best practice surveying protocols this research project initially achieved a 5% response rate. The research team had to change its approach part-way through the process to achieve a 45% response rate and attain valuable information needed to improve the overall student experience for the international student cohort in the faculty. This article concludes with lessons learned about surveying this unique student group - these methodological lessons are relevant for other research teams studying the higher education sector globally.
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|Authors: Dr Christine Steinmetz is a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales Sydney in the Faculty of Built Environment. Her education research explores the social construction of place on university campuses, the undergraduate student experience, and improving learning outcomes and student well-being.|
Dr Sian Thompson is a research associate at the University of New South Wales Sydney in the City Futures Research Centre. Her current research portfolio involves investigating the design, management and personal factors influencing social connection in large apartment complexes. She has worked on several large surveys in the housing and education sectors.
Dr Nancy Marshall, formerly at the University of New South Wales, is currently an associate professor at the University of Sydney in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning. Nancy's scholarship of teaching and learning research underpins her approach as both a teacher and as an educational leader and manager. Current research includes studying higher education contexts for students and universities.
Please cite as: Steinmetz, C., Thompson, S. & Marshall, N. (2020). Surveying international university students: The case of the 5% response rate. Issues in Educational Research, 30(3), 1105-1125. http://www.iier.org.au/iier30/steinmetz.pdf