ISB: 'Leiden world class'
The results of the International Student Barometer from Summer 2011 show that Leiden scores overall first in the Netherlands. Leiden Vice-Rector, Professor Simone Buitendijk: ‘Leiden has consistently been rated world class on academic aspects such as the quality of our education, our course content and our teachers. We are proud of this achievement.’
Leiden scored above 90% for a number of learning-related aspects: Academics’ English (96.8%), the expertise of the lecturers (96%), the quality of the lectures, the course content, language support and laboratories. In the Learning category, Leiden gained overall first position in the Netherlands and 4th position among all the institutions that took part in the ISB. When comparing the results for 2011 with those for 2010, the Leiden scores showed improvements in 2011 for language support, learning support and course content. An area that achieved a lower score in 2011 than in 2010 was employability. This is undoubtedly a factor of the current economic climate; nonetheless, ways of improving the situation by possibly creating temporary positions for students are being explored with JobMotion, the University’s in-house employment agency.
In the Living category, Leiden scored above 80% for more than half the aspects, ranging from sports facilities to host culture and from safe environment to internet access. In this category Leiden performed overall second in the Netherlands. Between the 2010 and 2011 surveys, Leiden also made improvements, particularly in sports facilities, the host culture, visa advice and accommodation costs. The recently opened accommodation in The Hague for the University College is just one example of the improvement in housing facilities over the past year. Since the first survey in 2006, students’ satisfaction with the Accommodation Office has improved by as much as 29%.
In the Support category, that covers such facilities as counseling, health centre, clubs/societies and International Office, Leiden again scored above 80% for nine of the 12 aspects. But we are continuing to work on all these aspects as the comparison between the Exit Wave for 2010 and that held in Summer 2011 shows. The results for Leiden improved in the period from 2010 to 2011 for the Admissions Office, for student advisory services, for counseling and for the Accommodation Office.
The survey shows that 87% of international students are satisfied with their experience in Leiden and that 75% would recommend Leiden to others. Nonetheless, there is no room for complacency. Buitendijk: ‘Our primary goal is to retain this high level or raise it where possible. At the same time, we will work hard to improve our scores on other issues, such as our admission and administrative procedures and the social integration of our international students. This year's ISB shows clear signs of improvement in these areas but there is still a lot of work ahead of us.’
A working group is being set up to discuss the findings of the ISB and to work both on maintaining the level of satisfaction of Leiden’s international students and on making improvements where necessary. There are plans for the working group to discuss its proposals with a sounding board made up of international students.
International Student Barometer (ISB)
This is the largest bi-annual survey of international student experience in the world. It is administered by the International Graduate Insight Group (I-Graduate), an independent and leading education research organisation. To date it has been adopted by over 160 higher education institutions in Australia, continental Europe, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. In the last two years over 250,000 international students have given their feedback about their university experience. Since 2005, Leiden University has been partnering with i-graduate to gauge the feelings of its international students. The ISN results help us to gain a better idea of our performance in the areas of learning, living, arrival facilities and support, thus providing us with the tools to improve our services and enhance the student experience for current and future international students.
- International Student Barometer Assessment (in Dutch)
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(14 November 2011 / Marilyn Hedges)