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How satisfied are international students? The role of town, gown and motivations

Author: Huisman, J., Vlegels, J., Daenekindt, S., Seeber, M. & Laufer, M.
Published in: Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Year: 2021
Type: Academic articles
DOI: 10.1080/03057925.2020.1867826

A growing literature addresses the experiences of international students in higher education. However, limited attention has been paid to how satisfied international students are with their educational experience (gown) and their non-educational experiences related to, e.g. culture, transportation, administrative matters and housing (town). This paper presents findings from a study on 392 international students that have spent a period in one of the higher education institutions located in the city of Ghent, Belgium. We explore which socio-demographic variables and students’ motivations predict their overall satisfaction and satisfaction regarding specific dimensions: housing, culture/lifestyle, education and administration. The findings illustrate that financial security and academic motivation positively predict general satisfaction as well as all or most of the four specific dimensions of satisfaction. Socio-demographic variables hardly play a role, apart from religion and the difference between the home and host country’s level of educational development.

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