International Student Barometer (ISB)

About the ISB

The ISB is the world's largest student survey providing benchmarks for international student satisfaction. All levels and years of study are covered, from first year undergraduates to final year PhD students.

The ISB provides La Trobe University with an understanding of the international student experience. Through the confidential information gathered, we are able to evaluate what we are doing well as a university and in what areas we need to improve.

The 2017 ISB results

In 2017, more than 145,354 international students from 185 universities worldwide participated in the survey, with 16 Australian universities and more than 25 000 international students participating. From La Trobe University, 1,636 students (27% of onshore La Trobe international students) responded to the survey.

Overall, La Trobe University received positive results from the 2017 ISB.

Compared to other Australian universities, our international students identified a number of key areas as having greater or equal satisfaction levels with Australian or worldwide universities. There were several elements within each area key area of student satisfaction at La Trobe which students identified as very satisfactory (between 85-90% satisfaction rate). These included:

Key area Element with very high student satisfaction
  • Formal welcome
  • Orientation
  • Making friends
  • Residential Services
  • Expert lecturer
  • Language support
  • Managing research
  • Laboratories
  • Learning spaces
  • Technology
  • Accommodation
  • Campus environment
  • Safety
  • Environmentally friendly campus
  • Transport links
  • Disability support
  • Graduate Research School
  • Faith Provision
  • International Office
  • La Trobe Student Union

La Trobe continues to make improvements on areas that students have identified as high importance or need improvements.

Key area Steps La Trobe University has taken/will be taking to improve this area
Registration La Trobe International recognises that new arriving students feel the pressure to register / check-in with the university, settle in, find accommodation, and participate in Orientation. Delays experienced in Semester 1, 2017 have been addressed with new processes introduced for Semester 2 that included Q-Less at the check-in venue, and more trained staff to assist with student’s on arrival needs. A new enrolment guide was produced to help answer some of the initial queries students have in navigating systems and processes new to them, and more course information as provided to students at the check-in stage. La Trobe remains committed to streamlining the initial check-in stage for a smoother and more efficient student experience.
Study Sense International students identified in this survey that they felt there could have been more information provided to them on arrival about their course and study options. In Semester 2 this year students were sent a personal welcome letter from the Head of School and were presented with a course grid on arrival (for most courses). Discussions are underway about how to get this to students earlier in their journey.
Careers & EmployabilityInternational students consistently tell us they want advice from their academics around career outcomes related to their field of study. With the introduction of the Career Ready program we are already seeing some excellent results in student’s preparedness for the workforce. More work is underway to refine and strengthen this approach.

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