International Student Barometer
Southern Cross University has scored extremely well in the 2015 International Student Barometer (ISB) ranking first in international student support, first in overall living, and second in overall learning
SCU International ranked number one for international student support
This is the third consecutive year that SCU International has received this ranking.
Jacky Zhang, Manager of the International Student Support Team considers "early engagement as an important factor that has improved student retention with students being monitored right from orientation. In the first two weeks we meet the students individually to see how they are managing and can navigate their way around Blackboard (SCU's teaching platform). We wantto make sure students feel supported right from the start and feel confident to ask for help."
"The new Ambassador program also provides a new level of engagement by and for students. We train our ambassadors to become international student leaders. Their role involves mentoring students, organising and participating in events and volunteering with the outside community. The ambassadors work alongside our International Student Support Team and provide a 'near peer' focus for new students, knowing that their leaders have gone through the same experience. This is particularly important for international students coming into an unfamiliar environment, experiencing a new culture and language without the familiar support of their families'.
SCU's Career Development Service assists students in preparing for their future career through career consultations, portal for students to access jobs, online resources for helpful hints and tips on the interview process. Many courses have professional placement giving students the opportunity to gain 'hands-on'skills and experience.
SCU ranked number one for overall living
According to the Regional Universities Network (RUN), of which SCU is a member, regional universities give a sense of community and social inclusion, lower cost of living, personal safety and the attractiveness of an Australian regional lifestyle.
Accommodation quality and cost ranked highly. SCU Village offers students on-campus living options in Coffs Harbour and Lismore and Unistays provides an online service for students to find private rentals.
SCU ranked number two for overall learning support
This category covers teaching, studies and facilities. SCU scored well in quality lectures, expert lecturers, research and program content.
Dr Sally Ashton-Hay from Academic Skills at SCU supports international students in a variety of ways."Our role is to provide individual support, depending on their requirements. For some students who don't use technology in their home community, we introduce them to computers. For others it's about developing a good essay structure or help with report writing. It's also about supporting academics in developing resources to assist students where English is a second language. Our team is always available to students through email, phone, face to face, small group sessions or team-teaching."
"One of the biggest pluses at SCU is the amazing international student support team. They are on top of everything and offer you all the support you need. No matter if it is study related or a private problem, they are always happy to see and help you" said Steffen Westermann, an undergraduate student from Germany. This is supported by 81.9% of existing international students who would recommend others to study at SCU
The full report can be seen at Planning, Quality and Review website.