A global survey that gauges the experiences of international students shows the learning experience at Queen’s University is the best in Canada and one of the best in the world.
The International Student Barometer Survey involves thousands of students from about 200 institutions worldwide. The survey asks students about a range of topics, including pre-arrival experience, arrival experience, learning experience, living experience, student support, career plans and service expectations.
With respect to learning experience, the 2012 International Student Barometer (ISB) report ranks Queen’s number one in Canada and 34th globally among undergraduate students; number one in Canada and 48th globally among doctoral students; and number two in Canada and 25th globally among master’s students. Queen’s also places number one across Canada for student support, including health counselling and international centre resources, and number two among Canadian universities for the student living experience.
“These figures confirm the extremely high-quality student experience that is a trademark of Queen’s,” says Jim Lee, Vice-Provost (International). “It is unfortunate that few of the well-known world university rankings include this significant factor in their ranking schemes and this highlights a key problem in solely using such rankings to make decisions about the quality of educational institutions. Significantly, this survey tells us that international students place Queen’s among the world’s top 50 institutions in terms of the international student learning experience.”
According to the ISB survey, undergraduate students ranked Queen’s very highly in student and learning support, notably in academic advising, expert lecturers, and the library. Graduate students gave the university high marks for expert lecturers, guidance in the selection of topics, level of research activity, and opportunities to teach. The results showed students were very satisfied with sport facilities, safety, and the campus environment.
The survey also noted several areas for improvement, particularly in career services, IT support, public transportation links, and the quality of off-campus accommodation.
Queen’s was one of 10 universities in Ontario invited to participate in a three-year pilot program ending in 2012 to survey their international students. The pilot program was partially subsidized by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities.