Publication Date



This briefing was prepared by Dr Daniel Edwards, with assistance from Dr Hamish Coates and Ms Ali Radloff. The authors would like to thank the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University for providing NSSE data on international students.


Findings from the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE) provide a new and unique means of tracking international students’ participation in higher education. The AUSSE is the largest cross-institutional collection of data from currently enrolled students in Australasia, and has formative links with the 1,200-institution USA National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The AUSSE has been validated rigorously for use in Australasia, and taps into fundamental aspects of educational quality – students’ engagement with effective educational practices, including important beyond class experiences. Evidence-based feedback such as this plays a critical role in growing and improving Australasia’s international higher education industry. Cross-national perspectives are particularly important, for they mirror the global context in which the industry operates. To that end, this paper uses findings from the AUSSE and NSSE to benchmark the engagement and outcomes of international students enrolled at universities in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Comparisons are made with domestic students to provide a context for interpreting the experiences of the international cohort.