International Student Experience Survey 2020 results

University of Divinity international students rate their overall experience the highest of any university in Australia.

The Student Experience Survey (SES) is part of the Federal Government’s Quality Indicator of Learning and Teaching (QILT) program and “provides a national architecture for collecting data on key aspects of the higher education student experience” (qilt.edu.au). The SES measures five aspects of the student experience: Skills Development, Learner Engagement, Teaching Quality, Student Support, and Learning Resources.

The International Student Experience Survey subset was first added to the SES in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes an additional module of data focused on international students’ decision to study in Australia and with Australian higher education institutions and their living arrangements, such as their experience with accommodation, transport, safety, relationships and employment opportunities while studying.

For the University of Divinity, international students comprised 16.9% of the total 2020 SES population sample, and 19.08% of the respondents. Over 60% of eligible international students at the University of Divinity participated in the SES during 2020.

Figure 1: the international undergraduate coursework student experience for the University of Divinity in 2020 by % positive rating compared to the national university and NUHEI averages


Skills Development

Learner Engagement

Teaching Quality

Student Support

Learning Resources

Quality of entire educational experience

University of Divinity







Universities Average







NUHEIs Average








About the survey results, Dr Maggie Kappelhoff, Dean of Academic Programs at the University of Divinity said:

“One of the greatest benefits of being a smaller institution is the emphasis we are able to place on care, support and individual engagement of our students as it relates to their studies. This is consistently reflected in the University’s leading of national SES results and in particular the positive response from international students in 2020, who have faced unprecedented challenges to their study during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I thank my colleagues for their flexibility, willingness, and inclusive culture to go above and beyond to ensure that our international students were not left out or left behind, both in their studies and in their socio-personal needs.”

The full survey results can be viewed online here: 2020-ses-international-report.pdf (qilt.edu.au)

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