The views of international students regarding university support services in Australia: a case study


  • Pamela Anne Roberts Curtin University
  • Duncan Boldy Curtin University
  • Katie Dunworth Bath University


support services, international students, student-centred, case study method


This paper reports on a study aimed at developing an improved understanding of the support needs of international students. Using a case study approach at one Australian university, a three stage data collection process was adopted: interviews with key support service providers in the university, student focus groups, and a large-scale survey. Emphasis was placed on identifying the issues that are significant to international students in terms of their study experience, the services they consider as valuable and the factors that contribute to take-up. The findings reveal that, while most respondents felt that the range of support services provided is appropriate, current services could be improved by offering a more student-centred service structure and delivery. Issues identified as influencing service use include the institutional culture, perceived importance and awareness of services, the quality of information provided about those services, ease of access, timeliness of service provision and cost.

Author Biographies

Pamela Anne Roberts, Curtin University

Dr Pamela Roberts

Deputy Head

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Duncan Boldy, Curtin University

Professor Duncan Boldy

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Curtin University

Katie Dunworth, Bath University

Dr Katie Dunworth

School of Education

Bath University






General Refereed Papers