The EUR has received a new wave of results of the International Student Barometer (ISB), in which international students have been asked about their learning, living, support and arrival experiences in Rotterdam.

The results do not differ much from previous ISBs, with the EUR still in the lower ranks of the participating universities from all over the world. The EUR’s visiting students are happy with language support and expert teachers, but they expect more feedback on their performance. Living in Rotterdam is not too bad compared with other cities, but students do expect better support from an accommodation office, something handled by Stadswonen. Students also expect more or better career advice and the catering is once again rated poorly, to mention a few of the outcomes. Some of these things are within the university’s reach, like education. Other areas of concern are beyond the university’s reach, like the price of a beer in the pub or general costs of living. Here the university must manage students’ expectations better.

Last year, in an attempt to turn things around, measures were taken to achieve ‘quick wins’. However, a more thorough approach with long-term policies is necessary. Therefore the ‘Commission International Students’ was recently established. In this commission are represented: students, all faculties, the catering company, ESN Rotterdam and the different SSCs. The goal is to get the EUR higher up in future ISB rankings, which is in line with the EUR’s strategy for 2013. This strategy recognises that higher education is becoming more competitive and that international rankings and benchmarking are increasingly becoming part of the functioning of universities. In addition it says that the EUR will see a strong increase of foreign students. Yet this growth will only be sustainable if the EUR scores better in the rankings. KL