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Student services and pathways to higher education


October 2005 - October 2006


In the increasing global competition for the best students, the quality and attractiveness of an institution does no longer depend only on its academic, teaching and research standards: services to students have come to play an important role in the quality assessment – and thus competitiveness – of institutions. But what services should be available? How to respond to the needs and expectations of international students in particular? Who should provide support for them and how should it be organised?

This one-year project investigated good models of practice in student services and preparatory programmes offered to international degree students in a selection of countries in and outside of Europe (Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Netherlands, Switzerland, and United Kingdom). The study offers comprehensive material and in-depth analysis of existing student service models and different ways to prepare international students for degree study. It also analysed which types of services are deemed as necessary for study success and which, on the other hand, are key in determinants in students’ destination choice. Based on the results of the research, the study provides proposals for the improvement of service provision taking into consideration the different national contexts and policy priorities.