The impact of international students on measured learning and standards in Australian higher education
International students, who are also often from non-English language speaking backgrounds (NESB students), are an important source of revenue for Australian universities. Yet little large-scale evidence exists about their performance once they arrive. Do these students perform worse than other students in Australian undergraduate classrooms? What happens to other students’ performance when these students are added to classrooms? I provide new empirical evidence on these questions using recent administrative panel data from the business schools of two Australian Technology Network universities. Results show strong and highly statistically significant main effects and spillover effects, raising concerns about the integration of international NESB students into the Australian tertiary environment.
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