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Seeing students as customers : can a customer-service approach improve the satisfaction levels of international students at Australian universities?
conference contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Alison Owens, S Loomes
Over the last three decades continued reductions in government funding and increases in full-fee paying student places at Australian universities have redefined the relationship between students and the university. Central Queensland University (CQU) has been a leading Australian provider of higher education to full-fee paying international students since 1994 and has developed a comprehensive range of administrative and academic support services specifically aligned to the needs of international students as well as domestic students. In 2005-06 CQU Sydney International Campus (CQUSIC) with almost 100% international student enrolment made a conscious decision to review its organizational culture and reconceptualise the ‘international student’ as ‘organisational customer’. Findings from data generated from 2 years of student surveys and a staff focus group discussion indicate that the effect of both process improvements and a customer-service focused approach to staff recruitment, training, socialisation and deployment have significantly improved the enrolment experiences of both students and staff.