Student Voices

The Student Voices research study was conducted in association with 23 Australian and New Zealand universities and TAFEs over 3 weeks in November. The research was based around 26 institutional and community opinion leader interviews and small group discussions with 41 students.

The motivation of the Student Voices research was to contextualise the entire social license agenda, including the level of acceptance local (domestic students) communities have towards 'other' communities (international students) and to better understand the current international student experience in Australia and New Zealand.

IEAA collaborated with Education New Zealand on this research project to explore how domestic students' attitudes and behaviours towards international students have shifted during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Student Voices study examined:

  • which students, organisations and networks have become active
  • the reasons for their greater engagement
  • the ways in which they have connected with international students and other stakeholder groups
  • greatest challenges experienced by international students and their impressions of Australia
  • positive outcomes and lost opportunities from 2020
  • changing perspectives

The project draws on the findings to advise international education providers, governments and student organisations in Australia and New Zealand on strategies for supporting and enhancing such engagement into the future.



Student Voices: Domestic cohort engagement with international students through COVID-19

Published on 1/07/2021
This report, jointly published by IEAA and Education New Zealand, is a landmark trans-Tasman study that analyses Australian and New Zealand domestic student sentiments towards international students during COVID-19.


Student Voices: International Students’ Experiences During COVID-19

Published on 1/10/2021
The second iteration of the landmark trans-Tasman research study aims to better understand the experiences of international students in Australia and New Zealand during COVID-19.Nicholas Bakker

Lead researcher

The project was led by Rob Lawrence, a leading researcher on international education sentiments, market dynamics, demand and drivers. Across the past 3 decades Rob has worked in 38 countries on projects for the Australian, British, New Zealand, Canadian and Singapore governments, all of Australia’s state governments, many peak bodies (including IEAA), and over 90 universities, colleges and schools around the world. In 2014, Rob was presented with the highly prestigious 'Distinguished Contribution to International Education' award at the IEAA Excellence Awards.

"This project is one that I have felt particularly privileged to have worked on. The results pave the way for a new perspective in terms of how international students can become better immersed into campus communities and feel equally recognised and valued as their ‘local’ counterparts,”

-- researcher Rob Lawrence says.

This report was produced in partnership with Education New Zealand.