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Benchmarking the student experience: the offshore campus experience

Chenicheri Sid Nair (Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)
Nicolene Murdoch (Monash South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Patricie Mertova (Department of Education, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to look at the role of the student experience questionnaire in collecting students' perceptions of their experiences in studying at an offshore campus of an Australian University, compared with the experiences of the University's students in Australia. In particular, it seeks to highlight the difference in perceptions of students resulting, for example, from the size of the campus versus the size of other campuses and the whole institution.


The case study is based on a student learning experience questionnaire utilised by a large research‐intensive Australian tertiary institution (with two overseas campuses). The results of the questionnaire are compared between one overseas campus and the whole institution. The case study looks at the experiences of the overseas campus compared with the Australian experience. Although the case study is situated within one institution, there are aspects and lessons that are applicable to other institutions internationally, in particular when considering collecting student feedback in relation to multi‐campus or multi‐venue programmes.


Higher satisfaction rates for different aspects of student learning experience were identified at the overseas campus in comparison with the whole institution. This was attributed to the smaller size of the overseas campus and thus better engagement of and personal attention to students at this campus. This finding may be particularly relevant to other international institutions in relation to the role of an institution's size and collection of student feedback.

Practical implications

The case study outlines a number of strategies adopted to enhance student engagement and subsequently to improve the aspects which they have indicated as being less satisfactory. The institution was chosen as an example of how particular strategies may be adopted in other institutions.


Enhancement of student experience is pre‐conditioned by good survey response rates among students for an institution to base its actions on opinions of a sufficiently high number of students. This paper describes a successful strategy of engaging students adopted by a large research‐intensive Australian university, and thus increasing survey response rates.



Sid Nair, C., Murdoch, N. and Mertova, P. (2011), "Benchmarking the student experience: the offshore campus experience", The TQM Journal, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 585-597.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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