International students’ demand for quality of teaching and services – The case of UP FAMNIT Aleš Oven and Marko Gavriloski and Mitja Tretjak
Summary: As the numbers of international students (degree mobility) at the University of Primorska, Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies (UP FAMNIT) are rising significantly, we were interested in learning what convinced them to enrol at UP FAMNIT and move abroad. In 2017, we approached these students and used a combination of methods (survey, semi-structured interview) to gain deeper insight into the expectations of their studies. Findings show that future students became familiar with UP FAMNIT primarily through their acquaintances. A large majority (over 80%) of students bring study-related knowledge with them and want to improve it further. Other aspects, such as environment, are not as important. Combining students’ expectations with the fact that the majority found UP FAMNIT through word-of-mouth and that existing students probably explained how the Faculty works, we can conclude that, in the case of UP FAMNIT, internationalisation is directly linked to a high quality of teaching and services. In large part, international students already recognise that the Faculty offers quality programmes, further proven by the popularity of PhD programmes. Our results prove that UP FAMNIT’s internationalisation enhances the quality of education and research. These expectations must, however, be further nurtured, met and developed and pose an immediate demand for Faculty staff to meet students’ expectations.