We focused on international student transitions during this Theme as there was a lot of sector interest in this topic.

Commissioned work


In year two of the Theme, we commissioned work into the experience and needs of international students and produced a report on the findings.


International Students' Transitions into Scottish Higher Education

Publication Date: 27 Jan 2017

This scoping study highlights the features of international students' transitions and how they are supported by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Scotland. The aim of this study was to help individual HEIs be better informed to meet the needs of those students. This work was compete during the Student Transitions Enhancement Theme.

Document Details
Author: QAA Scotland
Format: PDF
Size: 3829 KB

Institutional case studies


Institutions produced fourteen different case studies covering the topic of international student transitions. You can find these case studies on the Student Transitions Map.


Internationalisation and the student experience


Professor Jones is Emerita Professor of the Internationalisation of Higher Education at Leeds Beckett University. She discusses her views of, and tips for, enhancing the international student experience.


Professor Jones was a keynote speaker at the 3rd International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference in June 2017.

Work of sector bodies


Some sector bodies provide useful information about the international student experience:

  • The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities
  • The Equality Challenge Unit works to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education institutions across all four nations of the UK and in colleges in Scotland
  • The Higher Education Academy works in partnership with institutions and individuals in higher education supporting student success
  • The National Union of Students (UK) undertakes work aimed at supporting international students
  • Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland (sparqs) is a publicly-funded agency for Scotland's university and college sectors. sparqs aims to support student engagement in the quality of the learning experience. A joint sparqs and NUS Scotland training package is available, about supporting international students to engage with their learning experience
  • The UK Council for International Student Affairs is the UK's national advisory body serving the interests of international students and those who work with them
  • Universities UK is the voice of universities, helping to maintain the world-leading strength of the UK university sector and supporting its members to achieve their aims and objectives.