Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Donna M. Talbot

Second Advisor

Dr. D. Eric Archer

Third Advisor

Dr. Fen Yu


Asian international students, student satisfaction, student recommendation, international student experience, international students in U.S.


International students are integral to U.S. higher education. They bring talent and cultural diversity to U.S. campuses, contribute immensely to the U.S. economy, and create long-lasting political and academic links that aid public diplomacy in the long run (NAFSA, 2003). The U.S. has traditionally been the largest market for international students seeking quality higher education (Institute of International Education, 2018). However, reports show that the U.S. is slowly losing its market share of international students, and the number of new international students coming to the U.S. has been on the decline since 2016/17. Higher education institutions are most concerned over the recruitment of Asian international students, who comprise three-quarters of the total international student population in the U.S.

Using secondary analysis of data from the International Student Barometer (ISB) collected in Fall 2017, this study investigates the overall satisfaction level of Asian international students, the willingness of these students to recommend their institution to future students, the factors that could predict overall satisfaction and institutional recommendation, and whether there were differences among students from the five geographical Asian sub-regions. The study was limited to students in 4-year institutions. There were a total of 7,484 respondents out of whom 5,941 were from the Asian continent, attending eight universities across eight states in the U.S.

The results show that, in general, Asian international students in the U.S. had significantly lower satisfaction levels than their non-Asian counterparts. However, Southern Asian students had, on average, higher overall satisfaction levels than students from Eastern Asia and Western Asia. Multiple regression analysis indicated that satisfaction with learning experiences was the strongest positive predictor for overall satisfaction. Satisfaction with university support services and satisfaction with living experiences also positively predicted overall satisfaction, and the three variables together with age as a negative predictor, explained 31.6% of the variance in the overall satisfaction of Asian international students in general. Gender had no significant influence on overall satisfaction.

The results also show that Asian international students were less willing to recommend their institution compared to non-Asian international students. In general, satisfaction with support services was the strongest positive predictor on willingness to recommend. Overall satisfaction, satisfaction with learning experiences, and satisfaction with living experiences were the other factors that positively predicted willingness to recommend. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the four satisfaction variables explained 19.4% of the variance in Asian international students’ willingness to recommend their institution. There were differences among sub-regions on the strength and the significance of the variables as well as the extent that the equation was able to explain variances in willingness to recommend. Implications for practice and recommendations for further research are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access