Academic and social integration of Master students: a cross-institutional comparison between Dutch and international students

B.C. Rienties*, D. Luchoomun, D.T. Tempelaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In europe there is a growing concern among educators and policy makers that students are not well-prepared to start a master programme. This study draws on longitudinal research conducted at four universities in the netherlands and a follow-up exploratory purposively chosen from one of the study sites. In study 1, differences in academic performance between 146 dutch and 215 international students were identified by focussing on their levels of academic and social integration. Afterwards, students from 53 countries were clustered into ten geographical clusters using hofstede culture difference scores. In study 2, a questionnaire about perceived transitional barriers was completed by 159 master students at one of the four institutes. The results of study 1 indicate that academic and social integration scores of western european and domestic students were comparable. Eastern european, non-european and in particular southern asian and confucian asian master students had significantly lower academic and social integration scores. Follow-up regressions showed that academic adjustment is the main predictor of study- performance, irrespective of cultural differences. Study 2 indicates that half of the master students experienced a substantial change in their learning strategies, language and research methods. We encourage uk higher educational institutes to conduct more research on whether the specific needs of international master students are sufficiently supported.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-141
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
Issue number2
Early online date19 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this