IUPUI, NSSE, and International Students

For a doctoral class in Institutional Research, I decided to take a look at international students at IUPUI. While ESL has been my passion for a long time, I'm also very interested in international students studying here in the US. Below is the product of my investigation. The entire report (PDF) can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of the page.


IUPUI aims to be a global campus in a global city. Internationalization infuses an international or intercultural dimension into ALL aspects of a university's mission, and it's an important part of the IUPUI strategic plan. Part of this vision includes recruiting and retaining international students. In order to better understand the international student population at IUPUI, it’s important to gather and analyze their perceptions of their experiences during their education. One way to examine these perceptions is through the use of a survey instrument.

The National Survey of StudentEngagement (NSSE) is one such instrument. The NSSE survey assesses freshman and senior students’ engagement in educational activities known to correlate with high levels of learning and development.

IUPUI participates in the NSSE survey every three years. Most recently the survey was administered in 2018. Along with IUPUI, over 1000 other institutions participated in 2018 including seven of IUPUI’s peers and over 100 public doctoral institutions of higher education (per Carnegie classification).

 IUPUI’s Office of Institutional Research andDecision Support (IRDS) coordinates the collection of NSSE data and offers research briefs and reports. Based on the 2018 NSSE results, IRDS published a research brief highlighting some key areas of strength and assets to protect. These highlights reflect scores on NSSE where IUPUI scored higher than their peer institutions, public doctoral universities, and/or all other NSSE participating institutions. 

During a review of the IRDS research brief with staff from IUPUI’s Office of International Affairs, a question was posed as to whether IUPUI international students shared the areas of strength and assets to protect along with the other students who participated in NSSE in 2018. The purpose of this research brief is to compare the 2018 NSSE results of international students and domestic students at IUPUI.