Identification and Ranking of Factors Affecting the Satisfaction of International Students of Iranian Universities

Document Type : Original Article


1 Master Student, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

2 Associate Professor, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran


Objective: In Iran, despite the increase in the number of international students, our knowledge of the factors that lead to the satisfaction of international students is very limited, therefore, this study was conducted to identify and rank the factors affecting the satisfaction of international students in Iranian universities.
Methods: The research is applied in terms of purpose. The factors affecting the satisfaction of international students were extracted from literature and classified into 7 categories and provided to students as a questionnaire. During a quarter in 2021, 532 international students from 30 different universities and 12 different nationalities answered to this questionnaire. The data were analyzed by using t-test, analysis of variance and Friedman
Results: According to the obtained results, among the seven dimensions investigated in this study, the dimensions of technology and information technology, management and organizational programs, financial and economic costs and educational services have the greatest impact in the satisfaction of international students in Iran.
Conclusion: The factors affecting the satisfaction of international students in Iran in order of importance include: information technology, management and organizational programs of the university, financial and economic conditions, provision of educational services, scientific support, welfare facilities and social relations. Except for the factor of satisfaction with financial and economic conditions, there is no significant difference between the average level in the two gender groups of men and women. The importance of the factors are the same among different levels of education. Also, except for welfare facilities and social relations, the importance of factors was different among different age groups of international students.


Alemu, A. M., & Cordier, J. (2017). Factors influencing international student satisfaction in Korean universities. International Journal of Educational Development57, 54-64.
Asghari, F. (2021). International Student Mobility Program (ISMP) Analysis of International Students' Challenges in Iran. Iranian Higher Education13(2), 1-30.
Bastien, G., Seifen-Adkins, T., & Johnson, L. R. (2018). Striving for success: Academic adjustment of international students in the US. Journal of International Students8(2), 1198-1219.
de Jager, J., & Gbadamosi, G. (2013). Predicting students' satisfaction through service quality in higher education. The International Journal of Management Education11(3), 107-118.
de Wit, H., & Jooste, N. (2022). Trends, data, and dimensions of international student mobility and recruitment in Latin America and the Caribbean; the Middle East and North Africa; and sub-Saharan Africa. In International Student Recruitment and Mobility in Non-Anglophone Countries (pp. 272-280). Routledge.
Douglas, J., Douglas, A., & Barnes, B. (2006). Measuring student satisfaction at a UK university. Quality assurance in education.
El-Hilali, N., Al-Jaber, S., & Hussein, L. (2015). Students’ satisfaction and achievement and absorption capacity in higher education. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences177, 420-427.
Finn, M., & Darmody, M. (2017). What predicts international higher education students’ satisfaction with their study in Ireland? Journal of Further and Higher Education41(4), 545-555.
Gareis, E., Merkin, R., & Goldman, J. (2011). Intercultural friendship: Linking communication variables and friendship success. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research40(2), 153-171.
Gokpinar-Shelton, E., & Pike, G. R. (2022). Strategies to boost international student success in US higher education: an analysis of direct and indirect effects of learning communities. Higher Education84(2), 279-297.
Guo, Y., & Guo, S. (2017). Internationalization of Canadian higher education: Discrepancies between policies and international student experiences. Studies in Higher Education42(5), 851-868.
Hendrickson, B., Rosen, D., & Aune, R. K. (2011). An analysis of friendship networks, social connectedness, homesickness, and satisfaction levels of international students. International journal of intercultural relations35(3), 281-295.
Hou, C., & Du, D. (2022). The changing patterns of international student mobility: A network perspective. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies48(1), 248-272.
Jon, J. E., Lee, J. J., & Byun, K. (2014). The emergence of a regional hub: Comparing international student choices and experiences in South Korea. Higher Education67(5), 691-710.
Jones, E. (2017). Problematizing and reimagining the notion of ‘international student experience’. Studies in Higher Education42(5), 933-943.
Kashima, E. S., & Loh, E. (2006). International students’ acculturation: Effects of international, conational, and local ties and need for closure. International journal of intercultural relations30(4), 471-485.
Lee, C. S. (2019). Global linguistic capital, global cultural capital: International student migrants in China’s two-track international education market. International Journal of Educational Development67, 94-102.
Leong, C. H., & Ward, C. (2000). Identity conflict in sojourners. International journal of intercultural relations24(6), 763-776.
Nurunnabi, M., & Abdelhadi, A. (2019). Student satisfaction in the Russell Group and Non-Russell Group Universities in UK. Data in brief22, 76-82.
Nyland, C., Forbes-Mewett, H., & Härtel, C. E. (2013). Governing the international student experience: Lessons from the Australian international education model. Academy of Management Learning & Education12(4), 656-673.
Pilvar, F., Rahmanseresht, H., Sharifzade, F., & Salehi Sadaghiani, J. (2019). Policy Model for Attracting International Students in Iran. Public Policy in Administration10(1), 67-83.
Pouratashi, M., & Zamani, A. (2021). Analysis of International Students' Issues and Expectations of Iranian Higher Education in the Corona Crisis. Higher Education Letter, 14(54), 19-36.
Rienties, B., & Tempelaar, D. (2013). The role of cultural dimensions of international and Dutch students on academic and social integration and academic performance in the Netherlands. International Journal of Intercultural Relations37(2), 188-201.
Russell, M. (2005). Marketing education: A review of service quality perceptions among international students. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.
Sabatayeva, B., Saduov, A., Madiyarova, E., Jempeissova, G., Selezneva, I., Shtiller, M., & Fursova, T. (2018). International students' satisfaction with university services: The case of postgraduate students from Central Asia. Espacios39(9), 4.
Sam, D. L. (2001). Satisfaction with life among international students: An exploratory study. Social indicators research53(3), 315-337.
Sam, D. L., Tetteh, D. K., & Amponsah, B. (2015). Satisfaction with life and psychological symptoms among international students in Ghana and their correlates. International Journal of Intercultural Relations49, 156-167.
Sidhu, R., & Ishikawa, M. (2022). Destined for Asia: hospitality and emotions in international student mobilities. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education52(3), 399-417.
Sutherland, D., Warwick, P., & Anderson, J. (2019). What factors influence student satisfaction with module quality? A comparative analysis in a UK business school context. The International Journal of Management Education17(3), 100312.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (2020). Inbound internationally mobile students by continent of origin. Retrieved from https://data.uis.
Veerasamy, Y. S., & Ammigan, R. (2022). Reimagining the delivery of international student services during a global pandemic: A case study in the United States. Journal of Studies in International Education26(2), 145-164.
Walsworth, S., Somerville, K., & Robinson, O. (2021). The importance of weak friendships for international student satisfaction: Empirical evidence from Canada. International Journal of Intercultural Relations80, 134-146.
Wang, R., & Tseng, M. L. (2011). Evaluation of international student satisfaction using fuzzy importance-performance analysis. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences25, 438-446.
Yang, P. (2022). China in the global field of international student mobility: An analysis of economic, human and symbolic capitals. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education52(2), 308-326.
Yusoff, Y. M. (2012). Self-efficacy, perceived social support, and psychological adjustment in international undergraduate students in a public higher education institution in Malaysia. Journal of Studies in International Education16(4), 353-371.
Zhou, J., & Cole, D. (2017). Comparing international and American students: Involvement in college life and overall satisfaction. Higher Education73(5), 655-672.