Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Exploring Structural Relationships in Attracting and Retaining International Students in STEM for the Sustainable Development of Higher Education

Version 1 : Received: 30 December 2021 / Approved: 31 December 2021 / Online: 31 December 2021 (09:39:26 CET)

How to cite: Chang, D.; Lee, K.; Tseng, C. Exploring Structural Relationships in Attracting and Retaining International Students in STEM for the Sustainable Development of Higher Education. Preprints 2021, 2021120497 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0497.v1). Chang, D.; Lee, K.; Tseng, C. Exploring Structural Relationships in Attracting and Retaining International Students in STEM for the Sustainable Development of Higher Education. Preprints 2021, 2021120497 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202112.0497.v1).

Abstract

Attracting and retaining international students has been widely discussed in higher education settings. Increasing the number of international students has become an indispensable strategy for national and global competition. This study focuses on effective strategies and international students' issues regarding satisfaction in the most popular STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs. We designed a structural equation modeling (SEM) method to determine the effect of institutional mediation between push factors and satisfaction factors for the development of better strategies by which to attract and retain international students. Taking Taiwan as an example, this study employed a self-designed questionnaire to collect data: 485 degree-seeking international students in STEM programs were invited and successfully participated in this study during spring 2021. IBM SPSS 26 and AMOS 26 (Analysis of Moment Structure) were used to carry out the data analysis. We employed reliability, factor, and SEM analyses. This study assumed that the impact of push factors can be modified by institutional situations and result in international students’ satisfaction with their learning and environment and regarding migration policy. The results revealed that the predictors, mediation, and criteria were significant at the 0.05 or 0.01 levels. The findings suggest that push factors impact international students’ satisfaction when using institutional leadership and international strategy. The results of the bootstrap with a generalized least square method showed that the SEM model fit in 2000 bootstrap samples. The effect of institutional mediation can provide useful information for STEM programs to boost their future recruitment and retention strategies. This study provides an innovative approach to the detection of issues among international students in specific programs. These findings can enrich our knowledge regarding attracting and retaining global students in higher education settings.

Keywords

higher education; international students; leadership and governance; SEM; STEM; sustainable development; sustainability

Subject

SOCIAL SCIENCES, Education Studies

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