Vince Alexander

International students will soon be able to compare the experience of their peers at Miami University to schools statewide and worldwide.

The University System of Ohio partnered with i-graduate to become the first system in the United States to adopt the international student barometer (ISB), according to a Board of Regents press release. The barometer is based on a survey given to universities’ international students to compare institutions worldwide, according to Louise Wringe, global business development director for i-graduate.

“The State of Ohio is the first state in the U.S. to adopt the international student barometer, which shows the state’s and universities’ commitment to internationalization,” Wringe said.

The Board of Regents announced the partnership with i-graduate, a United Kingdom-based organization focused on creating higher education measurements.

“The ISB partnership will allow Ohio’s schools to learn from each other’s best practices and also ensure the best possible student,” Wringe said. “We hope it will have wide-reaching economic benefits, . . . bringing international students’ families and international business to the state of Ohio.”

According to Wringe, i-graduate previously worked with the University of Cincinnati (its first U.S. client), Pennsylvania State University, Yale University, Northern Kentucky University, Wright State University and the University of Dayton.

“We were the first school in the U.S. in 2005 to use the barometer to survey our university,” said Ron Cushing, international services director at UC.

Cushing said UC was very satisfied with results it has seen.

“The results have helped us with international recruitment and to identify areas of concerns,” Cushing said.

Cushing said the initiative’s overarching goal is to promote Ohio for student higher education and show Ohio has quality institutions.

“The initiative by the state is a positive thing,” Cushing said. “We need to see it as collaborators rather than competitors.”

Wringe said i-graduate’s aim is to ensure international students receive the best possible service from universities.  As a result of the ISB, universities that have participated so far have seen improvement in the arrival, learning, living and support experience in the last three years, Wringe said.

“Our goal is to change the international experience for the better,” Wringe said.

According to Cushing, the survey will take place during a four- to six-week period beginning at the end of October. Cushing said results are expected late January or early February.

“The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and is for international students only,” Cushing said.

Claire Wagner, associate director of communications, said the survey will provide another avenue for gauging Miami’s international programs. According to Wringe, the result will compare the universities in Ohio with 150 institutions worldwide.

“Miami wants to be relative to peer institutions,” Wagner said.