Students at higher education levels around the world are likely to experience higher psychological distress levels when compared with their local counterparts. This heightened risk of poor adjustment is strongly connected to their well-being and mental health, which greatly influence overseas experiences and academic performance. The research centers on students from varying geographical locations to determine the extremities exhibited by students that attend higher learning institutions. Adequate support for students’ well-being by universities requires formal and informal regulation. While the government may provide aid in adjusting and coping with life in a foreign country, the researcher aims to determine the effectiveness of formal versus informal mechanisms used to aid students in this regard. In this regard, the researcher posits the question, is informal regulation more helpful than formal regulation in promoting higher education level international students’ well-being?
Modes of Management
Huang, Kern, & Oades’s article is a study on eighty-four Chinese international students living in Australia involving language and perceptions (Huang, Kern, & Oades, 2020, para.22). It includes an analysis of various factions of well-being and strategies focused on mental health, accounting for cultural differences. This aspect is rarely evidenced in many studies involving international students’ well-being, illustrating the importance of this study to the research. The study determines that individuals perceive that physical and mental health are the primary aspects of well-being (Huang et al., 2020, para.28). It is important to note that participants in the survey consider intrapersonal activities as the direct approach students would use to boost wellbeing.
Ramia, Marginson, & Sawir also provide an accurate source of information for the research in a study titled Regulating international students’ Wellbeing. The authors consider the students’ legal outside status, communication difficulties, information gap, and cultural differences as significant issues that influence international students’ well-being (Ramia, Marginson, & Sawir, 2013, p.2). It is crucial to discern the study takes place based on university students in Australia, providing a comparison between individuals that do not exhibit significant cultural and language differences and their counterparts that face substantial differences when they study abroad. This distinction will help the researcher develop an accurate notion detailing the methods used by international students to strengthen their well-being and if there is a significant difference in the adoption of varying practices (informal versus formal) based on their connection to the host country. Ramia and his counterparts argue that these students live in uncertainty, and are vulnerable and de-powered, issues that may adversely affect their studies and overall well-being.
Policy Delivery and Implementation
The study also considers the importance of developing new relationships in host countries as measures to boost well-being. While students continue communicating with their families and friends through social media networks, the quality of these relationships drops over time. Individuals need to form stronger connections in their host country to maintain a healthy balance between studying and developing appropriate social skills. A study on international students shows that students show varying levels of connectedness to their countries and hosts based on interaction (Hurem, Rowan, & Grootenboer, para.16). It illustrates that students are likely to exhibit reduced connectedness to Australia as they complete their studies (Hurem et al., para.21). This study helps provide a notion that policymakers should integrate when developing international students’ regulations to provide greater school interaction. Information derived from government statistics in Australia also provides insight into this issue, based on students’ online interaction and its positive or negative effects on students’ well-being (Australian Government, 2018, p.11). Changing social trends may also offer answers addressing lower connectedness as younger generations are isolated, preferring online engagement. The policies may also involve protecting these students from online harassment and fostering positive internet engagement.
Australian Government, 2018. National Safe Schools Framework. Student Learning and Support Services Taskforce, pp.1–15.
Huang, L., Kern, M.L. & Oades, L.G., 2020. Strengthening University student wellbeing: Language and perceptions of Chinese international students. International journal of environmental research and public health.
Hurem, A., Rowan, L. & Grootenboer, P., 2021. The link between social wellbeing, belonging, and connectedness of international students in Australian High Schools. Frontiers.
Ramia, G., Marginson, S. & Sawir, E., 2013. Regulating International Students’ Wellbeing.