Local and International Students’ Retention Intentions


The purpose of the study was to find out the reasons for students’ retention intentions, with a focus on the discrepancies between domestic and international students. The study’s goals were classified into three parts, all based on the same concept. The first objective was to define the factors that influence student retention (Haverila et al., 2020). Second, the researchers sought to determine the relative weight of the specified factors for local and international students. Lastly, the study was geared toward determining if there were any substantial variations in the essence of the factors that influence retention intentions between domestic and international students.

Hypothesis and Statistical Analysis

The researchers hypothesized that significant differences existed between retention intentions of domestic and international students in 15 key areas. The areas studied are financial challenges, intent to transfer, poor academic performance, career indecision, medical reasons, family issues, poor quality instructions, ineffective study skills, and institution image. Poor institution support services, lack of social integration, poor extra-curricular activities, poor housing, and poor academic advising quality were also studied. A survey was carried out whereby 395 Canadian University students were given questionnaires to fill (Haverila et al., 2020). The data obtained were analyzed statistically using a one-way analysis of variance ANOVA to test the hypothesis.

Hypothesis and Type I and II Errors

The hypothesis was proved for six out of fifteen variables tested, while the rest nine variables disproved it. I would not have changed the theory or the statistical evidence of the research because the hypothesis was clearly defined to encompass all necessary variables. The statistical evidence was well analyzed to give definitive results. A type I error, also known as a false positive, is the possibility of accepting the hypothesis when it is not valid. In contrast, a type II error entails rejecting the thesis when it is true. Type I error was considered in this research and mitigated by using one-way ANOVA (Haverila et al., 2020). This consideration served to improve the significance confidence of the statistical analysis.

Introduction and Background of the Study

The landscape of higher education has changed significantly over the last few decades.

For example, between 1980 and 2010, the number of students enrolled in Canadian universities increased more than twice (Haverila et al., 2020). Numerous research studies have looked at the problem of low student retention rates in educational institutions from various perspectives. Since student retention is described as an institution’s ability to keep a student from admission to graduation, the PPM theory can be used to understand why service customers (students) may choose to change their service provider (Haverila et al., 2020). Service failure, unmet or unconfirmed demands, inadequate complaint management, or high perceived prices are examples of push factors linked to a low-value performance by the current service provider.

The presence and attractiveness of competitive alternatives, on the other hand, are pull factors in switching behavior. They include improved quality, a better reputation/image, prior experience with other institutions, or a lower price, encompassing student financial aid or tuition fees and subsidized housing. Pull factors are usually associated with particular features of the alternate academic institution that will persuade the student to change (Haverila et al., 2020). The pull feature of the PPM principle implies that a happy student can be enticed to a competing institution of higher learning with substantial expected benefits.

The service provider (the educational institution) is generally in charge of push factors, which are split into internal performance issues and external issues. Customer satisfaction services may be used to assess organizational performance problems. The likelihood of switching educational institutions relying on push factors should be minimal when no significant issues are discovered (Haverila et al., 2020). The emphasis of this study was on the push factors rather than the pull factors.

Research and Data Analysis

The research was based on the question: How do different factors influencing student retention capacity differ between domestic and international students? This question sought to determine to what extent the push factors influenced domestic and international students’ retention capacity and how such varied between the two groups. It was to provide two answers, that is, what matters and how it influences each group. To answer the research question, questionnaires were administered to 395 students comprised of 199 local students and 196 international students (Haverila et al., 2020). Each factor’s relative levels of importance were tested using a Linkert scale with 5 points where five signified most satisfied, and 0 meant non-significant. Random sampling was used and the data was tested using one-way ANOVA. The mean and standard deviation indicated the different variations of data (Haverila et al., 2020). The researchers then used a 0.05 significance level to test the hypothesis and generate definitive results that showed six factors confirmed the theory.


Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is a statistical tool used to test the disagreement between two groups’ means. In this study, ANOVA was used to get the difference between the means of local and international students’ data regarding each factor under investigation (Haverila et al., 2020). In this case, ANOVA was used to test whether the variables were significantly different between local and international students. The difference was calculated and compared with the set significance level of 0.05. The results were categorized into factors that supported the hypothesis, those that rejected it, and the non-significant factors (Haverila et al., 2020). There were no special considerations in the ANOVA except the significance level.


In conclusion, the retention rates of students in institutions of higher learning are an essential topic. This study showed that local and international students have different retention rates based on some variables. In six of the fifteen variables studied, there were substantial variations between foreign and domestic students, according to the findings of this study. Social integration, the standard of learning, study skills, transition to college life, housing arrangements, and extra-curricular activities were the six variables that showed a significant variation. Social integration, study skills, transition to college life, extra-curricular activities, and living arrangements were all substantially more essential for international students. However, for domestic students, the standard of instruction was much more critical. Furthermore, financial support was the most significant indicator of retention intentions for both classes.

When attempting to minimize attrition among international students, a focus on offering a range of services to alleviate culture shock and promote assimilation should be prioritized. Counseling, extra-curricular programs, accommodation facilities, study seminars, and other initiatives that help international students learn how to adapt to the learning environment are crucial in attracting international students to stay at the institution. Domestic students, on the other hand, are more concerned with the standard of teaching. These students are well-informed and demand high-quality instruction in all of their classes. As a result, institutions must recruit high-quality teachers to guarantee that their local students do not drop out. The variables that indicated a disparity between foreign and domestic learners were all linked to academic performance and school factors, which was surprising.


Haverila, M., Haverila, K., & McLaughlin, C. (2020). Variables Affecting the Retention Intentions of Students in Higher Education Institutions. Journal Of International Students, 10(2), 358-382. Web.

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"Local and International Students’ Retention Intentions." ChalkyPapers, 16 Aug. 2022, chalkypapers.com/local-and-international-students-retention-intentions/.


ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Local and International Students’ Retention Intentions'. 16 August.


ChalkyPapers. 2022. "Local and International Students’ Retention Intentions." August 16, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/local-and-international-students-retention-intentions/.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Local and International Students’ Retention Intentions." August 16, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/local-and-international-students-retention-intentions/.


ChalkyPapers. "Local and International Students’ Retention Intentions." August 16, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/local-and-international-students-retention-intentions/.