Does international students' English proficiency matters to their preparedness for studying quantitative skill?

Study level

Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Yulin Liu
STEM Educator (Engineering and Maths)
Division / Faculty
Office of the Provost


Does an international student's English proficiency affect their preparedness for studying quantitative skill? If so, to what extent does it affect them? The answer to these questions would be significant to the educators and managers of Australian universities in terms of their decisions related to learning support and curriculum design.

The research hypothesis is that most international students' basic maths skills are satisfactory. However, they are not ready for studying maths in English because they never learned maths in English or never learned English for maths and IELTS does not test for this.

Research activities

You will work closely with the supervisor in study design, data collection, data analysis and academic writing for publication.

With the supervisor's guidance, your specific main research activities will include:

  • reviewing relevant literature
  • designing data collection
  • assisting in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data
  • co-authoring with the supervisor on a research article for academic publication.


A valuable research data set will be generated from this project.

This project's study design, data collection, data analysis and data interpretation will be documented in the format of a research article. This research article will be written to the standard for publication at a high-impact academic journal such as Studies in Higher Education.

Skills and experience

You will be ideal for this research project if you meet the following criteria:

  • have a strong interest in this project's research topic and writing for academic publication
  • be a reliable colleague and manage time well
  • be a creative problem solver
  • sufficient verbal communication skills and academic writing skills
  • have the ability to learn quickly and independently with necessary supervision.

You should also have a solid understanding of:

  • fundamental concepts in experiement design
  • statistical data processing and analysis skills.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.