Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Equity and University Completion Rates in Australia

Edwards and McMillan (2015) from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education at Curtin University, report that students from a low socio-economic backgrounds, remote and regional areas are less likely to complete a degree than others. But the most striking finding is the high non-completion and drop-out rates for indigenous students.

This study focused on the university sector and it would be interesting to see if the results for VET were similar. Also it would be interesting to see if students to articulated from VET to university had a higher completion rate. The idea being that VET provides a more gradual transition from school to universality and also may keep students more engaged by teaching them more relevant hands on skills and using better trained teachers.

Also it would be interesting to see if providing quality e-leaning which allowed students to continue studies while meeting family and work obligations, would increase retention and completion. Also lower intensity courses extending over more of the year might help (one course, per term four terms a year, rather than two course, two semesters a year, for example).


Edwards, D. & McMillan, J. (2014). Completing university in a growing sector: Is equity an issue? URL

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