The re-recruitment of students who have withdrawn from Australian higher education
 
 

The re-recruitment of students who have withdrawn from Australian higher education


Year: 2017
Authors: Harvey A, Szalkowicz G & Luckman M
Publisher: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
Link: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/784028/La-Trobe-NPP-Re-recruitment-Research-Report-24-February-2017.pdf
Keywords:
This report outlines the extent to which students who withdraw from higher education subsequently return to the sector, and specifically explores low SES students’ motivations for leaving, and the factors affecting their re-enrolment. The study was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.
Despite the growth in institutional preventative measures, the rise in research and evidence, the
public funding incentives, and pressure from prospective students themselves, higher education
attrition rates have moved remarkably little over the past decade. Understanding this
reality is central to developing more effective policies to address the stigmatisation of withdrawal,
and to re-recruit students who have previously withdrawn. Unlike attrition, re-recruitment is an area
of high elasticity. Many students who withdraw from higher education have the potential to be rerecruited in subsequent years, including students who are initially adamant that they will never
return to higher education. This research has found that, with little institutional effort, around one-half of ‘non-completers’ already return to higher education within eight years of their initial withdrawal. It is difficult to prevent many students from withdrawing, but relatively easy to support their re-enrolment.
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