The student departure puzzle: do some faculties and programs have answers?

Danaher, P. A. and Bowser, Don and Somasundaram, Jay (2008) The student departure puzzle: do some faculties and programs have answers? Higher Education Research and Development, 27 (3). pp. 271-280. ISSN 0729-4360

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University attrition prevention strategies are typically generic, centrally managed, whole of university strategies that have emerged from an examination of whole of university attrition data. This paper takes an intra-organisational comparative approach, through the examination of faculty and program attrition rates of students who joined an Australian university in the first term of 2004. The faculty with the highest attrition had a rate two- and-a-half times that of the faculty with the lowest rate, and in programs with 40 or more students enrolled the program with the highest attrition had a rate over five times that of the program with the lowest rate. The paper identifies five practical implications of these findings and concludes that investigating the causes of these differences will help in understanding student attrition. It also suggests that universities wishing to reduce student attrition may benefit from adopting integrated and situated strategies that take into account faculty and program differences.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2008 HERDSA. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2010 05:11
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2015 03:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: attrition; Australia; retention; student administration; university policy
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930499 School/Institution not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/07294360802183820

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