Higher education attrition is an issue that has concerned government and institutions for decades, and, indeed, is an issue that continues to cause concern.
Extensive research over the years has consistently shown the drivers of attrition to be both student and institution-based and many recommendations have focussed on institutions increasing support and services for students and holding institutions to account for student outcomes.
Australia’s higher education attrition rates have been relatively stable for over a decade and it is clear many institutions already invest significantly to support their students. However, it is also apparent that some institutions are more successful than others at retaining students and their methods and strategies are of interest to the entire higher education community.
Innovation in higher education and the movement away from a traditional higher education experience to suit current and future labour market needs must be taken into account in current discussions on attrition.
This final report of the Higher Education Standards Panel (the Panel) explains how this examination of retention, completion and success in higher education has come about. It looks at what the higher education sector is saying about the factors that impact on these issues and makes recommendations about how Australia can further build on its success in supporting students to succeed in their higher education studies.
The final report was informed by a consultation process which included forty-three written submissions made in response to the Panel’s June 2017 discussion paper.