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ERIC Number: EJ1055597
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1443-2110
Improving Student Retention: A University of Western Sydney Case Study
Scott, Geoff; Shah, Mahsood; Grebennikov, Leonid; Singh, Harmanpreet
Journal of Institutional Research, v14 n1 p9-23 2008
Retention at university matters. It matters morally, as we know the life chances of people who complete a degree are dramatically improved. It matters financially, as students who leave a university before graduation take their fees with them. And it matters nationally, as the higher the education level of the population, the greater the nation's levels of productivity and innovation. This article provides a consolidated picture of patterns and trends in student retention in Australian universities. Common reasons for student withdrawal and strategies to improve student retention are also explored using both empirical research and a review of the literature. Further, the article presents approaches effectively used by the University of Western Sydney to improve student retention. These approaches include: identifying and prioritising the main reasons for student withdrawal and corresponding retention solutions; using a range of tactics to ensure that these solutions are consistently implemented; and finally, monitoring the improvement actions for two years to measure their efficiency based on student feedback, and to identify areas warranting further improvement attention. The strategies adopted and the way they were implemented in 2004-2006 have resulted in a 4.2% improvement in overall retention and a 6.4% improvement in overall satisfaction on the national Course Experience Questionnaire.
Australasian Association for Institutional Research. 546 Gallymont Road, Mandurama, NSW 2792, Australia. +61-2-6367-5347; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia