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Type: Theses
Title: Attrition and new entry pathways: factors contributing toward attrition for students entering an Australian university through new VET entry pathways
Author: Lovat, Alessandro
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Education
Abstract: In response to the review of Australian higher education (Bradley, Noonan, Nugent, & Scales, 2008), several Australian universities have established entry pathways with the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector as a way of providing access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The university in this investigation is one such case where around 200 individual VET pathways have been developed. This study assesses the effect of a number of factors including previously untested factors, namely, program peer group sizes and various student network sizes associated with these new entry pathways on student attrition and retention at an Australian selective university. Secondary quantitative data from university and admission centre records and primary quantitative data from a structured survey are collected for 140 VET pathway entrants. Semi-structured interviews with 10 of the VET entrants provide additional qualitative data for the investigation. The quantitative analysis considers several multivariate and multilevel path models to examine the effects on student attrition and retention of variables obtained from both secondary and primary quantitative data collections. A qualitative thematic analysis of the interview transcripts is used to support the quantitative findings and to provide additional nuanced information on the issue. The results further an understanding of why students in non-traditional entry pathways drop out of, or conversely, remain at university. In particular, the number of VET peers in a program is shown to moderate the effects of academic performance and social integration on student attrition and retention. Student network sizes are also important in influencing student attrition by means of indirect effects operating through various mediating variables.
Advisor: Aspland, Tania Ly
Habel, Chad
Darmawan, Igusti Ngurah
Keeves, John Philip
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Education, 2017
Keywords: university student attrition
VET pathways
multivariate modelling
multilevel modelling
peer group size
academic efficiency
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.4225/55/5a84bceaf8a2c
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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