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Has the open door become a revolving door? The impact on attrition of moving from elite to mass higher education


Kember, D and Leung, D and Prosser, M, Has the open door become a revolving door? The impact on attrition of moving from elite to mass higher education, Studies in Higher Education, 46, (2) pp. 258-269. ISSN 0307-5079 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2019 Society for Research into Higher Education

DOI: doi:10.1080/03075079.2019.1629411


As higher education has made the transition from elite to mass enrolments, the student body has become more diverse and online and blended learning have become more common. This study aimed to examine the impacts on attrition of admitting a more diverse student body with the shift towards online and blended learning. A hypothesised path model of attrition was tested with structural equation modelling. The model contained four presage variables related to the changed demographic of the student body and alternative modes of study; attendance mode, admission basis, remoteness and socio-economics status. There were two intervening variables; age and year of study. The two outcome variables were dropout and GPA value. The model was tested against a large sample of data from a student record system of a regional Australian university. The model showed a good fit to the data predicting that the expansion of higher education, along with the increasing use of online and blended learning, will impact on attrition.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:attrition, online learning, model, structural equation modelling, path model, mass higher education
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Continuing and community education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Higher education
UTAS Author:Kember, D (Professor David Kember)
UTAS Author:Prosser, M (Professor Michael Prosser)
ID Code:145198
Year Published:2021 (online first 2019)
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2021-07-09
Last Modified:2021-09-17

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