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The model of higher education as a major factor in the admission and success of low SES students


Kember, DR, The model of higher education as a major factor in the admission and success of low SES students, Admission and success for low SES university students: Report on a HEPPP 2018 National Priorities Pool Project, Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Federal Government, D Kember & RA Ellis (ed), Canberra, Australia, pp. 133-141. (2022) [Research Book Chapter]


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Copyright 2022 The Authors


The conceptualisation of a spectrum from the traditional to contemporary models of higher education is the major conceptual theme which brings coherence to the whole of Part B. The purpose of this final chapter in Part B is to discuss the implications of the spectrum of models on the overall topic for the project. The title of the project is Admission and success for low SES students. The chapters in Part B have examined the impact of a university’s model of higher education on admission, retention, and success. They show that retention and success are complex phenomena in which a range of variables, including SES status, act in concert to play a part.

In this chapter admission is considered first. The previous chapters in Part B are reviewed to draw out conclusions about how the model a university adopts can enhance its ability to attract and admit low SES students. The conclusions are also relevant to other disadvantaged groups and to students facing what we call multiple associated challenges.

The latter part of the chapter examines retention and success. As universities move across the spectrum from traditional to contemporary models, modes of teaching and learning become more flexible, and a more diverse student body is recruited. The SEM modelling shows that shifts across the traditional to contemporary spectrum increase the complexity of the model of higher education. This means that more sophisticated and more holistic support strategies are needed to promote retention and success.

It is important to note at the outset that universities have differing missions. The chapter will conclude that the further a university shifts across the traditional to contemporary spectrum, the greater its ability to recruit low SES students. This does not, in any way, imply that all universities should shift to a contemporary model to admit as many low SES students as possible. It is entirely appropriate that universities adopt a model of higher education which is consistent with their mission. For those with a mission to attain a high international ranking, a more traditional model is entirely appropriate. This will tend to mean that they admit less low SES students than those with contemporary models.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:higher education, equity education, low socioeconomic
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Higher education
UTAS Author:Kember, DR (Professor David Kember)
ID Code:149396
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2022-03-28
Last Modified:2022-07-26
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