Exploring anomalies in Indigenous student engagement: findings from a national Australian survey of undergraduates

Publisher:
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Higher Education Research and Development, 2015, 34 pp. 15 - 29
Issue Date:
2015
Full metadata record
Increases in participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in higher education across Australia continue to be promising. However, it is also known that Indigenous students' attrition, retention and completion rates remain areas of concern. In this paper, we report our findings from an analysis of Indigenous student responses to the 2009 Australasian Survey of Student Engagement. Overall, Indigenous Australian students express positive responses in relation to engagement, but are more likely than non-Indigenous students to be planning to depart. We explore this somewhat unexpected anomaly, whilst also suggesting that much more needs to be known about our Indigenous students, including, for example, whom they may interact with at university; where they turn for support; and why they may decide to leave. Our findings strongly indicate that better national and institutional data are needed to address the current gaps in knowledge relating to Indigenous student populations in Australia and around the world.
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