Unis ignore attrition –  a ranking that really matters

A learned reader remarks that universities are enthusiastically announcing improvements in various rankings, “universities with vowels their name which were opened in August,” that sort of thing. But not one issued a statement mentioning their scores in the Commonwealth’s rating of undergraduate attrition, including the universities which should be committing to improve disgraceful performances. As the Higher Education Standards Panel puts it, while not the entire explanation; “the institution is a more important factor than the basis of admission, the student’s ATAR score, type of attendance, mode of attendance or age in explaining attrition.”

“Riddle me this batpersons,” the LR adds, “there is an inverse relationship between undergraduate attrition and student satisfaction.”

Last week’s Higher Education Standards Panel reported the five universities with the lowest adjusted attrition rates are: UniMelb, 3.7, UNSW 4.8, UniSydney, 5.9, Monash U 6.5 and ANU 7.3. Yet, three of these were under the national average for student satisfaction in the new Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching survey of 79.2, UniMelb 78.5,UNSW 74, UniSyd 76. Monash U and ANU, both 79.4, were not much above.

It seems students at the best five for completions have very high expectations but not so that they will drop out.


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