Initiative updates

Student and Retention Success Project - February 2019

Lowest attrition since 2014! Given that all 2018 semesters have now passed their census dates, data from FedUni internal systems has been used to model attrition for the 2017 academic year, i.e. identifying students who were enrolled in 2017, did not complete, and did not return in 2018. Our modelling shows that attrition has decreased in 2017, and we are predicting our lowest student attrition figure since 2014.

Attrition measures the proportion of students who have not completed their studies and do not return to the University in the subsequent year. Students who enrol past census date in any semester across the academic year are included in the student count when calculating attrition. The University wide attrition rate includes all commencing undergraduate students studying in all modes across all campuses.

The figures provided in our recent analysis provide an early indication of the official Department of Education and Training (DET) statistics to be published later in the year. DET publish attrition rates on a yearly basis for commencing undergraduate students. The most recent DET publication was of the 2016 attrition rates, published in November 2018. DET figures rely on validated data submissions provided by universities, including student completion records, thus publication is typically delayed until all universities’ data is received and validated.

While data obtained from FedUni internal systems used in this update is not fully validated, the data serves as a strong indicator of the current attrition landscape at the University. Analysis provided in this update should be treated as a guide to university attrition, rather than an absolute and final figure.

Keeping in touch with students. Student HQ and the Admissions, Retention and Success teams are busy with numerous prospective, commencing and continuing campaigns currently underway. Ongoing enrolment process communications for both commencing and continuing students include:

  • FedStart Self-Assessment distribution to those who have accepted offers
  • FedStart Self-Assessment completed follow up phone calls to discuss response and provide information
  • Welcome calls
  • Incomplete and non-submitted applications
  • Offers and deferrals that have not yet been actioned by students
  • Students returning from leave or suspension
  • CASPer promotion, ensuring students who have met pre-requisites for ITE programs are aware of upcoming testing dates.

Calls are also being made encouraging recipients of the High Achievers Scholarship to accept their offer. For any further information on call campaigns, please contact Helen Sutton.

Student engagement improves in 2019. FedReady Online is in full swing and has more students enrolled than any previous semester. There are currently 294students in the Moodle shell who are receiving high levels of support from the Student Academic Leaders assigned to each group of students. On top of that, slight changes in marketing, planning, organising and running of the program have resulted in a record level of engagement by each student involved. Not bad for an online, voluntary, preparatory program.

Course descriptions. All Associate Deans TQ have advised that course descriptions have been a primary focus within Schools over the lecture break. Course Coordinators have been busy updating course descriptions and course Moodle shells in preparation for Semester 1 2019.

Developing strategies. The six new Associate Deans, Teaching Quality are moving forward in their schools to identify and implement strategies to support their student cohorts. They are also identifying key priorities at a university wide level to improve attrition and maximise student success. If you have any suggestions and/or comments, please speak directly with your School’s Associate Dean TQ.

Orientation begins soon.  As the new semester approaches, all staff are encouraged to welcome our new and returning students. The smallest of gestures to a new or nervous student can make a significant impact: a welcoming smile or an open office door are easy and effective practices to adopt. More tips on making our students feel like they belong can be found here. Information on Orientation activities at each campus can be found here.