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

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 00:34 authored by David KemberDavid Kember, Leung, D, Michael ProsserMichael Prosser
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.


Publication title

Studies in Higher Education








Faculty of Education



Place of publication

Rankine Rd, Basingstoke, England, Hants, Rg24 8Pr

Rights statement

© 2019 Society for Research into Higher Education

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Higher education