Australasian first in research on higher education

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Wednesday, 12 Dec 2007

For immediate release Wednesday 12 December 2007
Australasian first in research on higher education

Twenty-five Australian and New Zealand universities have received results from the first-ever Australasian study of student engagement in higher education.

The Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE), conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), measures whether students are interacting with their institutions in the most educationally productive ways.

Results for the AUSSE will help institutions to understand the degree to which students are interacting with the university and the extent to which they are involved in the university experience.

It should also provide universities with background information on how to attract and retain students, support student learning and development, determine the value added by a university experience, manage resources, monitor academic standards and learning outcomes, and evaluate programs and services.

By providing data that is both generalisable across universities and sensitive to institutional diversity, the AUSSE will play an important role in helping universities monitor and enhance the quality of education.

Participating universities this week received individual reports detailing their performance in the AUSSE. The results will allow each institution to compare its performance to an Australian average, a New Zealand average, and the Australasian mean.

The AUSSE has formative links to the 750-institution North American National Survey of Student Engagement, facilitating cross-national as well as cross-institutional benchmarking.

The survey, which makes its debut this year, will be annual and its findings will underpin new conversations about the nature of student engagement in higher education. More information about AUSSE can be found at