The resources on this website were developed from recurring themes in the data and informed by relevant literature. Care was taken to ensure that the regional voice remained centre-stage, to avoid collective or mythic constructions of these worlds. It was also important to bear in mind and account for the complex realities of regional people. Feedback from participants was invaluable for ensuring this (of those who expressed interest in providing feedback 22 have taken up the offer: 12 students, 10 staff).
Th prompts for the My Future Self reflective tool were informed by Possible Selves theory (Markus & Nurius, 1986) and inspired further after listening to Charlotte Wood podcast in conversation with Sarah Sentilles.
I dedicate this website to all those who contributed so generously to this research, and I am grateful to many who also provided feedback.
The full report from the project can be found here
The study was guided by three overarching research questions:
1. How do regional, rural and remote students articulate movement into and through university?
2. What goals and hoped-for futures are students pursuing?
3. What are the barriers and enablers to higher education participation, and how are these perceived and experienced?
Draft Retention Strategies
These high level draft retention strategies emerged from the findings and are directed toward institutions:
• Embed human care in all processes (face to face and online; administrative and teaching/learning)
• Be proactive in bespoke ways of creating sense of belonging/community and encourage building good networks
• Ensure that RRR students are given equitable opportunities and support to achieve their goals and aspirations
• Draw on RRR student expertise (e.g. students as partners approaches): ways to reach, support and enable regional/remote people to reach their goals and aspirations
• Recognise that impact of distance, multiple equity factors and other responsibilities on regional/remote students’ capacity to realise their goals
• Recognise the impact on participation of work responsibilities and pressures outside university
• Recognise the costs to students: financial, social, time, emotional
• Ensure equitable practices across all dealings with RRR students so they are advantaged, and not further disadvantaged
• Identify (via the RRR student voice) where the university itself contributes to student poor wellbeing/risk to attrition and use these perspectives to implement change through policy/practices