The number of Australians continuing to further education is on the rise, with over 1.3 million students currently enrolled into universities nationally compared to 1 million in 2008, but it looks like that means more students who are unhappy with their choice of university and course.
According to new research commissioned by Studiosity, the online study support service, almost 1 in 3 Australian students would attend a different university if they had the chance to choose again. Men are more likely to regret their decision, with 36% wishing they'd made a different choice compared to 28% of females. Mature-aged and part-time students are also significantly more likely to feel they've made the wrong decision.
South Australian students led the pack in terms of their satisfaction rating, with 81.5% saying they would make the same uni choice again, followed by Queenslanders at 75.5% and Canberrans at 73%. Victoria and New South Wales trailed at 69% and 65% respectively, with West Australians and Tasmanians indicating the lowest satisfaction rating at 60.5% and 57%.
Jack Goodman, Founder and Executive Chair of Studiosity says, “It’s a frightening fact that this number of domestic students alone wish they were somewhere else altogether, or studying a different course. This is a wakeup call for our universities and the nation. Students who are unhappy with their choice are less likely to complete their degree and less likely to perform well. No doubt this has flow-on effects in terms of graduate employability and career opportunities.”
Students said that they would prefer to enrol in a uni that offers more study support, many felt as though they were getting value for money, and others wanted to have access to better extracurricular activities like sport facilities and arts options.
Professor Chris Tisdell, education expert, commented: "A key factor from this study is that students feel better about their university and courses when they feel supported through their academic challenges. It forms a compelling case for universities to provide access to academic assistance – particularly in flexible and online forms to meet students’ needs where and when they are studying. Their students will feel more confident and optimistic about their ability to complete their course work."
Goodman concludes, “Regret is a powerful emotion that can profoundly affect one's willingness to persevere with a course of action. When a decision involves something as important as a career path – and associated university degree – results in regret, it can rapidly descend into a loss of motivation. Educating students on the importance of making choices based on issues like study support, value for money and access to extracurricular activities, in addition to considering a university’s reputation or where their friends are going, is absolutely essential.”
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