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"Ghost student" failure among equity cohorts: towards understanding Non-Participating Enrolments (NPE)

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This report investigates the phenomenon of non-participating enrolments (NPEs) at an Australian public university, and further examines the implications of NPE for selected equity cohorts. Also referred to as “ghost students”, these students enrol in university units, remain enrolled post the census date but show no meaningful interaction with the unit’s coursework. NPE represents significant waste: for students, it represents failure on academic transcripts and foregone student fees; for institutions it represents higher failure and attrition rates; and for governments, wasted commonwealth support funding. There is a clear imperative for the sector to pay greater heed to the NPE phenomenon. Our research is aimed at further illuminating the issue of NPE, and for the first time, examine the potential relationship between NPE and longer-term student outcomes, as well as the possible relationship between the risk of NPE and equity group membership.

Funding

The authors acknowledge the funding of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) that made this research possible.

History

Publication Date

01/03/2021

Commissioning Body

National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education

Type of report

Other research report

Publisher

National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Curtain University

Place of publication

Bentley, Western Australia

Pagination

49p.

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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