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Student success linked to tertiary support service

11 March 2005

Latest research finds student success linked to tertiary support services and academic staff development

The Ministry of Education today released research showing tertiary institutions can do a lot to ensure their students achieve success within the tertiary education system.

The Ministry’s research report called Impact of Student Support Services and Academic Development Programmes on Student Outcomes in Undergraduate Tertiary Study: A Synthesis of the Research specifically looks at the impact of student support services and academic staff development on student outcomes in undergraduate tertiary education in New Zealand.

The research report notes that students
are more likely to succeed when they have access to pre-enrolment advice, academic counselling, opportunities to develop social networks, manageable workloads and good quality teaching.

Other contributors to student success noted in the research include having access to orientation and induction programmes, peer tutoring, and welcoming and efficient institutional behaviours, environments and processes.

An absence of discrimination, so students felt valued, fairly treated and safe was also found to be important.

“The research clearly shows that it makes sense for tertiary institutions to continue investing in student support services and academic staff development,” says Roger Smyth, Ministry of Education Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis and Reporting Manager.

The report recommends that more research be undertaken on academic staff development and the way it makes a difference to tertiary teaching and learning in New Zealand. It recommends that tertiary institutions be encouraged to use their academic staff development units as centres for research about teaching and learning, as well as centres for training and development.

The research report was commissioned by the Ministry of Education in 2002 and was undertaken by Massey University researchers. Find it on the Ministry of Education website


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