Guest Editors: Professor Hamish Coates and Dr Kelly Matthews
‘Student success’ is the topic for this HERD Special Issue. This is a fundamental yet contested topic of relevance internationally that starts with the question: How can higher education help students succeed? As an umbrella topic, student success offers the promise of drawing together important yet often disparate threads across higher education research and practice such as student engagement, learning outcomes, admissions policies, transition, student experience, graduate employment, socioeconomic health.
While student success seeks to give primacy to students and their success, how universities foster such successes are inextricably entangled in the broader global ecosystem in which higher education unfolds. The concept of ‘student success’ has been given life in recent large-scale research work globally, and particularly in Asia, Australia, the United States and Europe. Smaller scale, highly contextualised ‘lived experience’ research from both developed and developing countries add to the body of knowledge. Such research has explored:
- the intersection between the changing place of the university in society and the political and economic framing of student success;
- fundamental normative assumptions about ‘success’ and ‘who are our students’ in higher education;
- the academic and broader experiences that are correlated with student success (and failure);
- the impact of new technologies and information as an influence on the framing and engagement of student success; and
- patterns and prospects for student and graduate outcomes.
This HERD Special Issue creates space for ‘student success’ to be viewed through multiple lenses, including but not limited too:
- the current political international landscape juxtaposing nationalistic and global ideologies;
- the weight of neoliberal economic agendas shaping public perceptions, and internal operations, of higher education institutions;
- the equity and social justice view of higher education advancing a more inclusive and tolerant citizenry; and
- the emotional and cognitive domains of learning as a core function of higher education.
Contributions are invited that encompass practical, conceptual, and theoretical concerns; range from purescholarship to more applied insights; and draw on a plurality of methodological approaches. The goal of the Special Issue is to refine debate on new understandings of ‘student success’, and new epistemologies and sources of evidence for investigating and conceptualising it. Contributions will address tensions and the increasingly challenging task of ‘helping students succeed’ given changing student cohorts and expectations, new forms of education, diversifying institutions, and socio-political pressures reshaping higher education.
- Guest Editor: Hamish Coates
- Guest Editor: Kelly Matthews