Australian Residential College Research Reports
29 June 2009 (collegiateway.org) — The Australian Survey of Student Engagement, sponsored by the Australian Council for Educational Research, is an ongoing project that gathers data and produces reports on higher education Down Under. Like its American counterpart, the AUSSE seeks to go beyond the simple statistics of retention and graduation to ask how involved students are in their life of their institutions.
Fiona Crowe of St. Catherine’s College at the University of Western Australia recently sent me a copy of the latest AUSSE research report, prepared by Hamish Coates and Daniel Edwards with the support of the Association of Heads of Australian Colleges and Halls. This report will be of interest to Collegiate Way readers, and it is available online in portable document format:
- Engaging College Communities: The Impact of Residential Colleges in Australian Higher Education. AUSSE Research Briefing, 4 (June 2009).
Anyone who has lived and worked in a residential college and also in an ordinary dormitory knows that there is a world of difference between them. Most statistical surveys of student life are not constructed in ways that capture this difference, however, and so policy-makers “see like a state” that is blind to the things that are genuinely important in people’s lives. It’s very encouraging to see this first attempt to draw out some of the basic elements of the collegiate way of living and tabulate them for comparison. May there be many more such studies in the future.