La Trobe receives $300,000 grant for research into low socio-economic status (SES) student deferrals

La Trobe University’s Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR) has received a $300,000 research grant from the Department of Education and Training’s 2018 National Priorities Pool commissioned projects funding round. The successful project will strengthen the evidence on the causes of deferral and extended leave among low SES students, and the potential of universities to ensure successful returns to study. The project is led by Associate Professor Andrew Harvey from La Trobe University, and involves a partnership with colleagues from The University of Queensland, Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, Western Sydney University and Charles Darwin University.

The project aims to understand the causes of deferral/leave among low SES students; and identify strategies by which universities can promote the return to study of these students. The project will analyse national data to identify the characteristics of low SES students who defer and take leave, compared with other equity groups and students overall. Stage two of the project will explore institutional strategies which improve the likelihood of return to study. Qualitative research will be undertaken at identified universities of effective practice, and case studies will be conducted among the six partner institutions, including surveys of returned students and detailed analysis of specific projects. The project outputs will include a final research report, recommendations, and good practice guidelines for universities.

If you are interested in obtaining further information about the project, please contact