First year students' perceptions of inclusion and relationships with other university experiences

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Zimitat, Craig
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Carol Bond & Phillipa Bright

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2003
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Christchurch, NZ

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This study is the first report of first year students' perceptions of inclusion in teaching practices and campus interactions in an Australian university using a six-item set of questions as a scale to measure inclusion. There were no significant effects of age, gender, program of study or campus on perceptions of inclusion. Perceptions of inclusion correlated significantly with perceptions of quality of teaching (0.41), perceived benefit of university study (0.45), paid employment (0.36) and to a lesser extent with intention to continue university studies (0.23). Generally speaking, Australian born students had higher perceptions of inclusion than Asian-born students. Younger Australian born students, often considered at high risk of discontinuing study, perceived the lowest levels of inclusion. Whilst Asian-born students had overall lower perceptions of inclusion, they were less likely to discontinue university study. Further studies of inclusion are warranted if universities wish to compete effectively in a marketplace characterised by greater accountability and increasing student diversity.

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Learning for an unknown future.

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