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Title: Retaining Indigenous students within health sciences courses at the University of South Australia
Contributor(s): Young, J (author); Stupans, Ieva  (author); Scutter, Shiela (author); Smith, Larry  (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: Background: Increasing the number of Indigenous health professionals is seen as one of the key strategies needed to work towards improving health outcomes for Indigenous Australians. Concerns over attrition rates in health science courses at the University of South Australia led to a qualitative research project being undertaken, focusing on an exploration of the reasons as to why this was occurring. Method: Telephone interviews were conducted with 33 people who had been, or were currently enrolled between the years 2000 and 2005. Results and Conclusions: For people who were no longer enrolled, the reasons for this, apart from having graduated successfully, included work/life balance issues, and reading and writing concerns. Positive outcomes for individuals were also cited, such as enrolment at the University of South Australia leading to them being able to undertake alternative programs of study that had been their first preferences. Some individuals simply stated that a particular career was "not right for me". People were very positive about scholarships and flexible modes of enrolment. However more personalised forms of support had variable responses. Several key sub-populations emerged as particularly vulnerable. These included people who were studying externally (particularly full-time); older students, and those who had to experience structured change.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Focus on Health Professional Education, 9(1), p. 33-43
Publisher: ANZAME: Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1442-1100
Field of Research (FOR): 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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