The Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success acknowledges Indigenous peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our campuses are situated. With a history spanning 60,000 years as the original educators, Indigenous peoples hold a unique place in Australia. We recognise the importance of their knowledge and culture, and reflect the principles of participation, equity, and cultural respect in our work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future, and consider it an honour to learn from our Indigenous colleagues, partners, and friends.

You are reading: Success from the perspective of the successful: equity, success and completion in higher education

Mark Rubin1, Penny Jane Burke1, Anna Bennett1, Olivia Evans1,2, Sarah O’Shea3,4, Kristen Allen1, Jean Parker1, Nida Denson5, Heather Douglas1, Monica Gendi1, Stephanie Hardacre1, Peter Howley1, Suzanne Macqueen1, Carmen Mills6, Ryan Naylor7,8 and Maria Raciti9

Published by the University of Newcastle Australia


Success is often assumed to have a common definition and to be a transparent term. However, the data shows that success is, in reality, personal, sociocultural and structural. According to government policy and institutional measures, it is considered in terms of pass/fail, grade averages or gaining employment (O’Shea & Delahunty, 2018). However, when students are asked about success, whilst there are references to vocational and quantifiable notions of success, equally, highly valuable personal, community and familial experiences are conveyed. This research clearly reveals the multidimensional and contextual nature of success.

Read the full report, Success from the perspective of the successful: Low SES students, success and completion in higher education

1The University of Newcastle, Australia

2Australian National University
3The University of Wollongong
4Curtin University
5Western Sydney University
6The University of Queensland
7La Trobe University
8University of Sydney
9University of the Sunshine Coast

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