A profile of part-time undergraduates in Australian universities

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Hayden, M & Long, M 2006, 'A profile of part-time undergraduates in Australian universities', Higher Education Research and Development, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 37-52.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360500453137

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Over one-quarter of all undergraduates attending Australian universities enrol on a part-time basis. This paper addresses the social, educational and financial characteristics of these students. In a survey in 2000, questionnaires were sent to a sample of 84,591 domestic (i.e. excluding overseas fee-paying) undergraduate students at 19 Australian universities. The response rate was 41.1 percent. Systematic differences were found between full-time and part-time respondents across a wide range of characteristics. Importantly, part- time undergraduates were more likely to be older, in full-time employment and concentrated in particular fields of study. Just over one-half of all part-time undergraduates would have preferred to be studying full-time, financial circumstances permitting. Slightly less than one-third felt prevented from studying full-time because of a lack of government income support. A tenth of all part-time undergraduates felt unable to study full-time because of costs.

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