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The academic outcomes of first-in-family in an Australian university:An exploratory study

Southgate, E., Douglas, H.E., Scevak, J., Macqueen, S., Rubin, M. and Lindell, C. (2014) The academic outcomes of first-in-family in an Australian university:An exploratory study. International Studies in Widening Participation, 1 (2). pp. 31-45.

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Although the first-generation and first-in-family status (FIF) of university students has been of intense interest in the USA, it has received very little consideration in Australia. The present research redressed this imbalance by investigating the academic outcomes of FIF undergraduate students at a large, public, Australian university. Undergraduate students (N = 227) who were enrolled in education, nursing and liberal arts degrees completed an online survey. Data are representative of typical gender
enrolment patterns for these degrees. In contrast to US research, there was no clear relationship between socioeconomic status and FIF status in this sample. Consistent with US research, FIF students had poorer academic outcomes than non-FIF students. However, this difference was only significant after the first-year
of study when students were less likely to receive scaffolded learning support within courses. FIF students were more likely than non-FIF students to seek support from university services. The implications of these results for Australian universities are considered.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: English Language and Foundation Studies Centre and the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education
Copyright: © 2014 The Author
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