The RMIT belonging strategy: fostering student engagement in higher education

Wilson, R, Murray, G and Clarke, B 2018, 'The RMIT belonging strategy: fostering student engagement in higher education', in Dale Wache and Don Houston (ed.) Proceedings of the 41st HERDSA Annual International Conference (HERDSA 2018), Adelaide, Australia, 2-5 July 2018, pp. 257-266.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title The RMIT belonging strategy: fostering student engagement in higher education
Author(s) Wilson, R
Murray, G
Clarke, B
Year 2018
Conference name HERDSA 2018: Research and Development in Higher Education: [Re] Valuing Higher Education Vol. 41
Conference location Adelaide, Australia
Conference dates 2-5 July 2018
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 41st HERDSA Annual International Conference (HERDSA 2018)
Editor(s) Dale Wache and Don Houston
Publisher Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Place of publication NSW, Australia
Start page 257
End page 266
Total pages 10
Abstract Belonging emerged in the 1990s as a conceptual framework to promote student success, retention and engagement in Higher Education (Tinto, 1993; Hurtado & Carter, 1997). Belonging is the sense of mattering and interpersonal connectedness: a basic human need, it enhances motivation and drives behaviour (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Strayhorn, 2012). Generally, its application within higher education has been to discrete student cohorts, often based on ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status or first-year transitioning status (Hurtado & Carter, 1997; Strayhorn, Bie, Dorime-Williams, & Williams, 2016; Ribera, Miller & Dumford, 2017). RMIT University, Australia's second largest higher education provider, has a diverse student body. Student retention at RMIT University remains relatively high, however, recent evaluations have indicated that students believe the university is not doing enough to help foster a sense of belonging and friendship. In response, the university has positioned student belonging as a major strategic focus area in 2017-2018, and has developed a whole of institution RMIT Belonging Strategy. The strategy emerges from an extensive internal stakeholder consultation process and builds on the research of The Belonging Project (Clarke & Wilson, 2016). The strategy identified and tested five drivers that impact student belonging at the university, and proposed a measurement framework to form an 'index' of belonging that can be tracked and reported using existing university data sets. This paper focuses on the innovative and collaborative work of developing an evidence based, data driven enterprise wide strategy for inclusive belonging, and presents a roadmap of the process.
Subjects Higher Education
Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Keyword(s) Belonging Strategy
student experience
curriculum
Copyright notice Copyright © 2018 HERDSA and the authors.
ISBN 9780908557967
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