Open and Distance Learning Student Retention: A Case Study of the University of Papua New Guinea Open College

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Mannan, Abdul
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF5 Sub-theme: Governance and social justice // Research in student retention has long been of interest to scholars in North America and Europe, and last two decades, research on student retention has become sophisticated, with one important line of enquiry being the development of a theoretical model on student dropout by Tinto. Most of the research assessed the predictive validity of Tinto model or to develop alternative model to study student retention in two and four year colleges and universities. These researches focused on traditional and non-traditional students, but few about retention of open and distance learning students. Comparatively, student retention problem has been a great concern in open and distance learning institutions than traditional colleges and universities. Student retention is an important factor of accelerating human capital formation for national development in a global knowledge economy. // This study assesses the current level of academic and social integration within the University of Papua New Guinea Open College as perceived by the students. In order to developing a retention policy and improving student support services, a comprehensive picture of the current academic and social integration climate in the UPNG Open College was assessed. Using Tinto’s conceptual model, an institutional academic and social integration assessment instruments was developed in measuring the current integration climate. Findings of the study indicated differences of student perception on current and expected level of integration climate in the Open College. Implications for policy directives and improvement of support services are also discussed. // Paper ID 76
Papua New Guinea