The Age reports that the research shows that Catholic school students are more likely to graduate from university, even though attending an independent or public school has little influence on course completion.
The national study to be published today also challenges the view that students' socio-economic background has a significant impact on whether they complete their degree, The Age says.
Instead, it found the strongest influence on course completion rates was the university entry score obtained by year 12 students. About 90 per cent of students with ENTER scores above 90 completed their course, according to the research, compared with 73 per cent of students with scores between 60 and 69.
Students who attended Catholic schools had a higher-than-expected university completion rate (88 per cent) compared with other students. But there was little difference between those who attended an independent school (81 per cent) and those who went to a government school (79 per cent).
The study, conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research, was based on a national survey in which researchers studied the characteristics of students who failed to complete their university degrees.
"The findings indicate that once students with a lower socio-economic status enter university, their background does not negatively affect their chances of completing the course," the council's chief executive, Geoff Masters told The Age.
Catholic students more likely to finish uni (The Age, 19/4/07)
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Australian Council for Educational Research
19 Apr 2007