‘You can’t always get what you want’: Factors influencing student success

Australia/Sydney 4:00pm | Thurs 23rd June
Europe/London 7:00am | Thurs 23rd June
America/New York 2:00am | Thurs 23rd June

Presenter: Richard Hewison – Unit coordinator/Lecturer – PIBT

With every new intake of Pathway students, we are presented with a classroom full of relatively unknown quantities. Even when students have met minimum entry requirements, some struggle more than others in their new and unfamiliar educational environment, particularly in the course of their first semester.

A typical institutional response might be to provide remedial support for the symptoms of ‘poor performance’, i.e. assumed deficits in general academic skills and English language proficiency (ELP). But why do some students continue to perform poorly, when others with similar educational backgrounds and ELP are relatively more successful? What makes these students tick?

In this presentation, Richard will share findings from his PhD research, which explores factors known to affect academic achievement among Pathway students. He will also look at how this knowledge could be used to inform pedagogy and support services, because “if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” (Jagger & Richards, 1969)


Richard has been working in the higher education sector for 25 years and has been with PIBT since 1997. In that time has worked predominantly with international students making the transition into undergraduate study. His professional research focuses on linguistic and personal factors that affect the academic achievement of university pathway students.