Belonging, enjoyment, motivation, and retention: University students’ sense of belonging before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Megan Kelly, Johanna Nieuwoudt, Royce Willis, Megan Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

University students with a higher sense of belonging have previously been found to experience higher levels of academic engagement, motivation, achievement, and self-confidence. This article compares findings from a survey on student sense of belonging and retention distributed to Australian students prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 (n = 570) and during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 (n = 620). At both time points, students who considered dropping out of university had a significantly lower sense of belonging than those who had not considered leaving their studies before completion. Sense of belonging was positively correlated to levels of enjoyment and motivation in university. For students whose parents had both completed university, levels of belonging were found to be significantly higher than first-generation students prior to, but not during, the COVID-19 pandemic. Belonging is connected to students’ self-reported enjoyment of learning. When students feel connected to their university community, they are more likely to continue their studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2024

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Belonging, enjoyment, motivation, and retention: University students’ sense of belonging before and during the COVID-19 pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this