Australia's mature-age students often must juggle work, children and study, are studying off campus and have a higher risk of dropping out. Higher education can do better for these 430,000 students.
Student mental health was already an issue before the pandemic. And then students felt the strain on all fronts as studies went online and they lost jobs and social contacts.
The tertiary qualifications target requires higher education providers, schools and communities to work together. But higher education can also help close the gap in the other target areas.
Tailored strategies to address students' finances, academic success and socio-emotional connections with an institution or program can help keep students in school.
Much of the research on attrition focuses on the first year of university, but little is known about why people drop out later in their studies. A recent study looked at some factors.
There has been an increase in Australian Indigenous students enrolling in university in the last 10 years, and we need to provide them with tutors to keep them there.
Universities need to better accommodate student employment to improve the retention of online students.
There are already signs of this happening in Australia, but research from overseas reveals few benefits.
Ghana's school feeding programme has reached millions of children in the past 11 years. It does important work, but needs more support to grow and become sustainable.
Coming to understand students' individual stories allows lecturers to guide, mentor and support them.
Bill Shorten has said he wants to reduce the number of uni students dropping out. Here's one way to do it.