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Higher Education

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 167–185 | Cite as

Why lecturers still matter: the impact of lecturer-student exchange on student engagement and intention to leave university prematurely

  • Ben Farr-Wharton
  • Michael B. Charles
  • Robyn Keast
  • Geoff Woolcott
  • Daniel Chamberlain
Article

Abstract

This research examines the impact of lecturer-student exchange (student-LMX) on engagement, course satisfaction, achievement, and intention to leave university prematurely for 363 students in one Australian university. Survey and grade point average (GPA) data were collected from domestic undergraduate first- and second-year students and analysed using structural equation modelling. The results indicated that student’s levels of engagement and course satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between student-LMX and intention to leave university, when demographic and socio-economic factors were controlled for. In an era when low student engagement and attrition is often attributed to individual demographic factors, and lecturers are under increasing threat of being replaced by technology, this research offers compelling evidence regarding the role of lecturer-student relationships in enhancing tertiary student outcomes.

Keywords

Retention Student-centred learning Lecturers Achievement Engagement Student-LMX 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben Farr-Wharton
    • 1
  • Michael B. Charles
    • 2
  • Robyn Keast
    • 2
  • Geoff Woolcott
    • 3
  • Daniel Chamberlain
    • 4
  1. 1.UTS Business SchoolUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Business and TourismSouthern Cross UniversityBilingaAustralia
  3. 3.School of EducationSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia
  4. 4.School of Psychology and Public HealthLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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