Role of Student Support Services in Enhancing Student Persistence in the Open University Context: Lesson from Indonesia Open University

Muhammad Husni ARIFIN

The high number of non-enrolment students had decreased the retention rates in the Indonesia Open University. Prior studies revealed that student support had a pivotal role in enhancing student persistence. Therefore, this study was aimed to explore contribution of student support in increasing student persistence by employing mixed methods approach. Student persistence in this study refers to continuation of enrolment within four consecutive semesters. This study used sequential explanatory design by collecting the quantitative data from surveying 153 students and then followed by semi-structured interviews with 13 purposefully selected participants. In the quantitative phase, the results of the study revealed that student support had important contribution to student persistence. Meanwhile, the qualitative findings supported the survey results that student support had a pivotal role in influencing student persistence. Moreover, this study suggested the improvement of student support at the level of affective, cognitive, and systemic in order to enhance student persistence.

KEYWORDS: Student supports, student persistence, open university, mixed methods, open and distance learning.