Mohammad Alauddin, and Adrian Ashman,  School of Economics Discussion Paper No. 511 March 2014, School of Economics, The University of Queensland, and School of Education, The University of Queensland.

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Student populations in higher education in Australia and elsewhere in the developed world have experienced significant diversity over the past two decades. The existing literature has provided limited clarity about the effects of this diversity on the dimensions underpinning students’ study philosophy domain. Based on a large data set from a leading Australian university, this paper analyses students’ study philosophy, beliefs and attitudes towards teaching and learning. Factor analysis explored themes (or dimensions) within the survey. Multivariate analysis of variance used these dimensions as dependent variables with age, sex, ethnicity, study discipline, study level, academic performance and sex/ethnicity interaction as grouping variables to identify significant sources of variations. Deep learning, expediency and responsibility reflected the students’ study philosophy domain. Deep learning and responsibility varied with ethnicity and academic performance. Expediency differed according to ethnicity, study discipline and academic performance. Students in business-related disciplines displayed greater expediency than peers elsewhere, treating education like any other commodity. The contribution of this study lies in its rigorous analysis of the impact of the diversity of the student population on the study philosophy domain, compared to the existing literature.