In Australia alone, the national rate of participation in higher education has doubled since 1975 (Marginson 2004:3). Every year in the Oceania region, almost 8000 students are enrolled in architecture programs. The statistics show that participation in architecture programs has increased, with students now more likely to complete their studies than ever before; the ratio of commencing students to completing students has improved over time from 3:1 to 2:l. This is in line with DEST statistics that show there has been an 1l.6% increase in domestic student completions from 2004-2005 (DEST 2005). The architecture student is therefore an important stakeholder in shaping architectural education but little is known about their views and even less about academic perceptions of them. One current view, that is held by many academics is that the "contemporary student is motivated by the acquisition of a qualification and not necessarily an education" (Ostwald and Williams 2008). This view is supported in previous research; in their US study of 242 architecture students Bachman and Bachman (2006) found that student motivation to study and perform was driven by a fear of failure rather than for the reward of learning. In 2008 the architecture student has a different set of priorities to those of past students. For the contemporary student, family, friends and employment are as important, if not more so, than their education. The present chapter will begin to address the gap in the literature, making academics more aware of their own perceptions (regardless of whether they are true or false) so that in future an Oceania-wide perspective may be developed to understand one of the key challenges facing architectural education today: student motivation.
Computing, Cognition and Education: Recent Research in the Architectural Sciences p. 143-154