A sense of belonging among Australian university students

Evianne L. van Gijn-Grosvenor*, Penelope Huisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This study was designed to explore what students perceive as essential factors influencing their sense of belonging. Gaining insight into what students perceive as influencing their sense of belonging enables design of interventions to foster that sense of belonging. Two hundred and nine students from a university in Sydney responded to the question: ‘What would help you to feel that you belong at Macquarie University?’ Results showed students most frequently identified people as instrumental in feeling that they belonged at university. Students also reported that places where there is respect, and where others are accepted, contributed to their feelings of belonging. Lastly, opportunities to interact with other students, such as within clubs, societies and at events, were reported by students to contribute to their feelings of belonging. Findings of the current study are discussed in relation to existing literature, to develop approaches that may enhance university students’ sense of belonging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-389
Number of pages14
JournalHigher Education Research & Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • sense of belonging
  • university students
  • Australia


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