Teacher shortages in rural areas

  • 2017

Attracting teachers to rural and remote areas is a constant challenge. Teachers who complete rural training placements are more likely to teach in rural areas – yet few do so.


Even very small barriers that require effort to overcome can prevent people from doing something. These are known as frictions, and can result in friction costs— additional time or energy required to do something, which might put some people off.

We sought to reduce the friction costs associated with applying for rural teaching placements and make the process easier, thereby encouraging more applications to the roles.


We simplified the application process from a complex, paper-based version to a pre-filled online form.

Result & Impact

The intervention tripled the number of teachers applying for rural and remote placements. This process is now standard at the University of Wollongong.