‘Retention’ is about students remaining in one HE institution and completing a programme of study. ‘Success’ recognises that students benefit from HE study in a wide range of ways, including personal development and progression into work and career or further learning.
We work in close partnership with institutions and sector bodies to enhance the student learning experience to improve retention and success.
Advance HE runs key projects relating to student retention. These include:
Drawing together the range of peer learning and mentoring schemes for students that operate within the Cathedrals Group of Universities, the purpose of the project was to examine good practice wherever it exists and to examine the commonalities and unique features across the group. The outcomes of the project where a report and toolkit, both of which can be viewed using the links below.
The What works? Student retention and success change programme identified and implemented whole-institutional approaches to improving student retention and success.
Advance HE in its commitment to excellence in teaching and the improvement of learning outcomes supported Kingston University to explore (in collaboration with University of Hertfordshire and University of Wolverhampton) effective institutional strategic approaches to closing the BME attainment gap.
Framework for Student Access, Retention, Attainment and Progression in Higher Education
Our coordination of the What works? Student retention and success programme (in partnership with Action on Access and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and HEFCE), together with 10+ years of other scholarly research and practice have shaped our approach to student retention and informed our framework for student access, retention, attainment and progression.
The framework for student access, retention, attainment and progression is informed by more than 10 years of Advance HE-led and commissioned projects, scholarly research and practice. It provides a structure for your work to improve student retention: strategic planning, curriculum design, identifying professional development, informing research projects, and reviewing and evidencing activities to establish impact.
“The frameworks are evidence-based and provide the higher education sector with a national reference point to enable the institution to develop its own approach according to local circumstances as well as benchmarking performance.” Universities UK (2016), p.73, Working in partnership: enabling social mobility.
Has your school, faculty or institution identified this as a key strategic priority?
Advance HE, through its four step process can help you to:
- Identify areas of strength and areas for improvement
- Deliver solutions-based change aimed at tackling your issues
- Review the success of any initiatives against KPIs and global frameworks.
Key Research, Guidance and Resources
- Access, retention, attainment and progression: a review of the literature 2016-2021 (2021)
- An exceptional transition to higher education: induction of new and returning students during the ‘new normal’ year (2020)
- Cathedrals Mission Group - Peer Learning Project 2017: Project Report (2017)
- What works? Student retention and success change programme (2017)
- Embedding mental wellbeing in the curriculum: maximising success in higher education (2017)
- HE outreach to widen participation: toolkits for practitioners
- Embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum: a model for learning and teaching practitioners