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Mental Wellbeing

Transitions, retention and progression

This project explores the impact of the pandemic on student's confidence, study skills and well-being and supports members in adopting practical approaches to enhance the student experience as well as support retention and progression.

This project aims to foster dialogue and support through a community of practice that is designed to better prepare students, staff and other stakeholders for future transitions.

In order to recognise and understand the impact of 2020 – and a shift within the context of Covid-19 from pandemic to endemic thinking – this project focuses on different voices from the sector as a catalyst for discussion, forward planning and action.

Contributions from a range of stakeholders include:

  • Hillary Gyebi-Ababio (VP Higher Education, NUS)
  • Anne-Marie Canning (CEO, The Brilliant Club)
  • Michelle Morgan (Dean of Students, University of East London and author of the report An Exceptional Transition to Higher Education)

Beginning with a series of Advance HE podcasts, members will have the opportunity to listen to insights from across the sector with different perspectives being provided on what we have learnt over the last year and what we need to develop going forward.

Through community-sourced questions and the sharing of key issues and experiences, members will be able to connect via forums and panels, and engage with existing and ongoing practices that have been effective in the support of student transitions. Through the sharing of good practice, the member benefit will also provide a platform to begin to model solutions for specific institutional and discipline settings.

This theme will offer a space for continued discussion and development of ‘new normals’. It will consider the transformations and changes to our collective understanding and approaches to pre-arrival; arrival; orientation; reorientation; induction and reinduction.

An Advance HE member benefit

This project is an Advance HE member benefit and is open to colleagues at Advance HE member institutions. 

Find out more about Advance HE Membership
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Blog - Introduction to the theme

In this blog, Advance HE associate Ben Brabon shares his thoughts on New Transitions.

Read the blog

Blog - Supporting transitions in September 2021-22 - what next?

In this blog, Dr Michelle Morgan, Dean of Students at the University of East London, shares her thoughts on supporting transitions in the new academic year.

Read the blog
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Podcast Series

Episode one

In the first episode in this podcast series, CEO of The Brilliant Club, Anne-Marie Canning, shares her experience of supporting student transitions and progression, providing insights into The Brilliant Club’s approach to increasing the number of pupils from underrepresented backgrounds progressing to and succeeding at selective universities.

Listen to the podcast

Episode two

In the second episode in this podcast series, the new VP Education at Heriot-Watt University, Hannah Copeland, shares her insights into student concerns going into the new academic year and the ways in which universities can do more to support students to be successful during their undergraduate journey.

Listen to the podcast

Episode three

In the third episode in this podcast series, Ben Brabon, Associate at Advance HE is joined by Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, Vice President Higher Education at the National Union of Students, who shares her views on how institutions can best to support students as they transition through higher education in a post-covid world, why it's important not to run away from risks, and ways of rethinking and rebuilding the education system in her role at NUS.

Listen to the podcast

Episode four

In the fourth episode in this podcast series, Ben Brabon, Associate at Advance HE is joined by Gareth Taylor, Head of Learning and Academic Excellence at Study Group, who shares his experience of the transition to online and blended learning, the importance of asynchronous activities for students and understanding technological literacy when it comes to assessment.

Listen to the podcast
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Online Clinic

This clinic provided participants with the opportunity to work together in small groups to address specific challenges within institutional and discipline contexts and develop more bespoke solutions. Participants were encouraged to bring questions to the clinic, as well as issues that they may have encountered, so they could develop community-generated responses and ideas. 

Facilitated by Dr Ben Brabon, Senior Associate at Advance HE, and former Professor and Director of Learning and Teaching in the Centre for Management Education at the University of Surrey, the clinic gave participants a forum to share their experiences and consider different institutional and discipline approaches.

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Related resources, programmes and events

Below you will find information on Advance HE resources, programmes and events which relate to the member benefits theme listed above.

Postgraduate transitions: Exploring disciplinary practice

In this resource, Mellors-Bourne, R. et al. (2016) explore disciplinary practices for postgraduate transitions.

Find out more

An exceptional transition to higher education: induction of new and returning students during the ‘new normal’ year

In this resource, Morgan, M (2020) explores the challenges and concerns about starting university for new undergraduate and postgraduate students due to Covid-19.

Find out more

Building student engagement and belonging in higher education at a time of change: Final report from the What Works? Student retention and success programme

Brought to you by Thomas, L (2012), this resource explores what works when it comes to student retention and success.

Find out more

Insights Event - Turning University Education into Flexible Innovation: Experiences from the Pandemic

This Insight Event, delivered in partnership with the University of Exeter, will explore the process of supporting a university community through the transition of the last 12 months

Find out more

Services to support student success

Advance HE brings extensive experience supporting teaching, learning and student success both for the higher education sector and individual institutions.

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Teaching Skills Masterclasses

The Teaching Skills Masterclass offers a flexible and evidence-based solution for the development of university-level teachers

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Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (CLTHE)

A focused development programme for academic staff promoting a practice-based understanding of effective teaching in higher education.

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Active Digital Design (ADD)

An active approach to learning and teaching using digital design techniques which recognises that to engage students online and make them active learners, we need to design with a digital-first mindset.

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Advance HE Connect

Advance HE Connect our online network that is open to all those who work in HE providing a space where the sector can share, connect and collaborate in one place with 22,000 HE peers from 100 countries around the globe. The platform features special interest groups, events and collaborative projects. 

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