The wide-ranging impacts of Covid-19 significantly increased the risk of student non-continuation. Students’ accounts of their experience during lockdown and of their isolation on return to university and college remind us of the extraordinary challenges they faced, and of how little we knew of the consequences for students' successful transition to and through higher education.
Student retention pre-pandemic was already in recent decline in England. The priority for many HEIs is now to ensure that retention figures do not decline further. To do this, HEIs will be looking at their usual retention systems and practices, and evaluating what adjustments need to be made, what new approaches adopted, and reflecting on what else we can do to ensure that the post-Covid intake “stay the course”.
The project is an Advance HE member benefit and is open to colleagues at Advance HE member institutions. Information on Advance HE membership can be found via the link below.
This project explores how student retention practices are adapting and changing to meet the needs of this exceptional cohort. Those participating will have had the opportunity to:
- better understand the challenges students are facing
- access quality information on existing approaches to student retention
- reflect on how retention systems & practices can be adapted and new ideas implemented
- discuss how we work collaboratively in competitive environments to ensure the success of all our students.
Webinar - Exceptional student retention: how to support and retain the Covid-19 generation in higher education
Joan O’Mahony (Advance HE) was joined by an expert panel, including Professor Ruth Woodfield, (Professor of Equalities and Organisation, University of St Andrews), Aveek Bhattacharya (Chief Economist, Social Market Foundation), Sue Horder (Associate Dean, Glyndŵr University), and John Fairhurst (Managing Director and Academic Principal, Bloomsbury Institute London) to discuss the old and new challenges to student retention, adapted practice, obstacles to meaningful change across the sector, and how we work towards the solutions.
Related events, services and resources
Below you will find information on Advance HE services and resources which relate to the member benefits listed above.
Student retention and success in higher education
Key projects, resources and ways you can connect with student retention
‘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.
Services to support student retention
The consultancy and enhancement services are designed to support student retention. Advance He member institutions receive a 10% discount on these services.
UK Engagement Survey (UKES)
The UK Engagement Survey (UKES) is the only nationwide undergraduate survey to focus on student engagement. This year's survey measures the levels of engagement of UK undergraduates from February to June 2020.
Student Academic Experience Survey (SAES)
The annual Advance HE-HEPI Student Academic Experience Survey shows how full-time undergraduate students rate their time in higher education and their attitudes towards policy issues that impact upon them. SAES has been designed and developed in partnership with the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and with interviews conducted independently by YouthSight.
Publications and blogs
- An exceptional transition to higher education: induction of new and returning students during the ‘new normal’ year - a short, practical, summary of the key points to address for successful induction and a reminder of the common pressure points and concerns that students will experience throughout their journey to, though, and on from higher education.
Three months to make a difference - A booklet highlighting seven key areas that present challenges for disabled students and recommendations as to how institutions and policy makers can urgently address them is published today.
Fellowship programme transforms Thai institution - our Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (CLTHE). delivered at Walailak University results in massive improvement in student retention.
Student retention and success: reflecting on the role of mental wellbeing in the curriculum and university - Dr Michelle Morgan reflects on some of the key areas that HEIs will need to address in their approach to supporting and retaining students.
Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education project
The Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education project was designed as an opportunity to engage with key facets through collaborative and generative thinking and dialogue. While the ‘socially distanced campus’ is a very broad issue, the focus of the project was on the priority area of student education and experience.
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 19,000 HE peers from 100 countries around the globe. The platform features special interest groups, events and collaborative projects.
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