Developing student success, providing students with the opportunity to fulfil their potential so that they can adapt at an individual and societal level, is essential. Not only will this enable them to be the new leaders, advocates, educators and citizens of tomorrow, but it will help them engage within and across communities, become ethically conscious, sustainably aware and competent to view the world through a lens of equality and inclusion".
Stuart Norton, Senior Adviser (Learning and Teaching), Advance HE
The primary aim of this theme is to support members in adopting practical, evidence-based approaches that enhance student success. This will primarily be aligned to access, retention, attainment and progression, and employability but will incorporate, as appropriate, connected activity across the Advance HE student success thematic areas.
Outputs for this project will focus on three literature reviews, one on access, retention, attainment and progression, one on employability and one on flexible learning, with additional associated outputs including webinars, summits, podcasts, and a range of blogs.
Three lateral themes of Sustainability in HE, Hybrid operating models - leadership and engagement, and Structural inequality, intersectionality and identities will also run across the entire 2021-22 Connect Benefit Series ensuring the project outputs speak to the pervasive issues our members are facing.
This Connect Benefit Series Student Success theme aims to:
- Share and promote an evidence-based approach to access, retention, attainment and progression, and employability
- Consider the primary lessons and changes in direction from 2016 – 2021
- Identify core areas for Advance HE to focus upon and further enhance alignment to the core areas of student success as recognised by the framework series
- Engage with pragmatic, practical examples and activity to enhance student success
- Provide thought leadership to develop effective approaches to enabling student success.
Student Success: Employability
This part of the Student Success project focusses on embedding employability in higher education, based around the publication ‘Employability: a review of the literature 2016-2021’, a research project conducted by Oxford Brookes University.
The review informs a number of outputs, including a webinar in which the researchers discuss their findings with Advance HE members and a series of podcasts exploring key areas from measuring employability and the impact of work-integrated learning to addressing inequality and looking at employability from the perspectives of our global membership.
Outputs also include a compendium of case studies representing discussions arising from the Advance HE Employability Symposium 2021, focussing on ‘Employability, Enterprise, and Entrepreneurship: Solving Wicked Problems.’ Members were also invited to reflect on the theme at a number of participative online summits.
Student Success: Access, retention, attainment and progression
This part of the project explores the key areas of access, retention, attainment and progression (ARAP) in higher education, focusing on the findings of ‘Access, retention, attainment and progression: a review of the literature 2016-2021’ conducted by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University.
The review shows sector developments and/or changes in these areas, collating and updating evidence since Advance HE's previous research review from 2017: 'Enhancing access, retention, attainment and progression in higher education'.
Outputs include a webinar in which the Sheffield Hallam team discuss the review with Advance HE members and a series of four podcasts, each focussing on one of the areas within the project: access, retention, attainment and progression.
Student Success: Flexible learning
Based on the research study ‘Flexible learning: a literature review 2016 – 2021’ conducted by Professor Mark Loon of Northumbria University, this area of focus identifies and explores practical, evidence-based approaches to flexible learning in higher education.
Collating the findings of 105 research articles, the review identifies and examines the key drivers of flexible learning, from the influence of Covid-19 to the development of technologies and technology-dependent initiatives and the willingness of educators to experiment with combinations of pedagogies.
Outputs from this theme include a webinar in which Professor Loon speaks to his findings and conducts a Q&A session with participants, and a series of three podcasts focusing on key areas of flexible learning, embracing technological, systemic, cultural, and global perspectives.
Student Success - Assessment and feedback
This part of the Student Success project will focus on our recently commissioned literature review 'Impacts of Higher Education Assessment and Feedback Policy and Practice on Students: A Review of the Literature 2016-2021'.
Conducted by researchers at the University of Kent, the review provides an insight into the literature, recognising that assessment and feedback practices are amongst the most powerful levers educators have for improving student learning. The authors advocate a broad conception of assessment and feedback to centre student learning and prompt a rethinking of traditional views of assessment and feedback, providing several recommendations for practitioners, policy makers and researchers.
Following publication of the review, events and outputs will include a webinar, podcasts and interactive summits.
Sustainability for Student Success podcast
In this podcast Kim Ansell, Senior Advisor at Advance HE is joined by Dr Kay Hack, Senior Advisor, Advance HE and Kate Mori, Quality and Standards Specialist at the Quality Assurance Agency to discuss the links between student success and education for sustainable development and how together they form part of the part of the sustainable development ecosystem.
Student Success Frameworks Series
Best practice frameworks, informed by research, developed with the sector for the sector
The issues impacting on student success are broad and complex, having a shared point of reference and common language to discuss, shape and review policy, process and practice can therefore be an extremely effective way of applying a consistent methodology to leading change. Engaging with our research informed frameworks in combination, will help identify smarter ways of working. This is achieved through identifying synergies between key strategic priorities that all underpin teaching excellence and the aspiration to support student success in its broadest sense.
A range of supporting guides for the Student Success Frameworks Series can be found below.
Essential Frameworks For Enhancing Student Success: Transforming Assessment
Our framework for transforming assessment is an integral part of the Advance HE Frameworks. Developed with the sector for the sector, the series covers key thematic priorities that impact upon the quality of teaching and learning in HE. Advance HE Frameworks provide a shared point of reference and common language to shape and review policy, process and practice in order to enhance student success.
Essential frameworks for enhancing student success: Embedding employability
Our framework for embedding employability is an integral part of the Advance HE Frameworks. Developed with the sector for the sector, the series covers key thematic priorities that impact upon the quality of teaching and learning in HE. Advance HE Frameworks provide a shared point of reference and common language to shape and review policy, process and practice in order to enhance student success.
Essential Frameworks for Enhancing Student Success: Flexible Learning
Our framework for flexible learning in higher education is an integral part of the Advance HE Frameworks series. Developed with the sector for the sector, the series covers key thematic priorities that impact upon the quality of teaching and learning in HE.
Essential Frameworks For Enhancing Student Success: Student Engagement Through Partnership
This guide offers a comprehensive look at how to engage students with staff through these areas of partnership.
Essential Frameworks for Enhancing Student Success: Internationalising HE
Our framework for internationalising higher education is an integral part of the Advance HE Frameworks. Developed with the sector for the sector, the series covers key thematic priorities that impact upon the quality of teaching and learning in HE. Advance HE Frameworks provide a shared point of reference and common language to shape and review policy, process and practice in order to enhance student success.
Essential Frameworks for Enhancing Student Success: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education Framework
Aligned to the Student Success Framework Series, this framework is centred on the ways in which enterprise and entrepreneurship education can add value to the journey of learner, whether they are interested in starting their own venture or being enterprising when working for someone else in the private, public or voluntary and community sector.
Related programmes, events and consultancy services
Below you will find information on Advance HE programmes, events and consultancy services under the student success theme.
Employability Symposium 2022
This symposium aims to bring together cutting-edge examples of how employability can be embedded at school, faculty/college and/or institutional levels. The event, by way of oral presentations and workshops, will provide a space to discuss and share latest practices in embedding employability among a network of peers.
Student Engagement Conference 2022
Student engagement has never been more important or more challenging. This one-day virtual conference will focus on good practice in engaging students, the student voice and student participation in the governance and decision-making processes within HE.
Teaching and Learning Conference 2022
Our flagship three-day conference attracting HE practitioners involved in all aspects of HE teaching and learning from the UK and overseas. Advance HE’s Teaching and Learning Conference 2022 will continue to position the spotlight firmly on teaching in a global context.
Assessment and Feedback Symposium 2021
This symposium will focus on the connected areas of marking practices and feedback processes. It will offer insights and solutions for the enhancement of marking and feedback practices within departmental and institutional contexts.
Active Digital Design
In response to the impact of Covid-19 on opportunities for face-to-face learning, teaching and assessment on campus, blended, hybrid and online learning approaches have been prioritised by HEIs. Within this context, Advance HE is working with the University of Surrey’s to offer its Active Digital Design (ADD) approach to other institutions to support moving content online to create a quality learner experience.
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. The Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education is Advance HE’s flagship teacher development programme, modelled on programmes delivered globally including at institutions in the UK, Africa, Asia, Australasia and Europe. It offers a flexible, evidence-based and sustainable solution for the development of university-level teachers.
Academic Leadership Programme
Having effective heads of department and heads of academic sections is vital for all higher education providers. The Academic Leadership Programme (ALP) is designed to support these colleagues; the next generation of academic leaders. It is only available to be commissioned by an institution or a group of institutions.
Teaching Skills Masterclass
The Teaching Skills Masterclass offers a flexible and evidence-based solution for the development of university-level teachers. It is aimed at introducing staff to new approaches in teaching and learning in higher education.
Student surveys from Advance HE (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, Postgraduate Research Experience Survey and the UK Engagement Survey) have engaged with over 170,000 students over the last two years.
The Advance HE Knowledge Hub brings together thousands of higher education resources covering a wide range of topics and themes all into one place. Search by keyword or use the search filters on theme, sub theme and content type to find resources relevant to you.
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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