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Mental Wellbeing

Connect Benefit Series - Transitions, retention and progression

As part of our Connect Benefit Series for 2021-22, our Transitions, retention and progression project ran from August to October, and focused on the challenges and opportunities of different experiences and approaches to transitions, retention and progression in higher education.

This member benefit theme fosters dialogue and support through a community of practice that is designed to better prepare students, staff and other stakeholders for transitions into and through the 2021-22 academic year.

In order to recognise and understand the impact of the past year – and a shift within the context of Covid-19 from pandemic to endemic thinking – this member benefit begins by focusing on different voices from the sector as a catalyst for discussion, forward planning and action into the new academic year.

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 2021-22.

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’ for the 2021-22 academic year. 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

The Connect Benefit Series 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 introduces this month's theme, sharing 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

Assessment and Feedback Symposium 2021

A presenter-led virtual event to learn, discuss and share latest practices and pedagogies in assessment and feedback. The call for papers for this event is now open.

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Student Retention and Success Symposium 2022

A presenter-led one-day event to learn, discuss and share latest practices in student retention and success. The call for papers for this symposium will open in September.

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Surveys and Insights Symposium 2022

A presenter-led one-day event to learn, discuss and share latest practices in the use of surveys and metrics to improve the student experience. The call for papers for this event will open in December.

Find out more

Student Engagement Conference 2022

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.

Find out more

Inclusive Engagement Workshops

Over two half days, this online workshop will explore the opportunities and challenge of partnership and co-production work with students on EDI in learning and teaching

Find out more

Inclusive and Equitable Assessment and Feedback Workshop

A two-module, online workshop that aims to enable you to enhance the inclusivity of your assessment and feedback practices.

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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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