The HEA runs key projects relating to student retention. These include:
The Retention Collaborative Project brings England-based higher education providers together to identify common challenges and share learning and best practice. This programme involves networking and collaborative development with other institutions, auditing your current approach to student retention, and bespoke and targeted supported to enhance planning and development of your strategy and practice to support student retention.
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.
The Higher Education Academy 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.
Access, Retention, Attainment and Progression
Community of Practice
Communities of practice are knowledge exchange and development hubs that bring together people from across the sector both nationally and globally. They develop and support practice, showcase and drive innovation and address sector challenges through collaboration. The aim of this global community is to enable members to share useful resources on the issues surrounding student retention. It's a forum that will be shaped by you and for you, through sharing ideas and best practice.
HEA framework for retention
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.
HEA framework for student access, retention, attainment and progression is informed by more than 10 years of HEA-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 Higher Education Academy 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?
The HEA, through it's four step process: conceptualising; planning and preparation; implementation, delivery and monitoring, and; completion and closure; 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 HEA Research
- 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)
- HEA review of research literature: Access, retention, attainment and progression (2017)
- Tackling transition in STEM disciplines (2015)
- Changing patterns in vocational entry qualifications, student support and outcomes in undergraduate degree programmes (2015)
- Bridging the gap between student expectation and experience: the lived experience of transition to higher education (2014)
- Undergraduate retention and attainment across the disciplines (2014)
- Developing an inclusive culture in higher education: final report (2013)
- Building student engagement and belonging in higher education at a time of change: final report from What works? (2012)
- Black and minority ethnic student degree retention and attainment (2012)
Guidance and teaching resources
- HE outreach to widen participation: toolkits for practitioners
- Embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum: a model for learning and teaching practitioners
- Access, retention, attainment and progression tools
- Inclusive curriculum design in higher education
- Reflecting on threshold concepts: an introductory tool
HEA Knowledge HUB
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