Why do students stay at university?
Supporting student transition into the
first year

Sarah Lawther
Nottingham Trent Univ...
Overview

•Background to HERE
Project
•About HERE Project
•Findings and
Recommendations
•Belonging
•Questions
2
Background to the HERE Project
‘What Works?’
Student Retention & Success
• NAO report – Staying the Course (2007) & 2008 PAC response
• Paul Hamlyn Found...
What do we know about retention?
• Tinto (1975, 1987, 1993) – academic and social integration
• Ozga and Sukhnandan (1998)...
What do we know about student doubting?
• Doubts about the course/ university serious enough to consider
leaving
• How man...
About the HERE Project
HERE Project
Higher Education: Retention & Engagement
Strand One: Student Doubters - why some first year students have
dou...
Strand One
• Student Transition Survey 2009
– All first year undergraduates March – May
– NTU 9% response rate (656 studen...
Withdrawing from Studies (NTU 2009)
• Over a third (37%) of our sample said that they had considered withdrawing
from thei...
Doubting and persistence
• 483 students granted us permission to monitor their persistence
– 182 doubters
– 301 non-doubte...
Current Course Experiences:
Doubters vs. non-doubters (NTU, 2009)
% is the number of students who agreed or strongly agree...
Further statistical tests at NTU ⃰
• 17 student experience variables
• Cramers V test: strongest association with doubting...
Confidence (NTU 2009)
Why did students give different reasons for
doubting and staying?
“I have found that the workload at times is
too much to ...
Focus group findings (NTU 2009)
Spectrum of staying after doubting
• From positive decision to ‘no choice’

Key difference...
Belonging: non doubters
All of the students who had never had doubts could all
describe the time when they felt that they ...
Belonging: doubters
Theresa, had had doubts and still describes herself as having
difficulty ‘fitting in’. She has stayed ...
Student Transition Survey (2011)
• Have you ever considered withdrawing from (leaving) University at
any point in your fir...
Strand Two
•Interviews with 10 programme teams
– What do programmes do to support retention and success?
– Appreciative In...
Findings and Recommendations
Key findings
a) Approximately one third of first year students have
experienced doubts sufficiently strong to make them co...
e) The primary reasons for doubting are associated with
student perceptions of the course
f) There were four main reasons ...
HERE Project Recommendations
• Manage factors that lead to doubting
– Identify and respond to students at risk
– Help stud...
Using the findings to improve the first year
experience at NTU
• Starting at NTU
• Welcome Week
• Course Tutorials
• Pilot...
February 12, 2014

31
Developing a sense of belonging: what is it that
helps students ‘fit-in’ on their course
Where do you belong?
• What groups do you belong to?
– Real world
– Virtual

• What do you gain from belonging to these gr...
What do we mean by belonging?
• ‘Belonging’ has been used to refer to a sense of belonging to the
– institution (Percy, 20...
Why look at belonging?
• Reason to consider withdrawing from university (Foster et al, 2011)
• Retention (Thomas, 2012)
• ...
How can we facilitate a feeling of belonging?
How much do you feel you fit in on your course?
Please use a scale of 1 to 5...
How much do you feel you fit in on your
course?
• Mann Whitney U Test
• Strongest relationship (of the following) with stu...
Why do you feel this way?
• 397 students answered this question
• Students gave 483 reasons in total for
why felt this way...
Why do you feel this way?
• Single reason
– Here I am, doing proper science. And science is a good thing. And
that's nice
...
Getting along socially
• Talking to others
– I talk to everyone on my course (5 – only reason given)
– No real discussion ...
Coping with work
– I have struggled to get back into education and studying, … the
fact that I struggled, makes me feel li...
Interest in course
– I do not find my course very interesting, challenging or
compelling. …. I don't feel like I belong or...
Tutors and other students
• Feeling known and accepted
• Knowing others in group by
name
• Discussion
• Able to ask for he...
Summary
How can we facilitate a feeling of belonging?
• Students who described that they didn't‘fit in’ to their course were
more ...
Thanks very much
Sarah.lawther@ntu.ac.uk
European First Year Experience Conference
9-11 June 2014, Nottingham Trent Univer...
References
• Barnett, R., 2007. A will to learn: being a student in an age of uncertainty.
Maidenhead: Open University Pre...
• Harvey, L., Drew, S. with Smith, M., 2006. The first year experience: a literature review
for the Higher Education Acade...
• Mackie, S., 2001. Jumping the hurdles - undergraduate student withdrawal behaviour.
Innovation in Education and Teaching...
• Thomas, L., and Hill, M., 2013. Briefing report on the What works? Student retention
and success change programme [onlin...
What supports students to stay at university?
What supports students to stay at university?
What supports students to stay at university?
What supports students to stay at university?
What supports students to stay at university?
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What supports students to stay at university?

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What supports students to stay at university?

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  • Barnett – Will to learn – interest in course affects belonging…
    Here – again not finding course intersteing but friends and seminar mates what keep going…
    May not enjoy course – but friendships keep going – something found in overall here project
    Sharing passion with other students – linked to socially belonging – often those said 5 fitted in used word passion
  • What lecturers/tutors do
    You are known personally by tutors and are able to see them whenever you need help (4)
    I feel engaged in …lessons and feel that the lectures and students value my opinion (4)
    Because of shared views and discussions (3 – only reason)
    Everyone knows everyone - even the tutors (4-only reason)
    Tutors are also very helpful and make us feel like we are doing the right thing, giving us confidence (4)
    I know what is expected from me I knew at the beginning of the year what topics would be covered in the future weeks (4)
    Because the course is great and the lectures made me feel worthy of their time but also I feel my opinion is valued (4)
    Smaller level – clues to what we can do in course – for me – also this…
    Often smaill things – asking questions
    If you could change one thing that you do – what woul dit be?? As a lecturerr?/ what is noticable about analysing this data – was also small things – discussion/participation
    Welcomed despiete differences, able to help other and able to ask for help.
  • This sense of fitting in, of ‘belonging’, encompassed both academic and social reasons suggesting that where students had not integrated in these areas, this was affecting their sense of belonging to their course.
    What works programme now in phas 2
    Working with HEI’s to “improve student engagement, students’ sense of belonging and retention and success”.
    Findings overall from phase 1 what wokrs
    Overall the first phase of what works, - students most likely belong first to their programme of study (less so to departmental, school and institution al levels”.
    Importance of sense of belonging to retention and scuss
    2 academic sphere is “most important site for creating type of participation that engenders a sense of belonging” – focus to improve retentiona nd success needs to be in academic sphere.
    See interim report for full recommendations from overall what works phase one
    Importance of monitoring student behaviour – to identify at risk students – and institutional data to identify areas of high withdrawal/non progression in programmes/courses/modules etc.
    Reasons students gave for ‘fitting in’ or not, were related to
    being able to cope academically,
    having an interest in the course,
    feeling socially connected to the course and that
    the course would help them to achieve their future goals.
    This is reflected in the statistical findings, that students are less likely to consider withdrawing if they are interested in their course, find their course friendly, are coping with their work and believe their degree will help achieve their future goals.
    A key theme of the ‘What Works Student Retention and Success Programme was that of belonging. Thomas (2012), in the summary of the seven projects, describes that ”student belonging is achieved through: supportive peer relations, meaningful interaction between staff and students, developing knowledge, confidence and identity as successful HE learners and an HE experienced relevant to students’ interests and future goals” (Thomas, 2012, p7). Palmer, O’Kane and Owens argue that a student’s sense of belonging to a university (or not) may be subject to reversals and changes of direction (2009, p51) indicating that there may be actions that institutions can take to support students sense of ‘fitting in’. It is recommended then, that resources are focused in all these areas to support students in their first year.
    Student experience factors
    Tinto (1975, 1987, 1993) argued that students are more likely to stay at university if they have integrated academically and socially with the institution. This transition is dependent upon pre-entry attributes, goals and their institutional experience. The importance of good relationships with tutors (Thomas, 2002), (Rhodes and Nevill, 2004) and student tutor contact time (Yorke and Longden, 2008) have been shown to be important in this transition as has the importance of an interest in the course (Castles, 2004), (Barnett, 2007). Social integration has also been shown to be an important factor in this transition to the first year. Yorke and Longden (2008) cite problems with social integration as a reason to withdraw, other studies illustrate the importance of friendships (Buote, 2007) and belonging (Harvey and Drew, 2006) as supporting students to stay. The student experience questions asked students about their social and academic experiences and about their future goals.
    Doubters felt less like they fitted in to their programme than non-doubters. We recommend developing a sense of belonging through increased social engagement within the curriculum (Yorke & Longden, 2008)
     
  • What supports students to stay at university?

    1. 1. Why do students stay at university? Supporting student transition into the first year Sarah Lawther Nottingham Trent University
    2. 2. Overview •Background to HERE Project •About HERE Project •Findings and Recommendations •Belonging •Questions 2
    3. 3. Background to the HERE Project
    4. 4. ‘What Works?’ Student Retention & Success • NAO report – Staying the Course (2007) & 2008 PAC response • Paul Hamlyn Foundation & HEFCE jointly funded 7 projects representing 22 HEIs (2008 – 2011) • HEA/ Action on Access appointed as expert reviewers • The primary purpose of the programme was to generate robust, evidence-based analysis and evaluation about the most effective practices to support student retention and success
    5. 5. What do we know about retention? • Tinto (1975, 1987, 1993) – academic and social integration • Ozga and Sukhnandan (1998) – accumulation of factors • NAO (2007) • Yorke and Longden (2008) – seven factors that contribute to withdrawal – – – – – – – poor quality learning experience not coping with academic demand wrong choice of field of study unhappy with location and environment dissatisfied with institutional resourcing problems with finance and employment problems with social integration • Johnston (1997) – financial reasons? • Buote et al (2007) – friendships • Jones (2008) Student retention and success: a synthesis of research
    6. 6. What do we know about student doubting? • Doubts about the course/ university serious enough to consider leaving • How many students are doubters in the literature? – 21% Rickinson and Rutherford (1995) – 39% Sodexo (2010) – Yorke & Longden (2008) – 25% (rising to 40% if less informed about course) • Learning from those students that persist (Johnstone, 2001) • Differences between doubters and leavers – Internal factors - Mackie (2001) – Ability to adapt - Roberts et al (2003)
    7. 7. About the HERE Project
    8. 8. HERE Project Higher Education: Retention & Engagement Strand One: Student Doubters - why some first year students have doubts, but stay Strand Two: What programmes do to support students to stay, in particular, looking at practice and examples February 12, 2014 8
    9. 9. Strand One • Student Transition Survey 2009 – All first year undergraduates March – May – NTU 9% response rate (656 students) – Follow on focus groups • Student Transition Survey 2011 – All first year undergraduates February – May – NTU 6% response rate (452 students) • Welcome Week Survey 2012 – NTU 6% response rate (441 students) • Limitations – Voluntary responses – May not be accessing students not engaged with university
    10. 10. Withdrawing from Studies (NTU 2009) • Over a third (37%) of our sample said that they had considered withdrawing from their studies at some point so far in their first year. – 63% had never considered leaving – 28% had considered leaving but had since decided to stay at NTU – 8% had not yet made up their minds about whether to stay or leave – 1% had decided to leave NTU 8% 1% 28% 63% Base = 656 (doubters = 243, non-doubters = 413) Never considered withdrawing Considered withdrawing and decided to stay Still undecided whether to stay or leave Considered withdrawing and decided to leave
    11. 11. Doubting and persistence • 483 students granted us permission to monitor their persistence – 182 doubters – 301 non-doubters • Tested Dec 2009 - Overall progression better than institutional benchmarks • Implications – Links to other UK research & supports Ozga & Sukhnandan’s (1998) model • Withdrawal not due to a sudden shock
    12. 12. Current Course Experiences: Doubters vs. non-doubters (NTU, 2009) % is the number of students who agreed or strongly agreed with each statement Completing my degree will help me achieve future goals 77% My subject is interesting 92% 73% My family is supportive 76% 61% My fellow students are supportive 77% 58% I have enthusiastic lecturers 75% 53% Lecturers are accessible 54% I'm confident that I can cope with my studies 74% 78% 39% Assessment on my course is what I expected 67% 46% My course is well organised 68% 43% Feedback on my work is useful 64% 44% I know where to go if I have a problem 40% I feel valued by teaching staff 55% 33% 0% 10% 20% Base = 656 (doubters = 243, non-doubters = 413) 30% 40% 55% 58% 34% I'll have enough money to finish my course Doubters 65% 49% My taught sessions are interesting Non-doubters 66% 48% I like where I am living 88% 84% 78% 81% I have easy acess to University resources I have an enjoyable social life 91% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
    13. 13. Further statistical tests at NTU ⃰ • 17 student experience variables • Cramers V test: strongest association with doubting was ‘I feel confident that I can cope with my coursework’ – My subject is interesting – I feel valued by teaching staff • Factor analysis – Academic Experience Variables – Support, Resources and Future Goals – Student Lifestyle • Regression analysis – Additional variables (age, gender, first person in family etc) – Variable with the most impact on doubting was ‘Academic Experience’ ⃰⃰⃰Statistical tests carried out by Nick Foard, NTU
    14. 14. Confidence (NTU 2009)
    15. 15. Why did students give different reasons for doubting and staying? “I have found that the workload at times is too much to cope with, not the difficulty but the volume. ….. It has been the social side of it that has kept me here.” “I was not sure if university was for me. I disliked earlier education … and, although my course is satisfactory enough, I don't LOVE it. I think my good friends in halls/good friends in my seminar group/social life have kept me here.” 19
    16. 16. Focus group findings (NTU 2009) Spectrum of staying after doubting • From positive decision to ‘no choice’ Key differences between non doubters and doubters • Relationship with staff • Belonging
    17. 17. Belonging: non doubters All of the students who had never had doubts could all describe the time when they felt that they belonged to the university “I think it starts when you walk down the street and you see someone and you go hey … I know them from University and that’s what made me feel like it [like I belonged]”. “The more people you know through other clubs and stuff the more you feel part of the University”. “The second term is when I started to feel more at home because in the first term you are always referred to as a fresher and 2nd term you are a first year student…I’ve got more friends, more like friendships, rather than just knowing lots of people”
    18. 18. Belonging: doubters Theresa, had had doubts and still describes herself as having difficulty ‘fitting in’. She has stayed because she doesn’t feel she has much choice. “I don’t seem very involved with the University to be honest”. Charlie, on the other hand, who had had doubts but made a positive decision to stay, described that now she could recognise places and people, “I feel better now because now I feel like I know where everything is and I always see someone walking around that I know if I want to stop and talk to them”.
    19. 19. Student Transition Survey (2011) • Have you ever considered withdrawing from (leaving) University at any point in your first year? • If yes, how seriously have you considered doing so? (scale 1-5) • When did you consider leaving? • Please tick all reasons that apply • Most important reason • How much do you feel you fit in on your course? (scale 1-5) • Why do you feel this way?
    20. 20. Strand Two •Interviews with 10 programme teams – What do programmes do to support retention and success? – Appreciative Inquiry Approach “…focuses on identifying and developing what works in an organisation rather than trying to fix what doesn’t” (Dovestone and Keenaghan, 2006, p5). •Different programmes addressed different themes according to nature of cohort • No magic bullets, but lots of small interventions that when combined make a difference •Influences how we work with programmes •Knowing your students •More info at www.HEREproject.org.uk •Compendium of effective practice in higher education: Volume 2
    21. 21. Findings and Recommendations
    22. 22. Key findings a) Approximately one third of first year students have experienced doubts sufficiently strong to make them consider withdrawing at some point during the first year b) Doubters are more likely to leave than non-doubters c) Doubters reported a poorer quality experience than students who have not doubted d) Students usually report more than one reason for doubting
    23. 23. e) The primary reasons for doubting are associated with student perceptions of the course f) There were four main reasons cited by doubters for staying g) The primary times for considering leaving are immediately before and after Christmas h) Students reported different degrees of doubting i) Some student groups appear more likely to doubt than others
    24. 24. HERE Project Recommendations • Manage factors that lead to doubting – Identify and respond to students at risk – Help students to make the transition to being effective learners at university – Improve communication and relationships with staff – Help students make more informed choices about the course • Support students to stay – Improve social integration – Improve a sense of belonging to the programme – Foster motivation and help student to understand how the programme can help them achieve their future goals – Encourage students' active engagement with the curriculum – Ensure that there is good communication and access to additional students support.
    25. 25. Using the findings to improve the first year experience at NTU • Starting at NTU • Welcome Week • Course Tutorials • Pilot Dashboard – “Tutors can immediately have a conversation and build on it” FOSTER, E., BORG, M., DR., LAWTHER, S., MCNEIL, J. and KENNEDY, E., DR., 2014. Using Student Engagement Research to Improve the First Year Experience at a UK University. In: C. BRYSON, ed, Student Engagement in Challenging Times. UK: Routledge.
    26. 26. February 12, 2014 31
    27. 27. Developing a sense of belonging: what is it that helps students ‘fit-in’ on their course
    28. 28. Where do you belong? • What groups do you belong to? – Real world – Virtual • What do you gain from belonging to these groups?
    29. 29. What do we mean by belonging? • ‘Belonging’ has been used to refer to a sense of belonging to the – institution (Percy, 2002) – the course or programme (Kember, Lee and Li, 2001) – and in relation with others such as the tutor and other students (Thomas, 2012), (Strayhorn, 2012) • Closely linked to – engagement - “precursor for engagement” (Hardy and Bryson, 2009) – social and academic integration (Tinto, 1993)
    30. 30. Why look at belonging? • Reason to consider withdrawing from university (Foster et al, 2011) • Retention (Thomas, 2012) • Student success (Strayhorn, 2012) • Choice of university (Reay et al, 2001) – I’d never fit in there • Something we can do something about? – – – – Subject to change Needs to be satisfied on a continual basis Context dependent (Strayhorn, 2012) It can be reversed (Palmer, O’Kane and Owens, 2009)
    31. 31. How can we facilitate a feeling of belonging? How much do you feel you fit in on your course? Please use a scale of 1 to 5, where 1= "not at all" and 5 = "very much". Why do you feel this way? •Related questions – How interesting is your course? – How friendly are the people on your course? Transition Survey 2011 February 12, 2014 36
    32. 32. How much do you feel you fit in on your course? • Mann Whitney U Test • Strongest relationship (of the following) with student doubting was ‘how much do you feel you fit in on your course’ Variable Median scores (Md) U z p r How much do you feel you fit in on your course? Doubters (n=146) Md = 3 Non-doubters (n=306), Md = 4 Doubters (n=146) Md = 4 Non-doubters (n=306), Md = 4 Doubters (n=146) Md = 4 Non-doubters (n=306), Md =5 Doubters (n=146) Md = 4 Non-doubters (n=306), Md = 4 1406 1.5 6.80 4 .000 .32 1619 9 5.09 2 .000 .24 1766 9 4.05 6 .000 .19 1887 4.5 2.83 0 .005 .13 How interesting is your course? Completing my degree will help me achieve my future goals How friendly are the people on your course?
    33. 33. Why do you feel this way? • 397 students answered this question • Students gave 483 reasons in total for why felt this way – 366 why belonged – 117 why felt didn't belong • Coded into themes ‘data analysis spiral’ (Creswell, 2007, p150) – Reasons why felt did belong – Reasons why felt didn’t belong – If not sure which way then didn’t code • Figures are in total number of reasons (rather than students) 38
    34. 34. Why do you feel this way? • Single reason – Here I am, doing proper science. And science is a good thing. And that's nice – It's the only subject I ever considered doing at university, and as I mentioned is my passion. So I feel like this is where I belong • Multiple reasons – Because I am passionate about the course and everyone is welcoming, lecturers are motivational • Belonging in one sphere and not another – The course suits my interests and future aspirations, socially not as much people have already formed their own groups
    35. 35. Getting along socially • Talking to others – I talk to everyone on my course (5 – only reason given) – No real discussion Not encouraged to meet up outside class time (2 – only reason) • Helping others (and asking for help) – I feel I get along with people, I can approach people if I need assistance and feel as a group member I can contribute a great deal which is a benefit to those I work with (4) • Similar interests, common goals – We are all working towards the same goal (4) • Friendly and welcoming atmosphere often mentioned in addition to social aspects of course – It has been made very welcoming (4 – only reason) – Not accepted by the "clique" groups. However the other people make me feel welcome and like I belong (4)
    36. 36. Coping with work – I have struggled to get back into education and studying, … the fact that I struggled, makes me feel like I don't fit in (1) – Because there are times that I feel part of a group that understands and enjoys science like I do. Other times I feel detached from the group because they'll start talking about something that I don't understand and seem to understand what they're talking about straightaway (3) – All the seminar tutors and lecturers speak in a way I can follow and I find myself able to keep up with the work (5) – There has been nothing yet to really doubt my ability to be there (5 – only reason) February 12, 2014 41
    37. 37. Interest in course – I do not find my course very interesting, challenging or compelling. …. I don't feel like I belong or have a future in what I choose to study ..the one thing that makes me go through it and find hope are my friends and seminar mates. I am so grateful and happy I have them (2) – Because it's something I'm passionate about and interested in (5) Future goals – I don't feel I fit in with fashion anymore, mainly because I've realized it is not what I want to do as a career (1) – I feel as though I fit in with my course as I believe that I am achieving my goals and also engaging with the course and other people who are like minded (5) February 12, 2014 42
    38. 38. Tutors and other students • Feeling known and accepted • Knowing others in group by name • Discussion • Able to ask for help • Welcoming February 12, 2014 • Opinions valued by tutors and other students • Early identification if struggling with work • Encourage participation • Sharing passion 43
    39. 39. Summary
    40. 40. How can we facilitate a feeling of belonging? • Students who described that they didn't‘fit in’ to their course were more likely to have doubts about being at University • Belonging - academic and social reasons and links to future goals • Belonging with others – tutors and other students “Belonging is achieved through: supportive peer relations; meaningful interaction between staff and students; developing knowledge, confidence and identity as successful HE learners; an HE experience that is relevant to interests and future goals” (Thomas 2012, p14-15) Briefing report on the What works? Student retention and success change program
    41. 41. Thanks very much Sarah.lawther@ntu.ac.uk European First Year Experience Conference 9-11 June 2014, Nottingham Trent University www.ntu.ac.uk/efye2014
    42. 42. References • Barnett, R., 2007. A will to learn: being a student in an age of uncertainty. Maidenhead: Open University Press. • Buote, V.M., Pancer, S.M., Pratt, M.W., Adams, G., Birnie-Lefcovitch, S., Polivy, J. and Gallender Wintre, M., 2007. The importance of friends: friendship and adjustment among 1st-year university students. Journal of Adolescent Research, 22(6), pp. 665689. • Creswell, J., 2007. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design Choosing among five approaches. London: Sage • Compendium of effective practice in higher education: Volume 2 [online]. Available at: http:// www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/retention/Compendium_2_rc_ja_Final.pdf. • Doveston, M. and Kennaghan, M., 2006. Improving classroom dynamics to support students’ learning and social inclusion: a collaborative approach. Support for Learning, 21(1), 5-11. • Foster, E., Borg, M., Lawther, S., McNeil, J. and Kennedy, E., 2014. Using Student Engagement Research to Improve the First Year Experience at a UK University. In: C. BRYSON, ed, Student Engagement in Challenging Times. UK: Routledge. • Foster, E., Lawther, S., Keenan, C., Bates, N., Colley, B. and Lefever, 2011. The HERE Project Final Report [online]. Available at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/what-works-student-retention/HERE_Project_W .
    43. 43. • Harvey, L., Drew, S. with Smith, M., 2006. The first year experience: a literature review for the Higher Education Academy. York: HE Academy. • HERE Project Toolkit: A resource for programme teams interested in improving student engagement and retention [online]. Available at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/what-works-studentretention/HERE_Project_toolkit.pdf • HERE Project Appendices [online]. Available at: http://www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/assets/Documents/what-works-studentretention/HERE_Project_final_report_appendices.pdf. • Johnhston, V., 2001. Developing strategies to improve student retention. Reflections from the work of Napier University’s student retention project. Paper presented to SRHE Conference, Cambridge, December 2001. • Jones, R., 2008. Student retention and success: a synthesis of research [online]. Available at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/inclusion/wprs/WPRS_retention_synthesis • Keenan, C., Foster, E., Lawther, S., 2012. Stemming the Doubts: enhanced transition and induction to HE STEM programmes [online]. Available at: http://www.hestem.ac.uk/sites/default/files/6068_hestem_stem_the_doubts_aw_web.pdf. • Kember, D., Lee, K. and Li, N., 2001. Cultivating a sense of belonging in part-time students. International Journal of Lifelong Learning, 20(4), pp.326-341.
    44. 44. • Mackie, S., 2001. Jumping the hurdles - undergraduate student withdrawal behaviour. Innovation in Education and Teaching International, 38 (3), 265-276. • NAO (National Audit Office), 2007. Staying the course: the retention of students in higher education. London: The Stationary Office. • Palmer, M., O'Kane, P., Owens, M., 2009. Betwixt Spaces: student accounts of turning point experiences in the first year transition. Studies in Higher Education, 34 (1), 37-54. • Reay, D., Davies, J., David, M. L, and Ball, S. J., 2001. Choices of Degree or Degrees of Choice? Social Class, Race and the Higher Education Choice Process, Sociology 35(4): 855–74. • Roberts, C., Watkin, M., Oakey, D., Fox, R., 2003. Supporting Student ‘Success’: What can we Learn from the Persisters? Conference Proceedings, Education in a Changing Environment 17th-18th September 2003 [online]. Available at : http://usir.salford.ac.uk/1208/1/ECE_paper_2003.pdf. • Strayhorn, T., 2012. College Students’ Sense of Belonging A key to Educational Success for All Students. London: Routledge. • Thomas, L., 2012. Building student engagement and belonging in Higher Education at a time of change: final report from the What Works? Student Retention & Success programme [online]. Available at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/retention/What_works_final_report.pdf.
    45. 45. • Thomas, L., and Hill, M., 2013. Briefing report on the What works? Student retention and success change programme [online]. Available at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/retention/What_works_change_progra mme/SRS_Briefing_report_December_2013.pdf • Yorke, M. and Longden, B., 2008. The First Year Experience of Higher Education in the UK. York: Higher Education Academy.

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