Who are the doubters? - short summary


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Some groups of students are more likely to be doubters than others. This short paper summarises the groups more at risk of being doubters.

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Who are the doubters? - short summary

  1. 1. The HERE Project (2008-2011)<br />Who are the doubters?<br />There were demographic differences between doubters and non-doubters and this may be useful when considering where to focus attention. <br />Students are more likely to be doubters if they are:Dissatisfied with the academic experience In the NTU sample, those students with a less satisfactory academic experience were twelve times more likely to be doubters Unclear about the transition into HE Students who did not understand the differences between post-16 and higher education or believed that no-one had explained these differences were more likely to be doubtersUnhappy with aspects of institutional publicity If students felt that the prospectus or other course publicity had not accurately portrayed what the experience would be like, they were more likely to doubtStruggling with their studies Unsurprisingly, these students were more likely to have doubts, but the small number finding their studies too easy were also more likely to be doubtersWorking very hard (or not hard at all) It appears that students at either end of the working hard distribution curve are more likely to be doubters. We suspect those working hard feel that they are struggling to keep up whereas those not working hard at all appear to be becoming disengaged.Less academically ambitious We asked students what grades they were looking to achieve at the end of the year, those with lower expectations are more likely to doubtDissatisfied with the student life experience Students unhappy with the social life were more likely to doubtFeel less supported by their family & fellow students We discuss social integration in toolkit strand 7Students are more likely to be doubters if they are in the following groups:FemaleFemale students are more likely to be doubters; however male students who are doubters are far more likely to actually withdrawStudents with disabilities These students were also slightly more likely to withdraw early, but the very small sample size requires treating with cautionPart-time students Again this group is more likely to withdraw early, but again there was a very small number of respondents Accommodation Students living in private halls appear more likely to be doubters than those in university halls or in their own accommodationThe following appear to have a less clear impact on doubting:Age and ethnicity Results varied across the three partner institutions and no overall pattern emergedPersonal tutorsThe impact of personal tutors on doubting is less clear, however, student doubters often spoke positively about personal tutors in interviews<br />