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The HERE! Project In response to the National Audit Office report “Staying the Course” and subsequent Public Accounts Committee report, HEFCE invited tenders from universities to review student retention in Higher Education. Importantly the focus was to be on ‘why do students stay?’ rather than ‘why do they leave?’. Over 60 proposals were submitted and a joint bid from Nottingham Trent, Bournemouth and Bradford Universities was successful in gaining a grant of just under £200,000 to research student retention. The research will run from autumn 2008 to autumn 2011 and concentrate on student retention in the first year. Contacts Nottingham Trent University Ed Foster [email_address] Bournemouth University Christine Keenan [email_address] University of Bradford Becka Currant [email_address] Photo ‘a bench facing the sun’ by Gadl www.flickr.com/photos/gadl Higher Education: Retention & Engagement (HERE!)
The HERE! Project will focus on two key aspects of student retention:
Why do some students have doubts about their experiences and yet stay, when others withdraw?
Doubts about the course, accommodation and institution appear common amongst students, particularly in the first year. We will seek to understand what factors keep students on their courses.
We will explore:
institutional factors including transition support
individual determination or goals
Historically, there is a significant difference between retention rates across different types of undergraduate programme. For example art & design courses traditionally have higher rates of retention than science & computing ones.
The HERE! Project will identify programmes with consistently good rates of retention amongst their peers and work with the programme teams to explore what takes place within the programme that may have an impact on retention, for example: