20 Tavistock Square
This one-day conference will give delegates a full understanding of the policy landscape surrounding retention, as well as the knowledge you need to approach the challenge of student retention in your own institution.
Delegates with strategic responsibility for student retention will hear from policy makers, experts in retention, and a range of best practice case studies.
The focus on student retention has been sharpened over the last 18 months by the changes to the higher education landscape.
The removal of student number caps, the discussion around the metrics that will feed into the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the changes to the architecture of the sector has brought student retention to the top of institutions’ agendas.
This conference will be a unique opportunity to come together with colleagues and experts, receive the most up to date policy information, and discuss best practice for student retention in your institution.
Professor Janice Kay, Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Exeter
Professor David Maguire, Vice-Chancellor, University of Greenwich
Jonathan Neves, Associate Head of Insights, Advance HE
Professor Liz Thomas, Higher Education Researcher and Consultant, Liz Thomas Associates
It is now widely accepted that student engagement and belonging contribute to better student outcomes, including continuation and competition, attainment and employment and progression. There are now however increasing number of 'live-at-home' or 'commuter' students, who have less good outcomes than peers. Qualitative research with commuter students from nine universities found that while the students largely viewed themselves as 'good students' aiming to engage fully in their academic studies, the stresses and strains – and cost and time – involved in travelling - resulted in students evaluating the utility of a trip to campus, considering whether their resources would be better spent studying at home. In addition, these students tended to be less engaged in 'enhancement' activities, and had very little social engagement with HE peers. This keynote presentation will consider the implications for student engagement and teaching and learning of a larger commuter student population, in an effort to achieve greater equity in student outcomes in UK HE.
Jenny Shaw, Head of Student Services & Insight, Unite
This workshop draws on the empirical evidence base presented in the report Student Resilience: Exploring the Positive Case for Resilience to addresses the following questions:
· What are the personal and environmental factors associated with student retention?
· How can this knowledge be used to develop more powerful retention strategies?
Taking a 'whole university' approach, we will look at the self-reported behaviours and traits exhibited both inside and outside the classroom by students who are considering leaving their course. We will look at the implications of these, including how students can best be supported and 'nudged' to improve their mental wellbeing, address barriers and ultimately stay at university.
As well as exploring the evidence, participants will be able to share their own experience and observations, and consider 'quick win' and strategic approaches for their own institution.
Thompson, Collaborative Engagement and Retention Team Manager, Nottingham
CERT, or the Collaborative Engagement and Retention Team, at Nottingham Trent University is coming to the end of its first year of activity. Over the course of the last year we have implemented a university-wide peer-to-peer mentoring scheme designed to help 1st year undergraduate students make the transition to university a happy and successful one. Our CERT peer mentors are used to welcome students during induction, provide advice and guidance over email and face-to-face exchanges, host social events, accompany 1st years on subject-specific trips, and deliver additional in-class support. A year on from instigating this scheme, we seek to update colleagues on lessons learned and to engage workshop participants in open and exploratory discussion. As such, this interactive workshop explores the benefits and challenges of using peer mentoring to increase engagement and retention, taking elements of the CERT scheme as a springboard for wider discussion.
Tom Lowe, Centre for Student Engagement Manager, University of Winchester and Dr Roisin Curran, Professional Development Manager, Ulster University
Many universities and colleges across the world are taking an increasing interest in working with Students as Partners (SaP) on an institution-wide or subject-level basis to enhance student engagement (SE) and improve retention. Such collaborations are complex and to effect change it is important to recognise that no 'one size fits all' regarding SE and partnership. This activity-rich workshop will offer delegates two case studies on how SaP can enhance SE and the practice of both students and staff. Roisín will share with you the impact of SaP on the individual staff and student participants involved in Ulster's What Works project (2013-2016), and the extent to which this influences staff-student engagement and institutional ways of working. Tom will invite delegates to reflect on their institution's approach to assessing SE and present a case study from the first year of the University of Winchester's Centre for Student Engagement. This session will close with an action plan activity allowing delegates to return to their home institution with plans for the summer and following academic year.
John Donovan, Managing Director, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, VitalSource, Vanessa Boddington, Marketing Director, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, VitalSource
What part do digital learning resources have to play in meeting the expectation of today's students? How can learning analytics be used effectively to support student success? Access to digital learning resources present a powerful opportunity for institutions to level the playing field for all students. This presentation examines the opportunity digital resources present for institutions in a TEF dominated landscape as well as recent research findings on student perceptions of the impact of digital on their confidence, learning environment and course continuance.
Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students
Dr Omar Khan, Director, Runnymede Trust
Professor Gill Nicholls, Provost, University of Leicester, Miriam
Aimes, Off-Campus Student Project Co-ordinator, Manchester University Students Union (Living at Home Project) and Kathryn Petrie, Economist, Social Market Foundation
Professor Janice Kay is the Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
She is a Professor of cognitive neuropsychology, first appointed to Exeter through a Wellcome Trust University Lectureship. Her research, which has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council, is concerned with theoretical modelling, assessment and rehabilitation of disorders of perception, speech, language and memory.
In the role of Provost, Janice is deputy to the Vice-Chancellor. She provides strategic leadership for the overall corporate plan and oversees the portfolio of University strategies, ensuring their delivery as part of a coherent institutional schedule of activity. She holds specific accountability for the University's strategic planning and budgeting processes as well as the University's Global Advancement function. The Provost is responsible for the management of the University's six Colleges, through the six Pro Vice-Chancellors.
Janice was appointed as Deputy Chair of the prestigious panel which assessed the first national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise in 2016 and is Chair of the TEF Subject Level Pilot. Janice is Vice Chair of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England Quality, Accountability and Regulation Strategic Advisory Committee.
Janice has been prominent in widening access initiatives, nationally and regionally. She played an integral role in the establishment of the highly successful Exeter Mathematics School, the new Education Campus at Cranbrook, Exeter, and the South Devon University Technical College. She is a non-executive director of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.
Janice was recognised in the 2017 Queen's New Year honours with a CBE for services to Higher Education.
Omar is Runnymede's Director. Prior to this he was Runnymede's Head of Policy and led the financial inclusion programme. Omar is a Governor at the University of East London and a 2012 Clore Social Leadership Fellow.
Omar's other advisory positions include chair of Olmec, chair of the Ethnicity Strand Advisory Group to Understanding Society, chair of the advisory group of the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester, Commissioner on the Financial Inclusion Commission and a member of the 2014 REF assessment, the 2011 Census, and the UK representative (2009-2013) on the European Commission's Socio-economic network of experts.
Omar is the author of Financial Inclusion and Ethnicity; Caring and Earning Among Low-income Caribbean, Pakistani and Somali People; Who Pays to Access Cash?; Why Do Assets Matter?; A Sense of Place; and The Costs of 'Returning' Home.
Omar has also published many articles and reports on political theory and British political history for Runnymede over the past eight years and has spoken on topics including multiculturalism, integration, socio-economic disadvantage, and positive action. These include giving evidence to the United Nations in Geneva, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, academic conferences in Manchester, Oxford, Paris, and Warsaw, the CRE Race Convention, the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, a Treasury/DFID conference on remittances, St George's House (Windsor Castle), Wilton Park, and many other engagements in the UK and Europe.
Omar completed his DPhil in Political Theory from the University of Oxford, a Masters in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Tom is the Centre for Student Engagement Manager at the University of Winchester and the Secretary international network of RAISE (Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement). Tom is also the programme leader for Winchester's new PG Cert in Student Engagement in Higher Education, working at the cutting edge of Student Engagement / Students as Partners in International Higher Education. Tom is an expert in the practicalities surrounding Student Engagement / Involvement in University processes and experienced in working with over 20 HEIs from across the UK. Tom has a growing interest in students' sense of belonging, retention and success in Higher Education which he is exploring through his research at Winchester and the Get Involved initiative reviewing the benefits to Student Engagement across the University. Before to August 2017, Tom was the REACT (Realising Engagement through Active Culture Transformation) Project Manager where he facilitated collaborative development between 16 universities around Student Engagement in educational developments. Prior to REACT, Tom was Vice President, Education at Winchester Student Union representing the students of the University of Winchester. During his time as Vice President, Tom gained a particular passion for Student Engagement participations through revamping the Student Academic Representative system and starting up the Winchester Student Fellows Scheme.
Dr Roisín Curran is a Professional Development Manager at Ulster University. She is also a tutor on the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice and leading on the development of an MEd. She has a particular interest in student engagement and has published papers on the impact of a 'students as partners' approach on staff student engagement. Roisín led a cross-disciplinary project team at Ulster as part of a national 'What works? Student Retention and Success Change Programme (2013-16)' involving 13 institutions across the UK. This collaborative action research has further extended our knowledge of what works in relation to improving student retention and success. In the role of academic developer, Roisín promotes a curriculum design approach that moves away from overemphasis on specific discipline knowledge to more process models of curriculum sequencing that scaffolds the student journey and that which promotes: a relational-based partnership approach, active learning, peer support, and ways of thinking and practising the discipline. Roisin is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Chris Millward is the first Director for Fair Access and Participation in the Office for Students (OfS). Chris joined OfS from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). As a Director of Policy, he has led HEFCE's work on access and student success, learning, teaching, and higher-level skills. This included delivery of the Teaching Excellence Framework, the National Student Survey and the National Collaborative Outreach Partnerships. He has also part taken in programmes which remove barriers to student success, to improve postgraduate progression and to develop degree apprenticeships.
Chris worked at the universities of Warwick, Edinburgh and Durham before joining the Arts and Humanities Research Council as Head of Research Programmes in 2002 and HEFCE in 2006.
Jonathan joined Advance HE (formerly HEA) in 2015, bringing with him 16 years experience in market research. Jonathan began his career with TNS in London and has worked for market research agencies Quaestor and Optimisa, and also clientside at The Co-operative, before specialising in Education, heading up research & insight at Learndirect, the UKs largest online learning provider. Jonathan graduated from the University of Liverpool with a degree in Geography, and is a full member of the Market Research Society.
Heading up the insights and student surveys portfolio at Advance HE, Jonathan leads the reporting and coverage of the high profile Student Academic Experience Survey, and is responsible for the overall strategy for UKES, PTEA and PRES. Jonathan is also working across the sector collaborating on the use of the HEAs UKES survey within Learning Gain pilots.
Jenny Shaw is the Head of Student Services and Insight for Unite Students, where she has worked since 2012. Prior to this, Jenny worked at a senior level in the UK higher education sector to widen participation in higher education and open new pathways to university for marginalised groups. She has worked for the universities of Hull, York St John and Middlesex, providing leadership for the Aimhigher and Lifelong Learning Networks programmes. Jenny has also provided consultancy to the Higher Education Academy, the Equality Challenge Unit and Supporting Professionalism in Admission (SPA).
Professor Liz Thomas is an independent researcher and consultant and Professor of Higher Education at Edge Hill University. She has approximately twenty years' experience of undertaking and managing research about widening participation, student retention and success and institutional approaches to improving the student experience and outcomes. She is committed to using research to inform national and institutional policy, practice and evaluation, and has developed and led change programmes to facilitate this. She directed the two What works?
Student retention and success programmes (2008-2017) and has undertaken research on commuter student engagement for The Student Engagement Partnership. Liz was an expert member of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2 panel in 2017, and is currently involved in the TEF subject pilots, recognising her expertise in widening participation, student retention and success and learning and teaching. Liz is the author and editor of over ten books, and many journal articles, reports, briefings and practice guides. She regularly delivers keynote addresses and staff development workshops and programmes at higher education institutions in the UK and abroad.
Janette Thompson is Collaborative Engagement and Retention Manager at Nottingham Trent University. Previously, her experience has been in the Further Education sector, firstly as a Teacher and Personal Tutor, and later on as a Teaching and Learning Coach, a role which also gave her the opportunity to write for the Times Education Supplement. More recently, Janette has worked as an Educational Developer at NTU with a particular focus on addressing disparities in student attainment in Higher Education. This work looked at the ongoing development of inclusive pedagogy and practice to ensure that students from underrepresented and underprivileged groups have an equal chance to succeed at Higher Education, a focus that she also brings to her current role which involves student mentoring and student transition.