Exploring strategies for successful student retention

Guest post from Daniel Yip (@DanielYip22) Placement Student at the Teaching and Learning Institute (TALI). Studying Chemistry and Forensic Science. Daniel attended the Retention Forum on the 17th September 2013.

The main question for this forum was:

‘For students enrolled in a given year, did they return to continue their studies the following year?’ – If not, why not?

As a student you will have never considered other students leaving prematurely from their course as a bad thing, or a large impact onto the University. However this forum, pieced everything into perspective, and a solution had to be found, fast! If a student commits to a degree, and leaves after their first year for any particular reason, the University loses the funding that they would have received, if the student continued with their course. The Retention Forum was a gathering of staff from all the schools of the University, and a handful had to present their ideas to stop students from leaving, what research they conducted, and identify why they are leaving prematurely. If not this could affect the reputation, economy, social and ethical impact of the University.

The presentations were spectacularly delivered, and highlighted statistics that they have conducted through their research, regarding Non-retained students. Key questions were asked in discussions between presentations such as;

  • ‘’Are the students right for the course when they start?’
  • ‘Is a stronger selection process needed?’ 
  • ‘Is there a particular school retaining more students that others?’’

These questions had to be brought up and debated, as it could affect the University uniformly if they brought about change. The simple target for this year is to retain more students, but getting there will be complicated. In the previous year the University was successful in retaining student, and this was a great achievement, but further effort is needed to get an ideal low figure of non-retention students.

 “In the final analysis, the key to successful student retention lies with the institution, in its faculty and staff, not in any one formula or recipe. It resides in the ability of faculty and staff to apply what is known about student retention to the specific situation in which the institution finds itself.”

(Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving College. London: The University of Chicago Press, Ltd.)

For more information if requiring Retention statistics and additional presentation slides from the forum contact Sarah Broxton


About talintuoh

Supporting and connecting colleagues to develop inspiring and innovative teaching and learning
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