Retention and completion rates are important measures of the performance of institutions and higher education systems. Understanding the causes of student non-completion is vital for an institution seeking to increase the chances of student success.
The early chapters of this book discuss retention and student success from a public policy perspective. The later chapters concentrate on theory and research evidence, and on how these can inform institutional practices designed to enhance retention and success (particularly where students are enrolled from disadvantaged backgrounds).
This book draws upon international experience, particularly from the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and the United States.
Retention and Student Success in Higher Education is essential reading for lecturers, support staff, and senior managers in higher education institutions, and for those with a wider policy interest in these matters.
Ian Bunting was full-time Dean of the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Cape Town between 1987 and 1998. In 1999 he was seconded to the Higher Education Branch of the national Department of Education. He is now Acting Head of the Branch's higher education planning directorate.
Amy S. Hirschy is a graduate doctoral research student at Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee, working with John Braxton on issues relating to the student experience. Prior to returning to study at Vanderbilt, she worked as a college student services administrator for thirteen years. Grounded in that practical experience from within student administration, she now pursues research into college student experience in general and, more specifically, factors that positively and negatively influence students' educational persistence.
Richard James is an Associate Professor in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne. He has published widely on higher education access and participation, student decision-making during the transition to university, and quality assurance. In 2002, he conducted a national project on the assessment of student learning for the Australian Universities Teaching Committee.
Bernard Longden is Director of the Institute for Higher Education Research and Development at Liverpool Hope University College. He was a member of the HEFCE commissioned project group which produced the HEFCE report on student non-completion, and the National Audit Office inquiry panel that researched `value for money' in student retention in higher education.
Craig McInnis is Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne. His most recent national projects include: studies of trends in the first year undergraduate experience; changing academic work roles in Australia; a review of factors contributing to student non-completion; and a study of the impact of part-time paid work on the full-time undergraduate experience.
Mantz Yorke is Professor of Higher Education at Liverpool John Moores University. He led a major study of undergraduate non-completion for HEFCE and drew on this work to produce, for the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, a guide for intending students. He has published on a range of matters related to the student experience, including widening participation, formative assessment, retention and the development of employability.
1 Setting the scene
2Student retention: a macro perspective from South Africa
3Access and Retention in Australian Higher Education
4Access and retention in English higher education: a parliamentary perspective
6Theory: a multiplicity of perspectives
7Reconceptualizing antecedents of social integration in student departure
8Why students leave their programmes
9Succeeding against the demographic odds
10Promoting student success