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Pre-entry Widening Participation programmes at the University of Glasgow: a study of success and impact on progression and retention. Neil Croll, Alison Browitt & Kelly Hedge-Holmes WP team, Recruitment and International Office. Outline. What is a Widening Participation student?

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Pre-entry Widening Participation programmes at the University of Glasgow: a study of success and impact on progression and retention.

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Pre-entry Widening Participation programmes at the University of Glasgow: a study of success and impact on progression and retention.

Neil Croll, Alison Browitt & Kelly Hedge-Holmes

WP team, Recruitment and International Office


Outline

  • What is a Widening Participation student?

  • Engaging with WP students

  • - Pre-entry programmes

  • - Admissions

  • Effectiveness of programmes in widening participation

  • Effectiveness of programmes in aiding student retention

  • Contribution to graduate attributes


What is Widening Participation?

  • Who do we regard as WP students?

  • ‘non-traditional’ students

  • Examples of WP criteria

    • SIMD postcodes

    • First in family

    • Time spent in care

    • Schools with low progression

      to HE

    • In receipt of EMA

    • Adult learners


UoG WP Programmes

  • Schools

  • REACH Scotland

  • Access to Primary Education

  • Top-Up Programme

  • Summer School

  • Adult learners

  • DACE Access Courses*

  • Scottish Wider Access Programme

  • *See LTDF project by Dr Joanna Ferrie: Attrition, Retention and Access: An Examination of the University of Glasgow's Access Programme for non-traditional students and factors that enhance retention

  • Available at: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/learningteaching/awardsandfunds/ltdf%20presentations%202005/2009-10/


Top-Up Programme

  • since 1999, initially as part of GOALS

  • 1,200 S5 and S6 school pupils per annum

  • 40 schools

  • 65 postgraduate tutors

  • 11 school sessions

  • 2 campus sessions

  • online contact: moodle;

  • Student Network

  • essential skills for HE

  • independent learner

  • Student Profile used towards admissions


Summer School

  • First in Scotland, running for 25 years

  • 9 week programme of first year UG work

  • 200-250 students per annum

  • Study up to 3 academic subjects

  • Study skills element

  • Taught by academic staff/ GTAs

  • Authentic university experience

  • Induction to student life

  • Student Profile used towards

  • admission

  • Now embedded within Admissions system


Engaging with WP students in schools

  • Engage with schools by HE progression rate

  • =<22% - Top-Up Programme; Summer School, APE; REACH Scotland

  • =<27% - Summer School; APE; REACH Scotland

  • =<32% - APE; REACH Scotland

  • Admissions: use Student Profiles as contextual data

  • UoG use of contextual data for WP admissions highlighted as model for sector (SFC)


Students in 0-40% SIMD postcodes

*Scottish Funding Council, Learning for All: Fifth update report on measure of success March 2011

Available at: http://www.sfc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Our_Priorities_Access/Learning_for_All_2011.pdf


Top-Up students progressing to UoG


Summer School Students Progressing to UoG


Impact of WP programmes - 1

  • Retention and progression of first year undergraduates who completed the Top-Up programme - compared to students from the same schools who didn’t do Top-Up, and students from non-GOALS comparator schools

1 Walker, L, Matthew, B and Black, F, 2004. 'Widening access and student non-completion: an inevitable link? Evaluating the effects of the Top-Up Programme

on student completion', International Journal of Lifelong Education, 23: 1, 43 — 59

2 Croll, N. & Copsey, D., presented at Forum for Access & Continuing Education conference, 2005, University College Cork, Ireland


Impact of WP programmes - 2

  • Retention and Progression of first year undergraduates who attended Summer School – continuation of studies at the University after Year 1 compared to students from GOALS schools who didn’t do Top-Up, and students from non-GOALS comparator schools


Impact of WP programmes - 3

  • Retention and Progression of first year UGs who completed Top-Up or Summer School by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

These preparation programmes appear even more effective when taking into account that the students in the comparator groups are generally less disadvantaged:

0-40% SIMD Top-Up = 52.5%

0-40% SIMD Summer School = 44.3%

0-40% SIMD GOALS no Top-Up = 42.0%

0-40% SIMD non-GOALS = 32.7%


Graduate Attributes

  • Pupils

  • independent learning & critical thinking skills

  • essential study / revision / exam skills

  • confidence to get involved in extra-curricular and social aspects of student life: clubs, societies - important for developing broad graduate attributes

  • Tutors

  • employability skills: teaching / lecturing experience

  • progress to employment in education / WP fields

  • benefits to other GTA work

  • develop graduate attributes such as effective communication; experienced collaborators; adaptable; resourceful and responsible; reflective teachers


What our students say

  • Feedback from pupils who participated in Top-Up:

  • ‘The seminar was the most useful aspect of the campus day s it allowed you to talk to others in a small and close group.  It provided a good and realistic experience of university seminars.’

  • ‘I think it helped me most in making the transition from school to university much easier.’

  • ‘It provided a confidence boost before going to university as we were able to talk about our worries and fears.’

  • ‘Very enjoyable and vivid insight into higher education. Tutors are extremely helpful and friendly.’


What our students say

  • Feedback from students who participated in Summer School:

  • One of the big things about Summer School was that we got to know where everything was and how to use the library, the computers, even the Stevie building

  • Hardly anyone from my school was coming to Glasgow so I got to know people from other places who would be starting with me in September. Making friends was worrying me but Summer School helped.

  • The tutors were so helpful. It surprised me.

  • University is so different from school. Just being here got me used to it and going to lectures, labs, helped me relax about coming.


What our tutors say

  • Feedback from postgraduate Top-Up tutors:

  • ‘Top-Up is such a useful, enlightening and insightful programme for both pupils and tutors, the transfer of knowledge and experience is vast on both sides of the fence!’

  • ‘Top Up is a good programme and very worthwhile especially for those who are first generation HE students.’

  • ‘From my own personal experience, attendance at the my first ever tutorial was terrifying as I was completely unprepared. Getting an introduction to these aspects of HE are crucial, particularly for students that may not have experienced these activities in their school.’

  • ‘The pupils feel equipped, knowledgeable and more confident as a result of knowing what to expect and already having experience of some aspects of university life. Meeting other students and being treated as an equal is a first taste of the freedom of university. Others may discover that perhaps they need a little more time before they are ready for the rigors of studying on their own/in the field they were hoping to go in to, and this can be helpful too.’


What the teachers say

  • Feedback on the Top-Up Programme from school teachers:

  • ‘Tutors were excellent in motivating pupils - encouraging discussion - explaining what is expected of pupils.’

  • ‘The campus sessions demystify university for our pupils and they realise that university is somewhere for them.’

  • ‘Was excellent preparation for higher education. Bridge between spoon-fed approach and the approach of HEIs. The skills learned will be invaluable.’

  • ‘Has certainly encouraged pupils to work and aim high. Real value will not be appreciated until pupils reach university.’

  • ‘The programme helps pupils to focus on the requirements of H.E. and in some instances I am sure it has made the difference in pupils gaining entry to H.E.’


Conclusions

  • Top-Up and Summer School: effective access routes for widening participation within the UoG

  • Aid continuation and retention of WP students (those usually deemed the most at risk)

  • Pre-entry preparation sets the scene for independent, critical learners, who can acquire higher level graduate attributes within HE

  • Tutors gain personally in terms of graduate attributes and employability skills – leads to future educational or WP employment for many


Contacts

  • Questions?

  • The WP team would be happy to answer any further questions after the event. Please contact:

    • Neil Croll – Acting Head of Widening Participation

      Neil.Croll@glasgow.ac.uk

    • Alison Browitt – WP and Retention Researcher

      Alison.Browitt@glasgow.ac.uk

    • Kelly Hedge-Holmes – Acting Director of Top-Up Programme

      Kelly.Hedge-Holmes@glasgow.ac.uk

    • Scott Iguchi-Sherry – Reach Programme Co-ordinator

      Scott.Iguchi-Sherry@glasgow.ac.uk

    • David Hamilton – Director of Summer School

      David.Hamilton@glasgow.ac.uk


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