Student Recruitment for Student Retention. Anna Round Student Services Centre University of Northumbria. Recruitment and Retention. Course choice Mistaken expectations ‘Reactive’ entry Entry requirements Institutions need to recruit MORE students …
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Student Services Centre
University of Northumbria
Institutions need to recruit MORE students
BUT they need to recruit the RIGHT students
Bloomer & Hodkinson 2000
Davies & Elias 2003
Davies and Elias 2003 (DfES) – 24%
Mantz Yorke 1999 – 39%
Long 1999 (Australia) – 20% to 35%
McGivney 1996 found that mature-age students who left were more likely to do so because of non-academic factors
Yorke et al 1997 found that mature-age students were more likely to feel satisfied with course choice & to feel ‘committed’
‘stopout’ not ‘dropout’
discipline vs. syllabus; theory and practice; stereotyping
knowledge vs. problem-solving focus; “no right answers”
modular vs. discipline thinking;
Student satisfaction relates MORE to meeting of expectations than to ACTUAL levels of workload/academic demands
“The money. That really scared me… a rabbit in the headlamps”
“I cried when I saw my room… I had to share a bathroom and kitchen with thirty other people… just painted breeze blocks”
“you come to university having been spoon-fed through A-levels… it’s your first time away from home… you’ve been used to having mum and dad run you everywhere in the car and you’ve been used to having an awful lot of support”
“… when the work started to come I was still partying…”
Ozga and Sukhnandan 1998
“… students appear to be getting higher grades for doing less”
McInnis et al 2000
“… it was all magazine reading, watching TV and hearsay…”
Ozga and Sukhnandan 1998 Consumers and customers?
“… attitudes… have shifted very clearly in terms of a consumerism/
customer kind of relationship, that we’re providing a product”
lecturer quoted by Medway et al 2003
‘Applicants have an increasing requirement for information, which it is felt is no longer totally satisfied by prospectuses, brochures and the selected information given by an institution... what applicants learn pre-enrolment will determine whether they remain within the institution Bowden 2003
“… if I’m paying decent money to go to college I want to make damn sure that I’m getting 110 per cent attention off the teachers that I’m paying to teach me.”
Hutchings and Archer 2001
What will a typical day – week – term be like?
How is the subject taught? What are the assessments?
The ACT of offering detailed information inspires trust in the institution.
Luton University found that conversion rates rose by 60% when current students advised on recruitment and pre-enrolment materials
Information in Advertising:
- Less is more
- A picture is worth words
- Change your image, not change your life
(“get” not “do”)
- Buy this now, buy something else next week
Information in [effective] recruitment:
- Concrete, practical information
- Up-front and explicit information
- Encourage students to be actively involved
- Encourage students to commit to a course
Prospectuses have taken on some of the characteristics of travel brochures and may set up presumptions and expectations that visits are unable to dispel Yorke 1999, p.100
“Advertisement literate” students?
‘… this year we've decided to embark on something different - we've gone out on a limb by asking our prospective students to think’
“Our campaign aims to get our audience thinking, to snare those with the intellectual curiosity and inquisitiveness that’s necessary to succeed at university… to establish a new cerebral sexiness’
Bloomer, M and Hodkinson, P (2000) Learning careers: continuity and change in young people’s dispositions to learning. British Educational Research Journal 26 (5) 583 - 597
Bowden, R (2003) Institutional approaches to improving student success at the University of Brighton. Paper presented at the conference on ‘Enhancing Student Retention: using international research to improve policy and practice’ (Institute for Access Studies) Amsterdam, November 2003.
Crofts, P (2003) Why I… think we need to market cerebral sexiness. Times Higher Educational Supplement 24 August 2003
Davies, R and Elias, P (2003) Dropping out – a study of early leavers from Higher Education. DfES Research Report 386.
Hutchings, M and Archer, L (2001) Higher than Einstein: Constructions of going to university among working-class non-participants. Research Papers in Education 16 (1) 69 – 91
McGivney, V (1996) Staying or Leaving the Course: Non-Completion and Retention of Mature Students in Further and Higher Education. Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
McInnis, C, Hartley, R, Polesel J & Teese, R (2000) Non-completion in vocational education and training and higher education: A literature review commissioned by the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (Australia) Centre for the Study of Higher Education, The University of Melbourne.
Medway, P, Rhodes, V, Macrae, S, Maguire, M and Gerwitz, S (2003) Widening participation through supporting undergraduates: what is being done and what can be done to support student progression at King’s? Department of Education and Professional Studies, King’s College, London
Ozga, J and Sukhnandan, L (1998) Undergraduate non-completion: developing an explanatory model. Higher Education Quarterly 52 (3) 316 – 333.
Shipton, A (2004) The ‘evolving’ of a ‘sense of self’ over a university career. Manuscript, UNN.
Stephenson, E (2003). Retention – a pre-entry issue. Paper presented at the conference on Student Success: What works?, Action on Access, London, December 2003
Yorke, M, with Bell, R, Dove, A, Haslam, L, Hughes Jones, H, Longden, B, O¯Connell, C, Typuszak, R & Ward, J (1997) Undergraduate non-completion in England (Extended Final Report of a research project commissioned by HEFCE) Bristol: HEFCE.
Yorke, M (1999) Leaving early: Undergraduate non-completion in higher education. London: Falmer