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Enhancing the First Year Experience Clare Carter University of Ulster.

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing the First Year Experience Clare Carter University of Ulster."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing the First Year Experience Clare Carter University of Ulster

2 Widening Participation UU committed to widening participation HEFCE benchmark is 28% participation from social classes IIIM, IV and V ( intake) UU rate was 39% Students must also be retained and progress One initiative is Step-Up programme

3 UU retention Benchmark for entry was 10%, 8% for young entrants and 15% for mature entrants Actual rate that year was 11%, 10% for young entrants and 13% for mature entrants

4 Reasons given for withdrawal

5 UU project Collate good practice within the university Collect information on aspects of 1 st year experience Collect information on first year student opinion Collect good practice from elsewhere Construct programme relating good practice to identified student needs Pilot and evaluate in year 2 Finalise and disseminate

6 Initiatives already on-going in some faculties Review of Induction Review of first year curriculum Enhancing role of studies advisor Enhancing subject support Enhancing study skills support Monitoring of attendance with follow-up

7 What happens to first year students Collection of information relating to: –pre-entry provision of information to prospective and incoming students –induction –curriculum –studies support –assessment

8 Student Characteristics Most students are from Ireland? Working part-time? Many are first in family to go into higher education? Many are not confident about their study skills when they come to university? Evidence is needed

9 Student diversity We know: –how many; ages; qualifications; ethnicity; disability; We dont know: –family experience of HE; extent of outside employment; incoming student expectations about study in HE;

10 Questionnaires On entry Later first semester Withdrawing students

11 Outcomes Profile of first year students –Expectations of university –family experience of HE –accommodation –employment –travel times Do students withdrawing show particular risk factors?

12 Outcomes (2) Handbook of recommendations of good practice for enhancing retention Piloting of recommendations next year Roll-out across University

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