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Title: Developing a management model and performance framework for improving student retention
Author: James, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 8723
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2010
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This research will be of interest to global higher education policy makers, researchers and practitioners engaged in student retention, widening access and managing strategic interventions to deliver step improvements in performance. Widening access policies continue to have contemporary relevance. Effectively and efficiently reducing student non-continuation rates, without compromising widening access performance, remains a challenge for many HEIs. A new system level Management Model for Improving Student Retention Performance and its supporting performance framework is derived from empirical data gathered from a longitudinal instrumental case study and informed by the literature. They have specific validity for HEIs with strong widening access performances and general applicability to others. The dominant theoretical model informing the research is Tinto's longitudinal model of institutional departure (Tinto, 1993). The Management Model for Improving Student Retention Performance is presented around three primary categories: students, faculty and institution. Each interacts with each other and operates within individual and mutually inclusive environmental systems. There is also a supporting Improving Student Retention KPI Framework and Improving Student Retention Performance Monitoring Information System to provide the mechanisms and tools that influence the effective and efficient application of the model to deliver a step improvement in student retention. Evidence of considerable improvements [50%] in student retention performances1 for widening access students is evidenced by the case institution which is not shared by comparable HEIs in Wales. Two new performance indicators are also derived: the Specific Widening Participation Indicator (SWPi) and the Multiple Widening Participation Index (MWPi). These support a new paradigm for understanding widening access and student non- continuation performances and challenge the algorithm used to calculate institution non-continuation benchmarks. They are included in the new performance framework and inform the third primary research contribution which exposes the significant discrepancies between the funding allocations made by HEFCW, the demands on HEIs relating to widening participation policy and the extent of their MWPi>0 and retention performances. Incongruence between HEFCW funding methodology and Welsh policy is evidenced.
Supervisor: Huisman, Jeroen ; Davies, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: withdrawal ; progression ; participation ; continuation ; student retention ; widening access