Students on a journey: an institutional case study of a widening participation success and retention programme

Stephane A. Farenga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper continues the institutionally orientated research of Farenga (2015) and Farenga et al. (2016) by focusing on Herts Success, a programme designed to support the success and retention of widening participation (WP) students at the University of Hertfordshire (UH). It is set against a policy backdrop of increasing numbers of WP students in higher education (HE) and a need to take into account the experience of these students. This paper borrows a re-conceptualisation of transition and the student experience that places the student at the centre of these phenomena. In doing so, it draws on focus groups encouraging WP students at UH to rethink their experience and the level of support they could receive, the outcomes of which directly shaped the design of Herts Success. Extracting qualitative data from subsequent evaluations of Herts Success reveals how the programme succeeded in meeting the needs of those WP students through its innovative framework. This paper should be relevant to policymakers interested in how government outputs are played out institutionally and to curious practitioners intent on applying policy at the ground level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-155
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Keywords

  • widening participation
  • student support
  • transition
  • retention
  • student experience

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