Do Pre-entry Interventions such as ‘Aimhigher’ Impact on Student Retention and Success? A Review of the Literature.

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Abstract

This paper reviews the potential impact of pre-entry widening access interventions on student retention and success in higher education. It thus addresses two contemporary policy concerns:What is the impact of pre-entry widening access interventions; and how can we improve student retention and success? A review of academic and practitioner literature finds limited research about the impact of pre-entry interventions in general and very little on the impact of pre-entry interventions on students’ retention and success in higher education. A review of the research, however, identifies the importance of factors which pre-entry interventions address: pre-entry decision making, expectations about higher education and academic preparation. To date, however, the impact of pre-entry interventions on retention in higher education has been largely ignored. Thus pre-entry activities, such as Aimhigher, should be evaluated for their impact on student retention.The paper offers an outline evaluation framework, including evaluation topics and suggested key performance indicators to bridge this gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-250
JournalHigher Education Quarterly
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • widening access widening participation student retention and success Outreach Pre-entry Information
  • advice and guidance Transition Impact evaluation

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