Undergraduate retention and attainment across the disciplines

The HEA's Undergraduate retention and attainment across the disciplines report examines how students from a variety of backgrounds perform against the key indicators of retention and attainment within different disciplinary contexts. The report presents an analysis of data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, relating to undergraduate students participating in the academic year 2010-11 and includes all students who were taking a degree in a single identifiable discipline.

Included is consideration of a range of students’ background characteristics as well as a range of characteristics associated with students’ study: age; gender; socio-economic class/parental education level; ethnicity; disability status; mode of study (part-time/full-time); pre-HE country of domicile; UCAS points attained; distance between pre-HE address and higher education institute (HEI); nation of HEI.

The report’s findings point to a complex mix of factors that lead to different continuation and attainment rates, and importantly to the need to better understand the curricula, cultures and practices at the disciplinary level, and how these interact with student characteristics if we are committed to the reality of retention and success across a diverse student body.

Read the second phase of research into disciplinary differences in retention and attainment, and the underpinning reasons for the identified variations.

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Author

Ruth Woodfield