This project forms part of a programme of activity which looks directly at tutorial and study skills support for 1st year undergraduate students.
With the change to the fee structures for students, the OFFA agreement and increased scrutiny on the student offering and the need (both compassionate and financial) to retain students over the course of their undergraduate programme, the University is proactively addressing some of the key issues identified in our accepter and decliner numbers and the NSS survey data.
This project focuses on providing a comprehensive programme of activities and access to highly skilled staff for all 1st year undergraduate students, all within a high quality environment – the development of the Academic Skills Centre.
The following would be considered key (but not the only) benefits resulting from the implementation of the Academic Skills Centre:
The Academic Skills Centre would provide a very visible, consistent support service to 1st year undergraduate students, and constitutes a significant enhancement to academic provision. Such provision could prove attractive to prospective students, and should be marketed thus as part of the University’s offer.
While the university’s non-continuation and projected completion rates are close to benchmark and well within sector norms, the institution has both compassionate and sound financial reasons to seek to better our performance in this area. In this instance, lost fee income often also represents lost student potential, usually among those students whom we would most wish to support. The study centre will provide visible, high quality academic support for students most in need and most likely to drop out.
Student achievement and transition
The University must ensure that students engage actively with their own transition from schools / foundation year / FE to university, are fully aware of the opportunities available to them, and that students who are struggling are identified and supported appropriately. It also provides an opportunity to restate and elaborate upon the initial information provided at Induction. The Academic Skills Centre will provide a very visible support service, targeted at 1st year undergraduate students, to lay a foundation skill set that will serve them throughout the HE experience.