Analysing data is essential to help us identify any groups of students or individuals who may need targeted support.
It helps us to understand any intersections of disadvantage (ie where there may be overlap in demographic factors affecting a student’s progression through university).
The data we analyse helps us to:
- Design, evaluate and improve initiatives to support students from under-represented groups to improve their academic grades
- Prevent students from dropping out
- Help students progress in and beyond their education with us.
For example, we use demographic and contextual data, including engagement with Minerva (the University’s virtual learning environment), to understand and predict which students might leave university and make interventions tailored to their needs.
Research to inform practice is an important part of our work, complemented by a success and belonging research group, fellowships and student-led research. We place great importance on student voice, and seeing students as collaborators and co-creators.
Our Student Success team is dedicated to collecting, analysing and acting on what we learn from our data analyses. This work has led to the creation of mentoring schemes or social networks to help our students feel a sense of belonging at university.
Interdisciplinary staff and students have been researching the topic of belonging as part of our Access and Student Success work.
Their findings have identified areas of focus for change, enhanced our understanding and are now being put into practice in the ways we work:
- Authenticity and connection in online learning — Dr Gillian Proctor
- Impacts of a teaching and learning scholarship — Eve Little
- Creating a student guide to decolonisation in the arts and humanities — Owen Frost
- Mentoring for racially minoritised students in medicine and health — Shakeela Brown
- A fresh evaluation approach for understanding adult learning — Dr Saad Mufti