Research and Practice Seminar – Undergraduate Retention & Attainment

IMG_20170208_164629Professor Ruth Woodfield, from St Andrew’s University presented, to a full house, some of her research examining the complexities confronted when trying to establish why some students fail to complete their studies. The talk looked at demographics of those not completing degrees and also went into detail regarding the difficulties of identifying and encapsulating disengagement for the purposes of research.

In discussion, the audience considered a range of factors relevant to students’ differing retention and attainment patterns, including:

  • Sense of belonging and identity with the programme/institution
  • Specificity of threshold concepts
  • Accessibility to and perceptions of specialist support services


The seminar presented well the complexity of factors at play but also the possibilities for institutions to affect outcomes for individual students.

The Presentation Audio and a link to the slides can be found below.

Presentation Slides