What is student success?

What does success for students look like, exactly? Is it defined solely by graduate outcomes? Or are the less-tangible skills that they develop more important? Questions like these have a different answer depending on who you ask.

Because of this obscurity, the phrase ‘student success’ emerged. With its definition growing to mean something much more tangible and, therefore, measurable, universities are now more than ever able to progress towards specific goals that effectively improve their student offering. Here is what Tom Lowe, Head of Student Engagement and Employability at the University of Winchester, had to say about how they are making sure that they achieve student success in 2022.

Advance HE is on the same page, as explained by Stuart Norton, Senior Adviser (Learning and Teaching):

“Developing student success, providing students with the opportunity to fulfil their potential so that they can adapt at an individual and societal level, is essential. Not only will this enable them to be the new leaders, advocates, educators and citizens of tomorrow, but it will help them engage within and across communities, become ethically conscious, sustainably aware and competent to view the world through a lens of equality and inclusion".

Accordingly, Advance HE is working to enhance industry-wide efforts to achieve student success. One of their projects - a six-month study ending February this year - aimed to conduct research that would disseminate “evidence-based approaches” and “practical examples” to progress industry-wide knowledge in this regard. Their findings can be accessed online in their ‘Connect Benefit Series’, focusing on four proposed measures of student success:

Support for the importance of these aspects in achieving student success is found, and nicely summarised, in this Ted Talk by Johan Groenewald.

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