NEON Online Summit: Staying the course – Student retention and completion in higher education

  • Date


  • Time

      10:00 am - 4:00 pm

As highlighted in the recently published Higher Education Policy Institute Policy Note 53, retention rates continue to be a concern across the higher education sector. Students from widening access backgrounds, including mature students, Black students, disabled students and students previously entitled to Free School Meals, are particularly at risk of dropping out. Narrowing the gaps in continuation rates for these students needs to be seen as a priority for the higher education sector to ensure equitable educational outcomes for all. And with issues like mental health and financial pressures putting more and more students at risk of dropping out of higher education, improving student retention has never been more important. 

What is the event about? 

This NEON summit will offer a crucial platform for timely and essential discussions on the issue of student retention. At the event, delegates will hear about the most recent research into the student retention rate trends of widening access students, understand why these students tend to have poorer continuation rates and consider the reasons behind their decisions to abandon their studies. This summit also gives delegates the opportunity to network with other higher education providers and learn about evidence based work that is being undertaken to reduce the gap in continuation rates. You will leave the event with a better understanding on how to identify students who are most at risk of non-continuation and effective strategies that can reduce retention gaps and benefit students from widening access backgrounds.  

Speakers include: 

  • Professor Antony Moss, Pro Vice Chancellor, London South Bank University  
  • Dr Martin Walker, Student Success Manager, Lancaster University  
  • Dr Jennifer Hillman, Senior Manager in the Academic Development team for Associate Lecturers and Practice Tutors, the Open University  
  • More presenters to be announced 


Who should attend? 

  • Senior managers with responsibility for Access and Participation Plans (APPs)  
  • Heads of department with responsibility for widening access and/or student retention rates 
  • Colleagues involved in the development and delivery of initiatives designed to improve the continuation rates of students  
  • Outreach professionals wishing to fully understand the challenges faced by learners from widening access backgrounds throughout the student lifecycle  
  • Teaching and learning professionals wanting to gain greater insight into the theories and practice regarding student retention.