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13th March 2017, 10:07am
New project to help students overcome barriers to academic success
Student The University of Lincoln, UK, is contributing to a major new £485,000 project designed to ensure that students confronted by challenging circumstances during their time at university can get the most from their studies.

Each of the four universities involved will concentrate on different hurdles faced by different students in higher education with the goal of developing interventions which personal tutors can deploy to enable students to achieve the success they deserve.

Experts in pedagogical research from the Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute at the University of Lincoln will work with students and personal tutors to create a new online ‘academic development’ programme. This online resource will feature interactive materials designed to help tutors support their students in overcoming obstacles in their learning.

The overall project, entitled ‘Intervention for Success’, is being led by the University of Huddersfield, which will focus its research on the challenge of living at home and facing a long commute to and from university. The other institutional partners are Coventry University and Manchester Metropolitan University.

The work is being funded as part of a national £7.5 million programme of support to tackle barriers to student success, which will see 17 projects involving 64 higher education providers  receive funding from the Catalyst Fund administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to drive innovation in the higher education sector.

Dr Karin Crawford, Head of Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute at the University of Lincoln, who is leading Lincoln’s contribution to the project, said: “Working closely with our institutional partners, academics and students, we will develop a suite of online materials which offer techniques and tips on how to enhance and support student learning.

“We want the programme we create to be something which can be utilised by any academic, at any university. It will include a range of stand-alone electronic resources, guidance notes for a personal academic tutor mentoring scheme, and supplementary workshops.

“It will specifically enhance the knowledge and skills of personal academic tutors so that they are more confident in identifying, supporting and offering interventions to students. This will help enhance the student’s academic skills and confidence, and subsequently, progress successfully.”

Professor Christine Jarvis, the University of Huddersfield’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, added: “This is not a research project. It’s a doing project, designed to make a difference. We want to see real changes in student achievement at the end of it.”

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