Using institutional data to monitor higher education student recruitment

May, Steve and Hill, Michael (2007) Using institutional data to monitor higher education student recruitment. Journal of Access Policy and Practice, 5(1), pp. 57-74. ISSN (print) 1740-1348


The influences of government policy and the mission of Kingston University have led to the university’s strategic commitment to recruit, support and retain students from traditionally underrepresented groups and to its putting in place a wide range of initiatives related to widening participation and retention. To support this work the university has developed RAFYR (Recruitment, Admissions and First Year Retention) datasets which present institutional data in a way designed to assist staff across the university identify areas and practices where changes or interventions have the greatest likelihood of success, and to monitor and evaluate their impact. This paper explores the underlying policy issues around widening participation and reports the development and use of the RAFYR datasets as an institutional case study. It finds that a prime obstacle to addressing the barriers to the admission and retention of non traditional students through the more effective use of data lies in the extent to which staff are supported in their engagement with the issues.

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