Key Issues from the December 2010 Team Meeting

Progress reports

Lower Silesia: Preliminary interview report sent to John and Ted. Conference presentations presented on RANLHE. Did presentations at the Ministry of Education in November 2010. Did presentation at an adult education conference in Poland. Book chapter forthcoming in Spring Peter Lang collection. Had two bilateral meetings with Swedish and Irish teams (paper with Irish team forthcoming). Interesting findings using Agnieszka’s models for looking at institutions and staff.

Seville: Staff report almost finished in Spanish and student report following soon. All lecturers’ interviews are finished. Pepe has done presentations in Madrid, Sao Paulo and Czech Republic. Attending non-educational academic events and discussing RANLHE.

Maynooth: Happy with progress. Met with a large dropout cohort finally & learned a lot. Main cohort of student interviews almost finished. Dissemination at SCUTREA conference and in Poland, proposals in for Athens. Paper presented at Irish Higher Education Authority conference on launch of new quantitative study on progress done in all Irish HEIs. Paper with Polish team.

Stockholm: Worked on cultural and institutional perspectives with Pepe. Have developed a more complete theoretical model. Student reports-trying to tidy up at the moment. Dissemination in Linköping, bilateral meeting in Poland and proposal in for Athens. Concerned about teasing out structure and agency theoretical issues and understanding the relationship between institutional habitus and student habitus.

Goettingen: Happy with student interviews, produced report about students and this has tackled the relationship between institutional habitus and student habitus. Need to do more staff interviews (especially in Kassel) but quality overall is very good. Thought Linden’s student interview report very good and Barbara and Paul’s very good example of how to deal with staff interviews.

Warwick: Paul is catching up with work and reading transcripts. Draft reports on students and staff done but Paul reviewing now. Presentations in Madrid, at SCUTREA, at ESREA. National workshop being planned - John, Linden and Barbara will join together for one in Scotland with CRLL and one in England with UALl/SCUTREA. In terms of a special journal: may approach Studies or perhaps RELA?

Key issues discussed at Maynooth:

Staff Interviews

Agnieszka proposed that all national teams submit a report using the template circulated by Agnieszka and Pepe. Afterwards Agnieszka and Pepe will synthesise and summarise the national reports into one report based on the research questions.

Report on Irish National Conference

Event attended by a couple of hundred HE senior management, policymakers and access staff-went very well, Helpful to have up-to- date figures. Mental health issue was strongly responded to. Will integrate findings from event into our report.


In response to these topics - differences between teams (German and Irish) in terms of level of family support. Polish found informal emotional support very important. Swedes support the key issue not just family but support (from peers and friends, etc). General agreement that social/emotional support has emerged as a key issue in student success or dropout.

National Workshops
Sweden - Planming a one day workshop. Noted that there are no financial resources allocated for this. Will invite researchers and students, students unions and HEIs staff and national agency and perhaps the ministry. Half day on findings. Half a day open forum discussion will take place on 15 February.

Germany - Planning for a seminar style event (10-12 people) in beginning of 2011 with prominent scholars on access (Banschulf, Freitag, Wailburger). Exact details not yet available.

Spain - Miguel Angel has run a series of regional workshops over the past month. These are ongoing. Thinking of running a national event in the week before the European conference. Miguel Angel has drawn up list of relevant Spanish speaking scholars on retention, access and student success. Have organised an accredited course on issues of retention for teaching staff (first of its type in Spain).

Poland - Ewa has had 2 meetings at the Ministry. Also met with 30 or so senior university management and presented a report on making Higher Education more social with particular attention to access and retention. Also involved in organising a local initiative in which teachers are sensitised to retention issues and how to best work with non-traditional students. Adrianna is going to work with doctoral students in the spring dealing with similar issues.

UK - National workshop being planned - Stirling, Canterbury and Warwick will hold a joint event in Scotland with CRLL and one in England with UALL/SCUTREA.

European Conference

7th and 8th April, Seville. Erik Ballhausen from the EU LLP office would like to attend. Scientific committee - suggestions that we should draw on contacts both in participating and non-participating countries in the project.

Student Interviews and Reports

Ted, John and Fergal synthesising the student reports based ón the Polish report as a template and use it to structure the discussion. Framework questions are main research questions. All agreed that students need to be networked into some sort of support. In some countries emotional support comes from families. Identified several types of support: emotional, institutional, peer support, family support. Frank and Ted raised the question of what is the relationship between type of discipline and social competence? Ted also points out that the type of pedagogy has an impact and in Ireland this is linked to sectoral differentiation.

Discussions about final report, diseemination and exploitation plans and future projects

135230-LLP-1-2007-1-UK-KA1-KA1SCR report a bug on webpage