Improving student retention through enhanced academic and pastoral support: A Case Study

Ellen Sharp, Ros J. Wray, Rachel Maxwell


This case study presents an innovative approach to student retention. The Integrated Learner Support model brings together professional support services and programme-focused academic support to deliver ‘the team around the student’. A redesign of the University of Northampton’s Personal Tutoring system has sought to foster a sense of care and belonging; embedding this support within curricula with triage to the wider team. These developments have been informed by best practice from the University’s Faculty of Health and Society where two senior nursing lecturers have developed an additional level of student support. Initiated originally by the Subject Lead for Nursing, these roles provide emotional and pragmatic interventions to the needs of individual nursing students as they progress through their programme. Informal feedback and retention statistics suggest that in the face of rising mental health issues in the national student population, this kind of face-to-face, caring and timely support is of clear value.

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