A sense of belonging is key to university success
Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities
Professor Jon Scott, with University of Leicester students.
Students’ development of a sense of belonging is key to their success in higher education, a University of Leicester professor will explain in a public lecture.
Professor Jon Scott, of the University’s School of Biological Sciences, will give his inaugural lecture Ut Vitam Habeant – Student Retention and Success on Tuesday 13 November.
Professor Scott researches both the areas of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the Neural Control of Movement.
His lecture will present research carried out within the University’s School of Biological Sciences into the issues contributing to student retention and success.
Professor Scott said: “Universities and the students who study with them both invest substantially in higher education. As the scale of that investment, particularly on the part of the students, has increased and comparative statistical information regarding student achievement has become more freely available and been fed into league tables, so there has been an increase in the attention paid to those metrics.
“Although the stakes have changed, success in higher education for the individual student has always been of considerable significance. Research undertaken within the School of Biological Sciences has been investigating the issues contributing to student retention and success for a number of years.
“In this lecture I want to explore the outcomes of these different projects with particular foci on the concepts of ‘fragmented transitions’, the development of a sense of belonging and the ways in which social and academic pressures interact to impact on the individual student’s success in higher education.
“Through the use of video diaries, structured interviews and focus groups we are building up a rich insight into the expectations and experiences of undergraduate students. Across the sector, significant emphasis is placed on the initial induction of students into higher education, recognising the seminal importance of this transition.
“From our work it is clear, however, that the process of ‘going to university’ is not a simple, linear transition but is a complex, fragmented process that continues through much of the student life cycle and impacts on integration and the development of the individual sense of belonging which underpin student retention. These observations will be discussed with specific reference to current and potential strategies for enhancing student success.”
Professor Scott received a National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy for his contributions to learning and teaching in higher education earlier this year.
Last year, he was named UK Bioscience Teacher of the Year by the UK Centre for Bioscience in conjunction with Oxford University Press.
The lecture will be held in Lecture Theatre 1 of the Ken Edwards Building, University of Leicester main campus, at 5.30pm on Tuesday 13 November. The event is free and open to the public