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

Ellen Sharp, Ros Wray, Rachel Maxwell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-56
Number of pages18
JournalInnovative Practice in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2020


  • student nurse retention
  • student mental health
  • personal tutoring
  • student experience
  • student support
  • ILS


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