Select Committee on Education and Employment Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum from Dorma Urwin, Principal, University College Worcester (HE 102)


  3,400 full-time students.

  1,700 part-time students.

  60 per cent local/regional recruitment.

  40 per cent mature entrants.

  of young entrants (ie 18-21 yrs):

    —  97 per cent from state schools;

    —  35 per cent from social classes IIIM, IV and V;

    —  12 per cent from low participation neighbourhood;

  "Efficiency" indicator—90 per cent.

  Retention at end of first year of full-time study—91 per cent

Factors influencing good retention rates

  Nature of courses (professional, vocational).

  Structure of courses (flexibility).

  Recruitment methods (interviews; links with FE Colleges).

  Students support services (academic advice; counselling, health, financial and careers).

  Students' Union (good communications & support).

  Size and location of institution.

  Staff commitment.

Factors influencing "drop-out"

  Wrong choice of course.

  Financial hardship (lack of maintenance grants, unwillingness to take on debt, inadequacy of Access/Hardship Funds).

  For mature students—family/domestic/childcare responsibilities.

  Availability of employment.

Dorma Urwin

January 2001

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