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Hillman’s progress

The Higher Education Policy Institute publishes an analysis of non-continuation rates in universities

Whenever undergraduate student numbers become tight in an institution, the people in suits will look at two things to mitigate decline: applicant conversion and student progression. With so much of the present financial instability in the sector caused by failing student intake, it is timely that the Higher Education Policy Institute turns its attention this morning to continuation rates.

Student progression—whether a learner successfully completes a year of study and moves on to the next—is not the root cause of higher education’s sustainability issues. These are the result of the drift of applicants towards higher-tariff brands who are happy to admit them without necessarily requiring the higher-tariff scores, and a long-term decline in the value of undergraduate funding—a situation now made infinitely worse by government policy intent on kicking away the ladder of international student recruitment.

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