Nathan Coach
Mar 26, 2019 · 4 min read

Our Story So Far.

More students are entering higher education than ever before however not all students are achieving equitable outcomes. One look at the disparities in outcomes for different students’ groups suggest that the increase in widening participation whilst the right thing to do, has not led to the same increase in positive graduate outcomes.

Our story starts with the question — how can we make things more equitable for the next generation?

We came to realise whilst many universities have an ample amount of interventions; Peer Assisted Learning, Personal Tutoring, embedded skills sessions as well as academic skills workshops, students were still not achieving equitably.

We found the real problem is not with the intervention in and of itself, rather it is with the participation and engagement from the students that are hardest to reach but who may need it the most.

So we asked the question which students are most likely to not achieve their degree. Overwhelmingly, the answer was those students from widening participation backgrounds.

The factors that the research uncovered was that students entry level qualifications, age and prior attainment were the statistically significant factors contributing to final attainment. In addition, even when for controlling for all those factors if a student is from a Black, Asian or Ethnic minority background they are up to 25% less likely to achieve a good degree.

This is even before considering compounding factors such as being first in the family, studying a BTEC or being a ‘local’ vs off campus student.

In truth, the service provided by Higher Education institutions has barely changed in the last 20 years whilst the student has — drastically.

Students can no longer be defined as one single type or homogeneous group. Each unique in their identity and in the way they perceive the Higher Education system and themselves.

The one-size fits all approach has now truly become ineffective.

So we asked students from under represented and non traditional backgrounds why didn’t they engage with everything that the University had to offer? The overwhelming response; they felt it was not for them.

I realised then that we were asking the wrong the question, previously we had been asking how can we make students engage?

The real question was how do these students want to be engaged with? Not just in receiving student support but in their whole student experience.

It was that question that gave birth to what we provide at The Educate Group and a deep desire to help academic institutions create the space where students feel that they belong and can be successful in their academic pursuit.

We created what we believe to be real solutions to ensure students from widening participation backgrounds get what they most need when they most need it.

  1. Creating an Inclusive Curriculum — The curriculum is everything the student experiences whilst on their degree programme. Often students can experience barriers to engagement simply due to a lack of awareness of from staff. We work with Degree subject teams to first raise awareness of who the modern student is and explore ways in which small tweaks to the curriculum can help foster better engagement.
  2. Student Success Coaching and Advising — We recognise whilst the best efforts can be made in the classroom there are student groups that will need more than what can be offered in the classroom alone. Our Student Success Coaching and Advising programme comprises of Student Success Coaching Advisors who are accessible anytime anywhere for prioritised student populations. What makes our advisers different is that they are trained to deliver coaching-style conversations to help students overcome there own personal barriers and challenges with the aim to develop contextual academic skills and behaviors for success.
  3. Inspirational masterclass sessions — Some students just need a bit of inspiration to help them get back on track. Our Achieve Your Best academic development sessions covering everything from how to confidently approach your assessments to how to effectively create a revision and exam strategy.

Whilst no one can do everything, we believe everyone can and should do something. From academic management, staff and to the student themselves.

Our vision is to unlock unrealised student potential for the betterment of society.

Our mission is to make student success happen for every student and institution we engage with.

It’s been a massive journey so far;

We have supported over 1,000 students from non traditional backgrounds.

Seen academic confidence increase by 100% in comparison to control groups

Helped reduce non-continuation rates by up to 27% for some of the most disadvantaged students

And for us this is just the beginning. We wake up believing we are working towards a society where unrealised student potential is unlocked and actively contributing to a better society.

Welcome to The Educate Group — welcome to our journey

TheEducateGroup

The Educate Group — Making Student Success Possible

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store