A part of the University of Bergen (UiB) Staff Mobility Week 2012
The study administration group (SA-group)


Workshop on retention

of students in higher education







We had a very ambitious programme for this workshop, and we tried to include most of the main topics that may have an impact on student retention. This means that we were not able to examine in depth any specific areas, but shared highlights from our own experience. The idea was to learn each other to know so we can make contacts if we need more detailed information.

On this webpage you should be able to download most of the presentations and photos of flip overs and participants. The files will appear chronologically in the agenda under.

Monday  May 7

Introduction 13.00 -16.00
- Vice rector Kuvvet Atakan: Retention of students. A strategic priority for the University of Bergen.
- Norwegian Social Science Data Services Benedicte Løseth, Study retention. The situation in Norway.
- All: To build networks - participants get to know each other – specific arrangement
- UiB: How to work with retention in higher education – The broad perspective. - Presentation

Tuesday May 8

Who are dropping out, and how many are they? When do they leave us?
- Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, UiB Torunn Valen Mikalsen,
- What is the situation at UiB regarding the rate of drop-out?
Questions in the survey - (in norwegian)  
- Short status report by each university

Before the students start  their studies – external forces
The knowledge and experience students bring with them, is in many cases crucial to their success.
Also parents, friends and society have an impact on the students’choices, participation and  effort(?) through their studies.

Challenges for Mykolas Romeris University, in Lithuania Presentation

Group work and plenary discussions
Flippovers Before 1 2 3 4 5 External forces 1 2 3 4 5 6

First semester and reception of new students
Normally, you will find the highest drop-out rate in the first semester, and those who continue will build their success on their experience from the first months.

Group work and plenary: What are the challenges for the students in the first semester?
Flippovers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

UiB - First semester in Faculty of Science Presentation
Ulm University - Enable students to accommodate to faculty culture language Presentation and Text

Group work and plenary: What can be done to meet the challenges?
Photo by Christiane 3 and 0,5

Dinner in the evening - Photos by Christiane 1 2

Thursday May 10

How can we contribute to students’ learning?
Our SA-group coordinates timetabling, give information, and support teachers in developing and evaluation of the curriculum. In some cases we also recruit and train peer students for different tasks. This responsibility enables the SA-group to get a broad perspective of the learning environment, and to be important advisers to the scientific staff in making the right decisions in order for more students to succeed.

Group work and plenary
What conditions might make good teaching fail
Flippovers 1 2 3 4

UiB - Reorganization and development of the law school

Group work and plenary
How can the study-administrative staff help ensure that education receives the best possible conditions? You may choose one of the following areas:
1. Timetabling, infrastructure, information, welfare services Flippover 1 2
2. How to involve older students as group leaders, student representatives or other functions. Flippover 1
3. Cooperation with teachers and evaluation of teaching, who does what? Flippover 1
4. Special student groups that need special attention Flippover 1

University College Dublin: How to relate to older students presentation

Evaluations and analyses of retention
For students in higher education, the campus and the outside community will constantly change. Measures implemented one year with good results, do not necessarily provide the same effects at the next crossroads. Therefore it is essential to "understand" the students at all times, and constantly observe the changes. Moreover, we need a good number basis which shows changes in the dropout rate for the organization.

How to conduct good evaluations and analyses of retention.
Tallinn University - Monitoring of students progress, presentation
UiB - Focus group as a tool - an example from internett

Exchange of experience, and discussions of the challenges of evaluations and analyses.
Challenges and pitfalls of surveys.
Flippovers: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Plenary discussions
In what way will focus on retention affect the study administration?
Are the students clients, customers or neither? - No flip overs


Friday May 11

The overall perspective – how to organize the work with retention
Where in the organization should one work with retention? How to motivate retention work?
How is the retention work organized in Luleå University of Technology, Sweden? Presentation
How is the retention work organized in University College Cork and what do we want to achieve at a national level in Ireland
Input from all participants about how this work is organized in their institution.
Discussion about the pros and cons of the different organization methods.

How to motivate the institution to work with retention? How to convince others in the administration, management and teachers?

KU Leuven, Presentation of «Staff training» and bonusmaterial
UiB - Staff development programme in Faculty of Science

Group work and plenary


Photos from the workshop by Harald Åge 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Photos from the scenic tour by Harald Åge 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


What Now? Yes what now?

10 institutions participated in addition to the University of Bergen


Ulm University
University College Cork               
Collegium Civitas            
Mykolas Romeris University     
Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven     
Tallinn University           
Leipzig University           
Luleå University of Technology
University College Dublin           
Vilnius University