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University of Chichester recognised for outstanding student retention

THE University of Chichester has for the second time in four years gained national recognition for its outstanding achievement in student retention.

Chichester has been named as the ‘University of the Year for Student Retention’ for 2017 by the Good University Guide from The Times and Sunday Times newspapers.

The award is based on the drop-out rates of undergraduates against a predicted annual figure.

Good University Guide editor Alastair McCall said that supporting students through their enrolment to graduation is an underestimated quality but one which the award specifically recognises.

He added: “Students who drop out represent not only a waste of public money but, more importantly, each case can represent a personal disaster for those involved.

“Chichester provides an environment where students thrive and prosper, where their skills are encouraged and honed, and where, equally importantly, they have a good time in fine surroundings, enjoying the full support of the University’s excellent staff.”

Chichester - University of the Year for Student Retention

The University of the Year award was presented to Chichester for having the largest gap between its expected drop-out rate - around 12 per cent - and its actual figure of 5.7 per cent.

It concludes a successful 12 months for the institution which was recently rated as one of the best in the UK for teaching satisfaction by the Times Higher Education.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Clive Behagg said that winning the accolade twice in four years is extremely gratifying and demonstrates the University’s commitment to creating a student-centred experience in a community atmosphere.

He added: “This is testimony to the work that our entire staff put in day after day to support our wonderful students - many of whom tell me they feel part of the Chichester community from the very first day they arrive.

“This award is a significant step towards achieving our vision that - by 2020 - we will be internationally-recognised as a beacon of good practice for high-quality, student-centred higher education within a supportive community of learning.”Oustanding student experience at Chichester

The University has recently announced significant investment into its Chichester and Bognor Regis campuses which includes the development of a multimillion-pound Engineering and Digital Technology Park to provide an additional 30 degree courses.

Dr Mark Mason, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) at the institution, said that students’ experience of university is now more important than ever before.

He added: “The new structure for university fees means that students are rightly concerned about value for money and access to high quality facilities – we have invested substantially in our campuses in recent years and I believe this partly explains our success.

“But the main reason for our success is in the caring learning community created by our staff.

“This combination of excellent teaching informed by research and wonderful support by staff gives our students a real sense of belonging and encourages them to participate, grow in confidence, and exceed their expectations regarding what they can achieve.”

Good practice for high-quality, student-centred higher education

To find out more about how the University of Chichester provides an inclusive and enriching experience of higher education for its students go to www.chi.ac.uk/about-us.

Alternatively for more about the University’s student retention ranking within the Good University Guide go to www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/gug.