Supporting High-Achieving Students After Enrolment: Learning from a Qualitative Evaluation of a High Achievers Recognition Scheme

Authors

  • Abbi Flint Newcastle University
  • Juliette Gaunt Birmingham City University
  • Mark O'Hara Aston University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.10.30

Keywords:

high achievement, student success, student support, qualitative, evaluation

Abstract

This article presents findings from a small-scale qualitative study of student perceptions of a High Achievers’ Recognition Scheme in a faculty within a UK university. This scheme is unusual in UK higher education in that it provides tailored support and development for students who have been identified as high-achievers. The findings suggest students valued both the recognition and developmental aspects of the scheme and their perceptions of the benefits aligned with the scheme’s aims: enhanced personal and professional development, improved engagement, and raised aspirations. Social and individual factors were perceived to enable high-achievement, whilst some operational factors could hinder engagement with the scheme. The findings are relevant to wider understandings of approaches to support high-achieving students; an area where, currently, there is little published research from the UK. We conclude with reflections on possible ways to build support for high-achieving students through focusing on identity, agency, and community.

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Author Biographies

Abbi Flint, Newcastle University

Abbi Flint is a research associate at Newcastle University (GBR). When this evaluation was conducted, she was an independent educational developer and researcher with interests in student engagement and partnership. She is a principal fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Juliette Gaunt, Birmingham City University

Juliette Gaunt is associate dean (Teaching, Learning and Student Experience in the Faculty of Business, Law & Social Science at Birmingham City University (GBR). A registered healthcare professional, she has spent the last five years developing support for high performance students in higher education institutions in her own organisation, as well as consultatively across the UK, EU, and internationally. Juliette was awarded National Teaching Fellowship in 2021 for her work with high performance in higher education, alongside her work in student mental health and wellbeing.

Mark O'Hara, Aston University

Mark O’Hara is a national teaching fellow and principal fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy. He is associate pro vice chancellor (Education) at Aston University (GBR) and was formerly associate dean (Student Learning Experience & Quality) in the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at Birmingham City University. His interests include widening participation, student enablement and inclusive practice in higher education.

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Published

2022-08-08

How to Cite

Flint, Abbi, Juliette Gaunt, and Mark O’Hara. 2022. “Supporting High-Achieving Students After Enrolment: Learning from a Qualitative Evaluation of a High Achievers Recognition Scheme”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 10 (August). https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.10.30.