An investigation into the comparative learning gain and ‘value added’ for students from widening participation and non-widening participation groups: a case study from sports degrees

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Increasingly universities are expected to demonstrate the impact of students’ higher education experiences; learning gain is one of the metrics that can evidence this. The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) agrees Widening Participation (WP) objectives with the universities with an implicit expectation that Scottish higher education institutions (HEIs) work within their communities to enable those who could benefit from a university education to enrol. The Abertay sport programmes have historically supported students from diverse backgrounds. This case study focuses specifically on the graduate outcomes of WP and non-WP students graduating from these programmes in the years 2000–2015. An e-mail survey and departmental database of graduate destinations were linked with the student record. Analysis confirmed that those from WP backgrounds were equally as likely to gain a good degree as their non-WP counterparts and to be in graduate and/or sports employment. Longitudinal graduate outcomes are considered in the context of pedagogic strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-102
Number of pages20
JournalHigher Education Pedagogies
Issue number1
Early online date6 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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