Student Withdrawal, Retention and Their Sense of Belonging: Their Experience in Their Words

Lisa Russell, Christine Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Student withdrawal has received increased attention in the context of an expanding and more diverse Higher Education (HE) student population. Students leave University for interconnected, multiple reasons. Some explanations are internal to the University and may include support mechanisms, assessment feedback and quality of teaching and others are external, comprising critical life moments such as bereavement, ill health, financial constraint and domestic responsibilities. It is the complex interaction of these factors that shape students’ ‘sense of belonging’ and identification and experience with a Higher Education learner identity. This article provides insight into the students’ experiences of noncontinuation in one English University. Wenger’s social theory of learning is applied to explore students’ perceptions and gain a qualitative understanding regarding their experiences. Student withdrawal involves negotiation between the student and the University and relates to how the student experiences a ‘sense of belonging’ to University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494 - 525
Number of pages32
JournalResearch in Educational Administration and Leadership (REAL)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2019
EventInternational Conference on Educational Leadership and Management - Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica
Duration: 7 Mar 20198 Mar 2019


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