By Kathy Brown
Last year two academics from the School of Criminology and Law at Liverpool John Moores University (JMU) contacted Jane Rees and me to see if they would like to join them in a longitudinal study that investigates student success and retention. As academics both responsible for, and with particular interest in the retention and success of law students in Bristol Law School, Jane Rees and I joined the planned study.
Having previously been entertained by JMU colleagues at their Liverpool campus as part of a first planning exercise, last week Jane and I hosted Bleddyn Davies and Ester Ragonese (JMU) showing them the sights of Bristol and more particularly UWE’s Faculty of Business and Law building. The purpose of the meeting was to draft an outline bid for Nuffield Foundation funding for a three year study across three universities starting in September 2019. We were fortunate to be joined by Craig Lennox , from Research, Business and Innovation (RBI) at UWE Bristol, who shared valuable knowledge with us (‘we want a Craig’ – the words of Ester and Bleddyn!). It was also fortuitous that Sarah Grabham was proximate to our meeting room and accepted our invitation for her to join us for a short time.
The proposed principal investigators will be Liverpool JMU. Lauren Devine kindly shared her expertise and provided some advice and guidance for the Nuffield Foundation application with Jane and I and this, together with support from Thom Oliver from RBI is hoped will give the application the right focus and detail. Once the application has been made each university will be embark on a pilot which will emulate our planned three year longitudinal study. Funding for the pilot exercise is our next focus.
Ultimately it is hoped the results of the research will have multiple applications ranging from recruitment through to supporting law schools and other university departments to identify ‘why students stay’.