Effective practice advice
Improving outcomes for local graduates and commuter students is a recent and emerging area of work with practice developing in many providers.
We intend to update this page as effective practice emerges to increase the evidence base of what works in this area. This will also include recommendations of effective practice that emerge from our Improving outcomes for local graduates Challenge Competition.
1. Understand the barriers for commuter and local students
London Higher commissioned a research project on the commuter student experience. It found that commuter students are less likely to:
- build up a network
- access extra-curriculum and enhancement activities
- have a sense of identity with their institution.
These can all be important factors in explaining differences in student outcomes, and providers should consider the barriers that may exist at their own institution.
Several providers have developed local and commuter student networks to inform their activities and to gain a better understanding of this group. This can help to ensure their specific needs are taken into account when designing and timetabling extra curricula activities, such as careers and employability events.
The Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) report identified ways to reduce some of the challenges of commuting and academic engagement, including:
- commuter student-centered timetabling
- enhancement activities timetabled into the gaps on the timetable
- developing a commuter student community, which could be facilitated by pre-entry or induction events, regular meetings and through online forum or social media.
2. Consider intersections with other underrepresented groups
The intersectional nature of mobility and underrepresentation can add complexity to initiatives providers undertake in this area.
Activities could be developed to work with employers to support them to recruit more inclusively from local students who are also from underrepresented groups, particularly if they are under-employed in that area.
This could involve running mentoring programmes to develop role models from underrepresented groups to promote their success in the local labour market.