The A2B personal tutor programme.


When did you first introduce the innovation?

More than 24 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

At the University of Birmingham there is a widening participation scheme, Access2Birmingham (A2B), to help applicants for disadvantaged backgrounds and no family history of higher education to get into the University.

To address problems that the students who came to the Nursing department via the A2B scheme a programme was implemented wherein the A2B admissions tutor remained the student’s personal tutor throughout their three years at University.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

The A2B scheme is broadly successful and has received national attention. But in the Nursing department we found that amongst the students who came to us via the A2B scheme there was a higher than average rate of attrition and referral to fitness to practice. In the first five years (2007-2011) there was a 33% attrition rate and a 10% referral to Fitness to Practice (FtP) amongst those students who came via the A2B scheme. There needed to be some intervention to address these issues.

In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?

It improves the attrition rate from 33% to 0% and the referral rate to FtP from 10% to 0% amongst those students who come via the A2B scheme.

To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?

No extra resources were required.

To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?

Despite the extra workload for the member of staff involved the department has stuck with the programme it has had a dramatic impact on the welfare and education of the 36 students involved since it’s introduction in 2012.

What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?

An audit of the A2B students reveals that the attrition rate has dropped from 33% to 0% (though 1 student has had a year’s leave of absence) and no students have been referred to FtP.

To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?

None at present.

Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.

None at present.