Information for HEIs

What is Back on Course Scotland?

Back on Course Scotland is a free service run by the sector for its students. It is a two year Scottish Funding Council (SFC) funded project, with plans beyond this to improve understanding about why students do not complete their studies.

Back on Course Scotland offers an impartial information, advice and guidance service which provides support when students leave their HEI early. Our advisers help early leavers reflect and focus on the next steps back into university or other positive outcomes such as college, training or employment.

In addition, feedback from early leavers will be gathered and analysed and trends will be fed back to the sector in order to contribute to improvement in the experience of undergraduate students.

Why is Back on Course Scotland needed?

It has been reported that Scotland has the worst performance in the UK in terms of student retention in higher education, with a sector-wide rate of 9.4% students withdrawing before completion. Those from the most deprived areas are at the greatest risk of leaving early; their retention rates are 7.2% lower than those for students overall.

Back on Course Scotland helps to address these issues by helping early leavers to find a positive outcome. This may include helping them to make more informed decisions on their return to HE study, therefore increasing their chances of completing a degree, to the benefit of the individual and the Scottish HE sector and economy.

Who is providing the Back on Course Scotland service?

Back on Course Scotland is a stand-alone service delivered under the auspices of The Open University. The Open University in Scotland is able to run the Information Advice and Guidance Service because of its extensive experience in delivering pre-entry advice and guidance, of dealing with clients by phone and email and of advising learners who face barriers or who have complex needs. The Open University in Scotland provides national coverage and draws on its existing systems and infrastructure to support the service.