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    Retention: rhetoric or realistic agendas for the future of higher education

    Rowley, Jennifer (2003) Retention: rhetoric or realistic agendas for the future of higher education. International Journal of Educational Management, 17 (6). pp. 248-253. ISSN 1758-6518

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    Proposes the use of relationship management as a perspective on student retention management in higher education. “Good practice” that might aid in the management of student engagement with learning is hungrily shared, but there are some inherent contradictions amongst these recommendations. Previous work on withdrawal identifies some of the factors that influence the withdrawal decision; this approach aligns with transaction based marketing and study of consumer behaviour. This article proposes that the relationship marketing and management approach that focuses on customer loyalty and commitment may offer different insights. This model is used to describe the development of the relationship between the student and their college or university. An important facet of this relationship development is that it needs to be maintained by different “service agents” through different stages of the relationship, and therefore communication, and student record systems that share student knowledge across the university are crucial.

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