Welsh universities have the highest retention rate in the UK

Welsh universities have highest retention rate in the UK

Responding to the latest HESA data release on non-continuation of studies, Professor Julie Lydon OBE, Chair of Universities Wales, said:

“We are delighted that Welsh universities have the highest student retention rate in the UK, demonstrating our universities’ commitment to providing an excellent student experience. Welsh universities also have a higher proportion of students from deprived backgrounds than the UK average, this and our retention rate demonstrate the important and effective work our universities do in supporting students to both access higher education and stay in higher education.

“Although these figures reflect well on our sector’s commitment to supporting students, we know that there is always more we can do. That’s why as a sector we are implementing approaches like Learning Analytics Wales, which will provide Welsh universities with tools to further identify and support students as and when they need it.”


  • Non-continuation summary: UK Performance Indicators 2017/18 data is available here:
  • The percentage of UK domiciled entrants not continuing in HE after their first year by location of HE provider for young people has fallen from 5.9% in 2015/16  to 5.6% in 2016/17. The equivalent figures for the rest of the UK are: 6.3% for England, 5.8% for Scotland and 5.9% for Northern Ireland.