Promoting students' successful trajectories in Higher Education Institutions (face-to-face and online)

Project Details


The Complex Trajectories Project focuses on understanding the complex trajectories of students at university and supporting those who navigate them. In the practical domain, the project aims to contribute to the establishment of a system of regular monitoring of student trajectories in order to adjust the development of policies supporting these trajectories at different levels of the system and university institutions. At the conceptual level, the aim is to broaden the notion of what can be considered an inclusive university. While there has been a major movement to look at equity in access to university (known as widening access) the progress of students through the university also requires attention to achieving an inclusive university. To do so, it is also necessary to extend the concept of what is a success in progress through the university. Normally, the analysis of trajectories is done from a single degree program. This gives a restricted view of what a successful trajectory is, since it would only be the one that begins and ends the same degree program. The policies to be applied to promote such success are policies of student retention. Instead, we argue that the focus of the analysis should be the student. Students can shift, pause, combine their studies, move between different degree programs or different modalities (distance and face-to-face), maybe building a complex, but successful, trajectory. Universities can contribute to complex trajectories being more likely to end successfully. To achieve these objectives, the agents involved must be diverse. Basically, the agents working at the level of providing information and understanding the phenomenon, those making policy (at different levels) and those providing direct support to students. Given that the involvement of agents acting at various levels is required and, besides, that the process of information gathering, trajectory analysis and policy adjustment in support of these trajectories needs to be updated, it seems clear that the best way to address the issue is through the networking of the agents involved. The project has three main parts, plus an area dedicated to dissemination, which includes the objective of generating or consolidating a network in each territory of the consortium partners. The first part is where we aim to end up developing a methodology for analysing student trajectories that is transferable to other higher education contexts. To achieve this result, we first try to understand and compare the trajectories of students in the diversity of universities we analyse. We focus our attention on complex trajectories, especially those that transit from one face-to-face institution (or program) to another at a distance (or vice versa), and in the disadvantaged profiles (by reason of social origin, migrant background, geographical

Call 2020 Round 1 KA2 - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices KA203 - Strategic Partnerships for higher education Form ID: KA203-1BDC96F6 Deadline (Brussels Time) 2020-04-23 12:00:00
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origin, gender, age). We are interested in seeing what the most common trajectories are depending on the socio-demographic and academic profile of students in various contexts (country, university system, study modality). Based on this analysis, in which we compare the results in an important range of different Higher Education Institutions, we intend to standardise a methodology of analysis and presentation of the results of the students' trajectories, which can be easily transferred to other university contexts. In the second part we will carry out a collection of good practices in support of complex trajectories by exploring policies in the HEIs that are partners in the consortium and in other HEIs in their nearby territories. The deeper objective is to understand the link between the different types of good practices and the results of the trajectories analysis, trying to answer the question about which measures can benefit which trajectories and in which way. In the third part, it is planned to transform the knowledge acquired from the two previous parts into training and decision-making support material. To this end, degree program evaluation indicators are constructed on the theme of trajectories. Two MOOCs are designed, one aimed at learning the longitudinal analysis of student trajectories, the other for advisors on measures to support complex trajectories. A handbook for advisors and other support materials are designed. With the aim of giving maximum diffusion to the knowledge acquired and the materials produced, we have the need to transform them into products of quick understanding (infographics, brochures) that can be disseminated through already existing websites (universities, student services, international education organisations, etc.) or in the student services offices themselves. Moreover, the planned training of the partners of the consortium in all the areas of development of the project will allow us to set up Multiplier Events in four countries to carry out an extensive dissemination of the outputs and to advance in the objective of generating networks in each territory.
Effective start/end date1/09/2031/07/23

Collaborative partners

  • University of Valencia (UV)
  • University of Burgundy
  • The Open University
  • University of Porto (U.Porto)
  • Secretaria d'Universitats i Recerca. Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Fundació per a la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (lead)
  • Universidade Aberta Portugal
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)


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