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Ed Foster

Head of Student Engagement and Analytics

Centre for Student and Community Engagement


Ed manages the delivery of the NTU Student Dashboard, a learning analytics resource used by students and staff. He oversees the development work with technology partner Solutionpath and the research into the efficacy of using data to support student success, particularly for students from socially-disadvantaged backgrounds. He works with personal tutors and other support staff to improve the quality of student support and advice. Ed is part of the management team in the Centre for Student and Community Engagement (CenSCE) seeking to address the issues of disparities of attainment between different groups of students in higher education.

Career overview

Prior to working in CenSCE, Ed worked in a number of different departments across the University including the Centre for Academic Development & Quality, the Library and Student Support Services. He previously worked in the NTU Students’ Union and at De Montfort University.

Research areas

Ed is currently engaged in research about the interplay between learning analytics and student success in higher education. This includes the role of technology in retention, transition, widening participation and reducing disparities of attainment.

External activity

Ed is currently leading the Onwards from Learning Analytics Erasmus+ project with colleagues from Arteveldehogeschool, University Medical Centre Utrecht – (2018-2021) - exploring how to support students once learning analytics have identified that they are at risk

ABLE Erasmus+ project with KU Leuven, University of Leiden - ABLE Erasmus+ Project (2015-2018) - exploring the use of learning analytics in University

STELA Erasmus+ project with KU Leuven, TU Delft, TU Graz, SEFI – STELA Erasmus+ Project (2015-2018) - seeking to develop strategies for improving student transition into higher education using learning analytics

Between 2008 and 2011 Ed led the HERE Project in conjunction with Bournemouth and Bradford Universities as part of the Paul Hamlyn Fund / HEFCE project What Works? Student Retention and Success. The research project explored the mpact of doubting and course teams on the decisions of students to withdraw or not.

Between 2005 and 2010, Ed was a member of the Learnhigher CETL Steering group with particular responsibility for academic writing.

Ed is a member of the European First Year Experience Network steering group.


FOSTER, E., LAWTHER, S., KEENAN, C., BATES, N., COLLEY, B. and LEFEVER, R. 2012. The HERE project toolkit: a resource for programme teams interested in improving student engagement and retention. Nottingham: Nottingham Trent University.

HARDY, C. and FOSTER, E., 2008. Other people's writing: peer mentoring for academic writing. In: NTU 10th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 'Inspiring Learning and Teaching in a Global Context. Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, 3 April 2008.

FOSTER, E., LAWTHER, S., LEFEVER, R., BATES, N., KEENAN, C. and COLLEY, B., 2012. HERE to stay? An exploration of student doubting, engagement and retention in three UK universities. In: I. SOLOMONIDES, A. REID and P. PETOCZ, eds, Engaging with Learning in Higher Education. UK: Libri Publishing, pp. 95-114.

Nottingham Trent University's Welcome Week: a sustained programme to improve early social and academic transition for new students In: J. ANDREWS, R. CLARK and L. THOMAS, eds, Compendium of effective practice in higher education retention and success UK: Aston University & the Higher Education Academy, pp. 27-31.

FOSTER, E., MCNEIL, J. and LAWTHER, S., 2011. Exploring new students' conceptions of engagement and feedback. In: L. CLOUDER, C. BROUGHAN, S. JEWELL and G. STEVENTON, eds, Improving Student Engagement and Development through Assessment: Theory and Practice in Higher Education. UK: Routledge.

FOSTER, E. and LEFEVER, R., 2011. Barriers and strategies for retaining male students. In: L. THOMAS and J. BERRY, eds, Male access & success in Higher Education: a discussion paper. York: Higher Education Academy, pp. 20-25.

FOSTER, E., LAWTHER, S. and MCNEIL, J., 2011. Learning Developers Supporting Early Student Transition. In: P. HARTLEY, J. HILSDON, C. KEENAN, S. SINFIELD and M. VERITY, eds, Learning Development in Higher Education. Great Britain: Palgrave Macmillan.

FOSTER, E., LAWTHER, S., KEENAN, C., BATES, N., COLLEY, B. and LEFEVER, R., 2011. The HERE Project Final Report.

FOSTER, E. and BRITTAIN, M., 2010. Flying Start End of Project Report: Shadowing at NTU.

FOSTER, E., LEES, M., O'NEILL, W. and LAWTHER, S., 2009. More than "Getting Smashed with Randomers" - Improving Student Induction, 13 - 15 May, 2009 2009.

PURNELL, S. and FOSTER, E., 2008. Transition and Engagement. In: L. HAND and C. BRYSON, eds, Student Engagement: SEDA Special 22. England: Staff & Educational Development Association

FOSTER, E., BELL, R. and AND SALZANO, S., 2008. "What's a Journal?" - Research into the Prior Learning Experiences of Students Entering Higher Education, 7 - 9 May 2008, 2008.

Lockley, E., Pritchard, C. & Foster, E., (2004), Students Supporting Students – lessons learnt from an environmental health peer support scheme, Journal of Environmental Health Research, Vol 2(3), pp.78-82

See all of Ed Foster's publications...

Press expertise

Applied learning analytics to support student success

Student transition, retention and success