February 2012

IZA DP No. 6358: The Short-Term Effectiveness of a Remedial Mathematics Course: Evidence from a UK University

revised version published in: The Manchester School, 2014, 82 (3), 363-384

Whilst in the US there is a growing debate about the effectiveness of remedial university courses, this issue is less questioned in the UK. Using a regression discontinuity approach and data from a large School of a post-1992 UK university, we estimate the effect of remediation on student outcomes. We find no evidence that attending a math remedial program improves student performance in the first year. This finding is consistent and complements that of a recent study by Lagerlöf and Seltzer (2009), which is based on data from a pre-1992 UK university. Taken together, these results may call for a review of the remediation policy offered at university level in the UK.