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Student engagement

We are working in partnership with various national stakeholders (for example, the Quality Assurance Agency, the Higher Education Academy, NUS, Universities UK and Guild HE) to develop student-engagement policies and inform institutional practice. This work takes place through a group drawn from across the higher education sector chaired by the NUS.

Research into student engagement

We recently commissioned the Open University's Centre for Higher Education Research and Information (CHERI) to undertake a study on student engagement. The study was intended to introduce an evidence base into the debate, and makes a number of recommendations. These include:

  • institutional and student union review of the student engagement cycle, including establishing criteria for monitoring effectiveness
  • the discussion of appropriate staff and student development needs, and the production of materials to provide guidance to institutions on how to engage with students
  • the development of practices that benefit part-time students.

The National Student Forum (part of DIUSí student listening program) has published an Annual Report for 2008. This sets out recommendations aimed at Government and the sector. These include recommendations for information advice and guidance and student finance.

Project work

Following these reports we have funded a 12-month project starting in October 2009. The project is a collaboration between the National Union of Students and the Higher Education Academy. It is intended to support higher education institutions and their studentsí unions to engage students more effectively in shaping their learning experiences.

The project will develop a series of materials and publications for students' unions and institutions to improve how they engage. They will also support students and academics to discuss teaching and learning issues through the process of student representation, and ultimately to enhance the student learning experience.

There will be two national conferences to share this work, and enable senior staff and students to discuss issues relating to the learning experience.

We and partners in the cross-sector group will continue working to agree how to take forward the recommendations from both the CHERI and National Student Forum reports.

Further information

For more information about our support for student engagement contact Rachael Tooth, tel 0117 931 7047, e-mail r.tooth@hefce.ac.uk.

Last updated 9 October 2009