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Student Voice and Partnership Projects’ Success

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Colleagues across our Teaching and Learning and Student Experience (T&LSE) communities, in partnership with our students, have been making positive and forward-thinking improvements to how we view and respond to the student voice with four new initiatives:  The Student Partner Scheme, Student Panel, Student Voice Ambassadors and the Race and Equality Panel.

These Student Voice & Partnership initiatives are meaningful steps in T&LSE enhancement here at Reading, with a focus on the National Student Survey priority area of ‘Student Voice’. Student applications to join the schemes have been far greater than predicted, highlighting students’ appetite to speak up and engage in shaping their own experience.

The Student Partner scheme has been a resounding success since its initial pilot in August 2020. The scheme’s second phase, running until July 2021, is now in full swing, partnering 44 new Student Partners to support academic colleagues at department-level. Partners and colleagues will develop and implement activities aligned directly to the priority areas identified in School Teaching Enhancement Action Plans (STEAP).

In case you missed it, the T&L Showcase: Student Partners Scheme recently took place featuring colleagues and Student Partners from Geography & Environmental Science and Languages and Cultures, who spoke passionately about the impact of the scheme and their future partnership plans.

The Student Panel initiative has been created to challenge and improve the experience we offer by putting the student voice at the centre of institutional-level decisions and changes. To achieve this, the Panel will be open, transparent, and inclusive of the diverse voices and perspectives of its members.

The Student Panel will allow the University to:

  • Understand the personal experiences of students.
  • Work proactively in partnership with students at an institutional level.
  • Complement existing student voice mechanisms at the University by engaging with a diverse range of students, including those whose voices often who go unheard.
  • Collect meaningful data that will be used transparently to inform strategic decisions.
  • Track and demonstrate how students have had an impact on our work at the University.

Each ‘Student Panel round’ this year will align to the projects within the Portfolio Review Pathway, to engage students with the work undertaken in the Pathway. The first Student Panel Round will focus on the Academic Year, the second on Programme Expectations and the third on Blended Learning.

We have created a collaborative Race and Equality panel reviewing submissions as part of the Racial Equality in Teaching and Learning project. This panel is forming a listening mechanism in which four students will be paired with a staff member to discuss the themes, give feedback and gain experience.

The Student Voice Ambassadors support the Student Support & Engagement team to ensure the student voice is heard throughout our student-facing media channels including Twitter, Instagram, Me@Reading and Essentials.

For further information on each of the projects please contact:

  • Victoria Bundy (Centre for Quality and Staff Development- Academic Development and Enhancement (CQSD-ADE)) for Student Partner Scheme or Student Panel
  • Anne-Marie Henderson (Student Support and Engagement (SSE)) for Student Voice Ambassadors, Priority Groups work
  • Anne-Marie Henderson (Student Support and Engagement) or Eileen Hyder (CQSD-ADE) for the Race and Equality in Teaching and Learning project

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