There is a drive across the British higher education system and in
many other countries for students to be ‘engaged’. They may be engaged
in their own learning experience; wider social, political and civic
activities; and in decision-making and change. Research shows however
that engagement in any of these spheres is shaped by the opportunities
for engagement that are offered to students by the institution, and more
students are likely to be engaged at a local rather than an
institutional level. Student engagement results in positive outcomes for
students, staff and institutions.
We can offer services to develop and review your student engagement opportunities drawing on evidence about:
• Types, levels and sites of engagement
• Learning and teaching activities
• Social engagement
• Student engagement in representation and decision-making
In particular you may be interested in: policy review and development, staff capacity building, evaluation, workshops.
Jones, R. and Thomas, L (2012) Promoting social engagement.
Improving STEM student transition, retention and success in higher
education. Birmingham: National HE STEM programme
Thomas, L. (2012) Building student engagement and belonging at a time of change in higher education. London: Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Thomas, L. and Tight, M. (2011) Institutional transformation to engage a diverse student body. Emerald Books.
Thomas, L. and Jones, R. (2003) ‘Examining Bourdieu’s concepts of capital in relation to student retention. An expanded role for social capital’, in Saunders, D., Payne, R., Jones, H., Mason, A. and Storan, J. (eds) Attracting and Retaining Learners: Policy and Practice Perspectives, London: FACE
Thomas, L. and Jones, R. (2000) ‘Social exclusion and higher education’ in Thomas and Cooper (eds) (op cit)
Student engagement is at the heart of the What works? Student
retention and success change programme that Liz is directing. Student
engagement in their learning is the focus of the programme, while
students are actively engaged as change agents and in ensuring the
student voice is heard as part of the evaluation process.
In October 2013 Liz was external examiner for a PhD student at Lancaster University examining student engagement in decision making in higher education.