5.5 Solidarity: Student Leadership – students supporting and servicing teaching and learning
The issue of student leadership is becoming increasingly important in the HE sector. The issue is related to the government’s intention to develop a new style of politics and citizen engagement within which the student voice is not only heard, but amplified. Sectoral level research has found that student representation works well at the institutional level, but below that level there is a variability in effectiveness. A range of studies and programmes have been set up to support students in developing their representation skills and so enhance their engagement with decision making processes in their universities. The Learning Landscape research has confirmed work done elsewhere in the sector that is critical of the levels of student engagement and the support that is provided by universities. The Learning Landscapes research has identified the importance of finding ways to amplify the student voice, and to develop ways of working with students by giving them responsibility for the management of learning spaces.
Students are not very knowledgeable about the design of teaching and learning spaces; nor are they very interested in teaching spaces so long as they are comfortable and clean. Why then should we seek to engage with them on this matter?
Bergan, S. (2003) Student Participation in Higher Education Governance, Strasbourg, Council of Europe
ESIB ( 2007) Bologna Through Student Eyes, Brussels
HEFCE ( 2009) Report to HEFCE on Student Engagement, Centre for Higher Education Research and Information, The Open University
Student Participation in Quality Scotland – http://www.sparqs.ac.uk/staff/
Young Consulting ( 2006) Study of the Extent and Effectiveness of Existing Student Representation Structures within Higher Education Institutions across Wales, Cardiff, HEFCW