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This is one of the main conclusions of a HEFCE-commissioned study carried out by the Open University's Centre for Higher Education Research. The study found that institutions view student engagement as central to enhancing the student experience, but they placed more emphasis on viewing students as consumers. Student unions on the other hand were more likely to see students as partners in a learning community.

The study, 'Student engagement and partnership: shaping the learning experience', launched today at a UUK, GuildHE and NUS conference, explores the extent and nature of student engagement in higher education and makes a number of recommendations for future action. 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.

More about the conference