Whilst tidying my desk this morning, I rediscovered the HEA (2014) report on Engagement through Partnership. It’s lovely to see that our work at Birmingham City University gets a number of mentions. It is interesting to see how this area of research has become such a driver for Higher Education. Back at the QAA Annual Conference in June 2011, where we presented our work on the Birmingham City University Students as Partners scheme, the conversation was very different, with a real fear evident over an emergent student consumer mentality.
Since then, the concern for consumer demand hasn’t really gone away, but the conversation has changed. Much of the research and work being conducted in this area points towards the immense benefits of working in partnership with our students, and of the rewards that this can bring. When I reflect upon my own career and the changes that I have been a part of since then, many of my most successful endeavours have not been individual pursuits, but shared ventures with my students acting as change agents in that process.
Quite frankly, student partnership has changed my working life for the better and engaging students in pursuits that are of interest to them has firmly positioned me back into the role of learner. Taking a different approach has seen me achieve the same end destination, but with my students right up there with me, and to top it all, we have had a LOT of fun in the process.
Lots of best practice shared in here, so it’s worth a look.