Student academic representation systems in English HE

Text E-mail Hannah Goddard  d.d. 25-10-2017, TSEP Research and Resources on Student Academic Representation

The Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) work to support the enhancement of student engagement theory and practice in English higher education. As you may have already seen, we’ve recently published the findings from our research project conducted in collaboration with Dr Abbi Flint. The research aimed to understand something of the current positioning of the role, value and impact of student academic representation systems in English HE, as well as get a sense of the hopes/fears/challenges and opportunities presented in the current landscape. You can find the report, accompanying Literature Review and summary poster here. Whilst our remit and therefore the research project only covers English HE providers and students’ unions, we’d expect that many of the findings are transferable in some way to different FE and Nations contexts.

An extract from the Foreword
An extract from the Foreword is included below to provide further context to the report and our motivations for undertaking this research:
'Through our history of working to support student engagement in quality assessment and the development of learning and teaching, TSEP have observed the continued central role of student academic representation systems in these processes. Although its value is broadly agreed across the sector there has been little insight into or reflection on student academic representation in recent years. We are interested in current perspectives on their role, value and impact, and understanding how these systems have evolved in the context of developments in student engagement theory, policy and practice. Whilst acknowledging the excellent work going on in other nations of the UK around SAR, this research focused specifically on the English HE sector; reflecting TSEP’s area of focus and our funding arrangements at the time of this research from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).'

We anticipate the research findings to be of interest to anyone working with student academic representation systems, whether from a higher education provider or students’ union, association or guild. The findings provide rich insights into current perspectives of providers and students’ unions on their student academic representation systems, and indicate many fruitful avenues for future research and dialogue. We hope that you find the report and recommendations useful in reflecting on your own practices and policies and invite you to join the debate by getting in touch with us at