Project Background - University of Exeter

The University of Exeter has developed an innovative and exciting student-led action research initiative that brings students and staff together to improve experiences of higher education.

Students from across the university have contributed to this initiative, carrying out a series of research projects on their learning and teaching environment, selecting concerns raised through student-staff liaison committee (SSLCs), and providing recommendations and solutions to improve their experience. A small amount of funding was made available from the University’s learning and teaching budget to support this initiative.

Students worked as apprentice researchers; their research methods included focus groups, informal interviews and questionnaire surveys. Outcomes were presented at a student-staff conference, which resulted in institutional engagement with key research findings.  Each small project has also been captured through a case study.

Student research has driven organisational change, contributed to student engagement in shifts of policy and practice within the University, and supported students’ graduate skills in the areas of research, project management and presentation of outcomes, leadership and understanding organisational development.