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Students as partners

Engaging students as partners in their education

We believe students should be partners in their own education and take the student voice very seriously. Students help create their own education experience through regular feedback, co-creation exercises, and participation in decision making in each department, School and university-wide.

We have a strong partnership with our students union which provides regular policy reports on education matters and whose 350 elected education Academic Representatives sit on various committees at different levels.

Below are some of the specific ways in which students influence the education experience at Royal Holloway.

Student Voice initiatives

Academic Representatives are students elected by their peers to provide feedback about the education experience at Royal Holloway and help make decisions. They also help to disseminate information to peers, ensuring a constant dialogue. There are 350 such reps who sit on various committees at different levels, depending on their role. 

System of elected Reps

  • Course Reps sit on Student Staff Committees (SSCs) as well as participate in periodic departmental reviews 
  • Senior Course Reps chair SSCs and compile annual Student Voice reports and contribute to annual quality reviews, cyclical reviews and programme development
  • School Reps sit on School Boards
  • VP Education is the most senior elected student for education and is a member of the Academic Board and Council, as well as Education and Quality committees of the university.

From time to time, the students' union provides policy reports on various issues affecting students. These are fed into decision making at the highest level and in the past, have directly impacted changes, improvements, or new initiatives.

Examples include the:

  • BAME Student Voice Report, which shaped the design of the Inclusive Education Board. Learn more about the Board on Our Education Priorities page.
  • PGR Student Voice Report which shaped our understanding of the research experience and how we might improve it
  • Careers Journey and Services Report which was instrumental in our move to embed employability into the curriculum and ensure students are actively supported with professional development at every stage of their student journey. Learn more on our Embedding employability page
  • Digital Education Reports which informed our response to the pandemic and helped with the introduction of our flexible learning model. Learn more about flexible Learning on our Learning resources and environment page

Our students provide us with regular feedback which help us shape the education experience and the support we provide. These are one through regular and intermittent surveys and feedback panels. 

Module surveys are held termly after each module ends and the results are used to make improvements and modifications for successive cohorts. Some departments also employ mid-module surveys.

RH100 - is a focus group with a panel of 100 paid rotating volunteer students. These students represent a cross-section of our student body and consider various academic issues to help us make shape the education experience. Among other issues, the panel has considered matters relating to:

  • academic representation
  • learning spaces
  • employability
  • rethinking feedback
  • digital futures
  • synergies between teaching and research
  • online and digital library provision
  • personal tutoring

There are 3-5 meetings of this panel each year. 

Action meetings are held with students sporadically and as the name suggests, allow departments who use them to consult students on actions to be taken and ensure they are both informed and can participate in decisions. These meetings are often focussed on a single issue or proposal and help ensure that students are co-creators of their teaching and learning environment.

Business and Management has also introduced termly student meetings with the School's senior management team.

Live-log system is a digital platform that allows Academic Reps to provide feedback on issues in real time prior to formally structured meetings. These issues may then inform agenda items or if possible, allow or quick action.

Students not only shape their learning environment, but are directly involved in the design of courses through a co-creation process with academic staff.

Examples include:

  • Environment and Social Change, where students evaluated content and assessment strategies for new proposed degrees.
  • Psychology, where students co-designed curriculum improvements to strengthen employability in the degree, and to include modules on the social impact of psychological research, and the psychology of equality inclusion, diversity. 

Students are also actively engaged in projects to meet our strategic goals. Some of these projects can be found on our Teaching Innovation page.

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