We know that belonging is crucial for students. But what facilitates it? And what are the consequences for students when they feel that they do not belong at their university?
Wonkhe and Pearson conducted a national research project, spanning the length of a calendar year with over 5,500 staff and student participants, and in partnership with 15 students’ unions. The project produced some stark findings about what facilitates – or prevents – feelings of belonging across almost every aspect of the student experience.
Students who felt they belonged at their university reported substantial differences in their academic confidence, their course inclusivity, and their peer networks, compared to students who reported feelings of not belonging. This event will be an opportunity to launch the research in full and digest it.
We will also present further insights and wider research, have expert discussion on the implications, examples of good practice, recommendations that colleagues can use to build a practical plan of action to improve student belonging and inclusion for the long term. It’s an essential event for anyone concerned with belonging and inclusion at university today.
9.30 Welcome and introduction
9.45 Nic Beech, Vice Chancellor of Middlesex University reflects on research and its significance to the sector
10.00 A recap of the research and its findings
10.30 Session 1: Building connections – Reflecting on the report, a group of sector experts will give examples of how they are building connection among students across their universities
Above everything else outlined in the report, the greatest impact that universities can have on students’ sense of belonging is to improve the way they connect their students. It sounds simple, and both staff and students see it as essential, yet students did not report a strong sense of connection, either at course level or university level. Reflecting on the report, a group of sector experts will give examples of how they are building connection among their students.
11.30 Session 2: Inclusive content – How to build an inclusive educational experience for students and staff to foster belonging across the university
12.30 Session 3: Moving forward together – Picking up the recommendations to turn into action, we’ll discuss how the whole university can put things in place for the future
The event will be recorded, and ticket holders will receive a recording shortly after it finishes.