3 September 2020

Student Partnership in Welsh Higher Education and Further Education Institutions

Today we have published our report on Student Partnership in Welsh Higher Education and Further Education Institutions.

HEFCW and the Welsh Government appointed Old Bell3 Research to assess the current state of student partnership, engagement and representation in Wales, in order to support an integrated approach across the Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) sector.

The report highlighted a number of areas of good practice, such as integrating student partnership into strategic decision-making and embedding more nuanced approaches into gathering students’ views.

Case studies also emphasised the need for students to be kept informed as to how their views are taken on board and implemented.

Interviews conducted with stakeholders, staff and student representatives revealed that the flexibility of approaches towards student partnership meant that activity was being driven by the needs of the both the student body and the institution.

In addition, interviewees consistently raised the importance of ensuring early student involvement in developing new policy and provision, with co-production seen as the next step in this evolving agenda.

The report provided steers for further work, which HEFCW and the Welsh Government hope to undertake in the next academic year.

Marian Jebb, the Welsh Government’s Head of Post-16 Quality, said “As we see a move to new ways of learning and working during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond, it’s more important than ever for colleges and universities to involve learners in decision-making. There is still a lot of uncertainty, but also some real opportunities to engage with learners in new and innovative ways.”

Alyson Thomas, Director of Policy and Funding at HEFCW, said “We are committed to working in partnership with students, who are well-placed to work with providers on shaping their study. Partnership work ensures that students are at the forefront when providers are considering changes that might impact on their student experience. We welcome this report as an important snapshot of the work that is going on, as well as helping to guide us through the next steps in developing these partnerships.”

Executive summary

Partnership in Welsh Higher Education and Further Education Institutions