Welcome to the wonderful world of Student Experience and Engagement

Background

The AUA’s Student Experience and Engagement network was launched in April 2019 to bring together staff within this field of university administration. We want to create a hub of activity for all of those working within the areas of student experience and/or student engagement. We also want to help those working in other areas of university administration to understand more about this area of work. 

We’re delighted that over 125 people have already joined the Network and we’re keen to ensure that this keeps growing to encompass every region – and eventually every institution – in the UK.

The Network is run by its Coordinator (and founder) Josh Gulrajani, Student Experience Analyst at Bath Spa University, and Deputy Network Coordinator David Gilani, Head of Student Engagement and Advocacy at Middlesex University.

We see this network as having four main aims: 

  • Giving you a space to SHARE best practice, methods of working, and approaches to enhancing the student experience
  • Creating opportunities for you to LEARN about this relatively new and exciting area of work within higher education
  • Facilitating COLLABORATION between different institutions on innovative projects to improve the student experience
  • Helping you to CONTRIBUTE to wider debates around the sector through online discussions, conferences and other events

How can you get involved right now? 

If you haven’t already, you can join the network by logging in to your My AUA page and adding yourself to the network. All network members will receive a quarterly newsletter, including helpful updates on the network and how you can get further involved. Even if you don’t work in the fields of student experience or engagement yourself, you’re welcome to join if you’d like to learn more about this exciting area of work. You can also really help us out by sharing the details of the network with anyone else who works at your institution in this field. 

David Gilani | Head of Student Engagement and Advocacy |Middlesex University London
Josh Gulrajani | Student Experience Data Manager | Bath Spa University

Ask questions or share what you’re working on with other network members by posting them in our newly created Student Experience and Engagement forum on the AUA website. You can add yourself to this forum and receive email digests of the discussions taking place by adding the forum within the My AUA page

We’ve also set up a new Jiscmail list dedicated to all things Student Experience and Engagement. This list provides an easy way to email others around the sector who are working within this field. You can join the list via the Jiscmail website

You can also offer to host a session or meetup within your region to bring together people involved in Student Experience and Engagement. We’ve already hosted events in the South Wales and South West region and Anglia and London so far this year. We’ll also be running a session at the North Wales and North West region event on 17th January 2020 and Heather Tracey from University of Edinburgh has kindly volunteered to run a session at the University of Edinburgh in the New Year (date tbc). We’re looking for volunteers from any other regions (Ireland, Yorkshire and North East, Midlands, South or International members) to run sessions or organise meetups. If you’re interested, please get in touch with either Josh or David and we’ll provide you with all the tools and resources that you need. 

We’ll be able to use the findings from these sessions to help influence our future plans for the network. We’ve summarised some of the main findings from the sessions that we’ve run so far below:

Our future plans for the network

We’re currently pulling together a list of events, conferences and training courses being run across the UK on any topics related to Student Experience and Engagement within and beyond the AUA. We’re hoping that this compilation will be a useful resource for network members as a one-stop-shop on events to attend. As part of this, we’ll also be looking at big, upcoming events – such as the AUA Annual Conference 2020 – and creating a stream that points out all the sessions related to the field of Student Experience and Engagement. Get in touch if: you have any suggestions of events that you’d like us to add to this calendar; especially any events that you’re presenting or speaking at. 

We’d like to utilise and celebrate the great research that is being conducted part-time by those working in administrative roles across universities. We know that many staff members are writing and researching in addition to their main roles and we’d like to create a platform to share this research with other members. At the moment, we’re working on how best to achieve this and would love to hear from members with your suggestions. Get in touch if: you are currently conducting research within the field of Student Experience and Engagement. 

We’d like to create a suite of resources on the most important initiatives, projects and points in the student journey related to Student Experience and Engagement – from induction to graduation. The idea would be that this Network can showcase the best practice occurring across the UK, so that we can all build on the great work that each of us are achieving. Get in touch if: you have suggestions about the initiatives or projects that you think this network should be talking about. 

We’ll also be reaching out to many other organisations across the UK that contribute to the field of Student Experience and Engagement. We want to develop partnerships with these organisations so that we can better create a hub of everything useful for our network members. Get in touch if: you have any links to other sector bodies that conduct work in this area. 

How to contact us

You can email us at: 

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