This chapter considers the creation of an institutional approach that saw the student voice placed at the heart of engagement and retention activities. Partnerships with the student representative body and individual students led to an evolution in institutional policy, practice and values as the curriculum and support services became better aligned to reflect the ‘real lives’ of students. It recounts a partnership journey that found fruition through participation in the UK’s What Works? 2: Student Retention and Success programme and saw significant improvements in retention and widespread engagement of academic staff. Aligned to this were significant improvements in the use of student data and the creation of knowledge around the nature of the student cohort and the individuals within it. In particular, this chapter will signal the move the Birmingham City University and Students’ Union made in shifting the paradigm from the goal of attracting ‘university-ready students’ to one where the university started to become ‘ready for the students’ it recruited.
|Title of host publication||Student retention and success in higher education|
|Subtitle of host publication||institutional change for the 21st century|
|Editors||Mahsood Shah, Sally Kift, Liz Thomas|
|Place of Publication||Cham|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Oct 2021|