Student engagement in the U.K. and Japan: engaging the student voice for quality enhancement and assurance

Masahiro Tanaka, Luke Millard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Since the adoption of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) in 2005, opportunities for European students to participate in university evaluation activities have increased. For example, in the UK, students participate in internal quality assurance activities as official members of related committees at their universities.They also create evaluation reports of their programmes based on the results of independent surveys for both internal and external review. The driver for this approach may be altruistic though institutions wishing to engage with students to ensure quality, but it is also backed by legislation through the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (2018). This approach is supported by advice and guidance documents (QAA 2019) that seek to help institutions implement the Code.
This presentation aims to offer quality assurance suggestions for Japan by referring to the case of Birmingham City Univeristy (BCU) in England. We clarify how students participate in quality assurance and enhancement process at the University (Brand and Millard 2019). More precisely, the presentation addresses the following points: 1) the nature of student engagement through formal mechanisms, 2)the types of activities undertaken by student evaluators, and 3) the influence of students through staff-student partnerships on quality assurance.
This presentation argues that Japanese universities should enable students to participate in internal quality assurance activities as 'meaningful partners' working together with faculty and staff members. Students are in a unique positions that enables them to evaluate and critique the quality of education from a different perspective than that of the university's faculty and staff. Given appropriate training, we believe that students should be able to make a significant contribution to improving the quality of education. Above all, students are the greatest beneficiaries of improvements in education quality and therefore have an inherent interest in improving that quality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication22nd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationconference proceedings, 8-9 June 2019
Place of PublicationKanazawa
PublisherJapanese Association for Higher Education Research
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


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