Student engagement and voice in higher education: students’ perceptions
Keywords:student engagement, student voice, higher education, university-student dialogue
There has been intense debate about student engagement and student voice in institutions of higher education in the past decade or so. Most of the discussion has been theoretical or based on a cause-and-effect research design. With the aim of gathering student perspectives on student voice and its related mechanisms, this study collected the voice of 13 students, the majority of whom were international students, from one UK university. Participants include undergraduate (n=1), postgraduate taught (n=7), and PhD (n=5) students who voluntarily agreed to have an online interview with the researcher, a PhD intern of the Student Voice team. Findings indicate that participants have an overall positive and supportive view of student voice mechanisms at this institution, although some understandings are not adequate or accurate. Participants’ attitudes towards some commonly used communication channels indicate that they prioritise an interactive and dynamic tool to initiate dialogue with the university. Suggestions are put forward for managerial strategies for a sustainable and inclusive student voice mechanism.
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