Co-creating student staff partnerships

At the University of Hertfordshire, we are committed to working with our students to create a strong, respectful learning community.   Students are at the heart of all we do, and Student-Staff Partnership working is embedded into programmes across the University to help effect the best outcomes for students.  Every School has staff and students involved in Partnership work, with the activities being brought together, shared and celebrated at the Student-Staff Partnership Network.  Our Partnership work is grounded on mutual respect and shared responsibility, dismantling aspects of the more traditional approach to staff-student interactions, favouring instead a more collaborative approach to the holistic learning experience.

Much research has been done into the beneficial effects of Partnership working which underpins the integration of this approach into our teaching and learning strategies.  In particular, Cook-Sather, Bovill and Felton (2014) detail:

‘[Partnership is].. a collaborative, reciprocal process through which all participants have the opportunity to contribute equally, although not necessarily in the same ways, to curricular or pedagogical conceptualization, decision making, implementation, investigation, or analysis.’

Partnership stretches across teaching activities, assessment design, the collaborative development of learning resources and even co-design of sessions. Approaches vary as there is no set formula to partnership working - we believe our students and staff know their programmes best and the whole learning community benefits from this way of working.

Across the University students and staff also work together in strategic ways - for example on central university committees, in reviewing and validating programmes of study, in embedding technical skills support and leading the University of Hertfordshire drive to advance race equity.  The sector-leading work of our BAME Student Success Working Group, has been recognised at a national level with a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence.

Significant progress would not happen without the partnership shown by our students, co-creating the learning experience of the future.

The Student-Staff Partnership Network is open to all and brings together people from across the University to share practice and support the development of ideas and inclusive work.

More information on ‘UH Student-Staff partnership in learning and teaching’ can be found on the Student-staff partnership in learning and teaching website and further research projects can be found on the Pedagogic Research page.