When we talk to each other about our education we talk about what really matters: work we are proud of, incredible things we have learned and the people who supported us to achieve.
It is time to restart that conversation as a national movement and consider what higher education qualifications need to be like for every student to be enabled and inspired.
From our learning environments to course structures; from assessment methods to feedback, we need to take new steps to support students and students’ unions in co-creating excellent education.
In response to government pressure and subsequent marketisation and expansion universities are adopting more corporate forms of governance. It is important that students’ unions understand these changes in order to challenge the concentration power in governing bodies and reductions in the role of academics and students in decision-making.
Students have a part to play in building more democratic universities. The concept of student engagement is now at a tipping point; it is important student engagement is articulated in a way which leads to more student participation in university decision-making.
We need to develop ways that unions can challenge university governance, exposing the gap between the values in a university’s mission and decisions that contradict these values. We need to ask the normative question of who should make decisions and what should be the structure of decision-making in an institution adept to problems of gender equality, student engagement and public value.
Download the Key Theme report on Building Democratic Institutions