Student Engagement

The University is determined to create new and exciting opportunities for its students through educational partnerships with leading national and international institutions.

New partnerships

New partnerships with the Copenhagen Business School, Northwest Missouri State University, University of Pittsburgh, and National University of Ireland Galway have been accompanied by the forging of new relationships with local further education colleges and schools.

The focus of the new partnerships has been around the theme of learning communities with advice and evidence from international universities being aligned to implementation and embedding within our own and partner college processes. The diverse experiences of these partner organisations enables the University to identify those opportunities that can have the most impact upon students in Birmingham.

Work with international partners substantially informed the development of the Student Academic Partners (SAP) Scheme which has seen over 150 collaborative projects (students and staff) that seek to inform and co-create new curricula and student opportunities for the future. This has now progressed full circle as NUI Galway is now one of the University’s lead partners in testing the SAP scheme overseas.

Northwest Missouri State University has a sophisticated student employment scheme, and some of its staff and students are working with us to explore the collaborative opportunities around this work and that of our own SAP scheme. Our partners have been pivotal in advising us about the development our own OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus initiative. In addition, joint research projects, conference presentations, publications and student exchanges are now being implemented as the partnership becomes more mature.

The collaboration with Copenhagen Business School (CBS) resulted in CBS staff and students leading a curriculum change project with 18 staff and students from Birmingham City Business School. The highly successful pilot project was then adapted for use by staff and students in faculties around the University. Since then, the two universities have further developed links and are now partners in a collaborative project funded through the European Union and are collaborating in the production of a book on student engagement which reflects the excellence of the Student Academic Partner projects.

Developing learning partnerships

International collaborations such as these help to shape the learning community we can offer students when they attend the University. However, the University also seeks to develop the learning partnerships that enable us to work with partners to better prepare students who are considering attending University.

Birmingham City Students' Union and the University are working together to develop and foster the learning community initiative. As well as managing the SAP scheme the Students' Union is working with the University to try and better prepare students for progression into University.

Partner institutions from the FE and HE sector, Birmingham Metropolitan College, Dudley College, Sandwell College, Solihull College, South Birmingham College, Stourbridge College and Walsall College are collaborating to try and reshape the student support provision that is available at Colleges. Alignment of activities through a co-ordinated function could lead to improved services for students at colleges and a better understanding of what awaits students as they consider progressing to university. Initial steps in this process have seen the creation of an FE Student Leadership Academy which is hosted annually by the University Students’ Union for student leaders from across the region.

Through learning partnerships Birmingham City University seeks to enrich the learning community at Birmingham City University. It seeks to collaborate with those organisations that espouse and demonstrate a comparable ethos through effective learning partnerships. This University has the opportunity to enrich and transform lives and we believe that this is best achieved in partnership.

Further information

For more information, please contact Luke Millard.