Student Engagement

Student Academic Partners (SAP)

Student Academic Partners (SAP) is run in partnership with the Students’ Union and provides a mechanism and opportunity to integrate students into the academic community of the University. It generates a sense of ownership and pride in the institution and its programmes through a scheme that provides students and staff with a direct opportunity to work collaboratively to strengthen learning and teaching at the University for the benefit of all.

Over the past three years SAPs have delivered over 160 projects, employed over 400 students and dramatically improved the learning experience across the University in wide variety of areas. Funding opportunities are announced annually, but please feel free to approach us with your ideas at any time. For information about the scheme and the types of projects supported please see the Students' Union website.

For further information please contact Luke Millard or Paul Chapman.

Student Academic Mentoring Partnership (StAMP)

Student Academic Mentoring Partnership (StAMP) was designed after working with our colleagues at Northwest Missouri State University with the intention of creating student-led interventions that would better support teams seeking to improve the progression and achievement of their students.

After a successful pilot in 2012, StAMP will operate throughout the 2012/13 academic year. Mentoring encourages students to take advantage of peer-to-peer support by offering students the opportunity to gain academic support from more experienced students, under the guidance of academic staff. During the pilot several types of mentoring initiatives were identified as offering opportunities for success:

  • Discussion Group Mentoring: associated to a specific module and provides extra assistance with disseminating module content.
  • Workshop Mentoring: an opportunity for students to apply theory from lectures in a practical environment.
  • One on One Academic Assistance Mentoring/Coaching: follows a more traditional 'tuition' model of academic assistance for modules on a drop-in or appointment basis.
  • Teaching Assistant Mentoring: provides assistance to academic staff in a specific module in the form of supplemental instruction for students, demonstrations, course development and lesson implementation.
  • Course Induction Mentoring: provides introduction into how to succeed and introduces the expectations of the University along with giving a student perspective of the course, the University and Birmingham by taking students on tours and delivering induction sessions throughout the year as and when they are needed.
  • Employability Mentoring: assists students in building their CVs, portfolios, covering letters, job searching and interview practice.
  • Placement Mentoring: provides student perspectives of placements; offers advice for success and assists students while on placement. In its first year the programme employed 64 students across the University and a new opportunity for funding is launched annually, but please feel free to approach us with your ideas at any time.

For further information please contact Luke Millard.

Collaborative Projects

The Collaborative Projects initiative will encourage large-scale, cross-disciplinary projects that provide opportunities for student and staff partnerships. All projects will aim to create agreed outputs through consultation and interaction within a collaborative environment. The focus of the projects will be to improve the learning experience through a process of collaboration, mentoring, and inter-disciplinary knowledge sharing. We suspect that the process will be at least as important as product.

Collaborative Projects should demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaborations
  • A better, more engaging learning experience for students and improved staff working lives
  • A clear impact on the student learning experience and alignment with the University learning and teaching strategy
  • An ability to improve retention, progression and achievement of our students through stimulating student engagement in all aspects of academic programmes
  • Mentoring opportunities for senior students working with less experienced students
  • A working partnership between staff and students where staff guide and facilitate developments

Examples of suitable Collaborative Projects partner projects include:

  • 'Live' project scenarios reinforcing taught theory to develop skills in students that can only come from active learning
  • Generation of shared opportunities or services across faculties
  • Manual of resources, equipment and workshops within the University so that students know how to access and use the facilities across the University
  • Student publications

Funding opportunities are announced annually, but please feel free to approach us with your ideas at any time.

For further information please contact Luke Millard.