How can we strengthen the voice of the student — and consequently the development of the student and the university of applied sciences? This question is central to the Student Voice research for which the Global Citizenship research group has requested a Comenius grant.
Every student has the right to voice his or her opinion, to be heard and to contribute to decisions, especially on matters which directly concern them. This makes education more effective and meaningful. That is why the Global Citizenship research group is examining how and to what extent students feel heard and seen within The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS). Amongst other things, the group is looking at factors which restrict or encourage the “student voice” so it can be strengthened within THUAS.
An initial preliminary study by World Citizenship associate professor Carien Verhoeff shows that students at THUAS sufficiently appreciate the “student voice”, but they feel there is still (much) room for improvement. They give it a mark of 6. Students do feel welcome at THUAS, but not (always) heard. They feel a need for involvement — in their studies, the university of applied sciences, as well as the design and implementation of education and research.
The preliminary research provides some quick wins, such as feedback of evaluation results and making it clear how the student input will be used. For follow-up research, Carien wants to study how a collaborative leadership partnership at the class, curriculum and management level can strengthen the “student voice”. The research group is working together with other partners in the professional field and universities.