Student Sounding Boards for Quality Enhancement in Widening participation

Louisa Hill

Abstract


With ever increasing barriers for widening participation students to enter higher education, it is vital that when enrolled on a programme, their social norms and needs are not ignored. When trying to acclimatise themselves in a higher education institution, these heterogeneous students are faced with greater challenges compared to traditional students. Nevertheless these students are determined to study in order to enhance their career potential. Moreover the skills, knowledge and experiences that they offer, can potentially enrich higher education. A number of widening participation Student-Researchers developed, conducted and analysed their own Student Sounding Boards, with the purpose of evaluating various business and administration programmes. These Student Sounding Boards had a dual-purpose in that they also helped to enhance the Student-Researchers’ learning and helped them overcome some of the challenges faced when studying at an elite higher education institution. The research reveals how this innovative method utilises and strengthens the rich knowledge and experiences of a diverse student body.

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