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Students as partners activities

Student engagement and the enhancement of learning and teaching through partnership with students is a key area for the HEA. Our Students as partners activity is designed to support staff, students and organisations develop policy and practice relating to partnership in learning and teaching. We publish key resources and guidance to support the implementation of partnership in learning and teaching.

Engagement through partnership

Our work in this area proposes a new conceptual model for exploring the idea of students as partners in learning and teaching. It draws on extensive scholarship and research and an overarching report was lead authored by Professor Mick Healey.

The report Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education:

  • examines the motivations and rationales for staff and students engaging in partnership
  • identifies examples of strategic and sustainable good practice
  • outlines how the development of partnership learning communities may guide and sustain practice in this area
  • offers the pedagogical case for partnership
  • makes suggestions for addressing areas of potential tension and challenge
  • proposes suggestion for future work

The Framework for partnership in learning and teaching is a short, practical guide to partnerships in learning and teaching. It presents our conceptual model, sets out the values that underpin partnership, and suggests ways to use the framework in practice. It includes a series of explorative questions that provide a useful starting point for strategic conversations about partnership.

Students as partners change programmes

The HEA's change programmes are available for HE organisations wanting to work effectively with students to enhance curricula and increase engagement in the processes of learning. Our Students as partners in the curriculum change programme involves students and representatives from academic staff, professional support staff and/or senior managers.

Commissioned research

We are currently funding research into the impact of pedagogies of partnership on the student learning experience in UK HE and outputs from this will be available in 2015. We have also previously commissioned a review of research on student engagement.

The following resources on student engagement are available to download:

Partnership awards

To recognise and celebrate successful partnerships between staff and students in learning and teaching in HE the HEA makes two annual partnership awards.


Useful resources

- Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education

- Student engagement: an evidence summary

- Student engagement: case studies

- Student engagement: a framework for action

- Dimensions of student engagement