Understanding the student experience in UK HE; what has changed since we were students?
I was a student once, I ‘know’ what the student experience is (I even have pictures of me being a student to prove it)! This was my thinking for much of my time as a junior faculty member. But then something happened to change my thinking. I saw a poster, a poster for a 90’s themed party. The era I attended university (the 90’s) is now only fit for nostalgia by this new generation of students. This got me thinking what else has changed? What is the ‘new’ student experience and can we measure it?
‘Students’ (me) enjoying a 70s themed party in the late 1990s. Scanned photograph (not digital, an era before universal usage of mobile phones and digital cameras).
The term ‘student experience’ inhabits conferences and management meetings but its meaning is constantly changed and corrupted. As an educator I don’t want to see the ‘student experience’ reduced to another buzzword. As an educator I see the importance of ‘the experience’ for my students every day and as a scientist I ask questions; I ask can it be objectively observed; can it be measured?