Generation TEF: Teaching in spotlight – presentation on BME students, their travels and thoughts for HEI policy

“…If the college don’t push it forward, how are people going to get to know each other, you just don’t…”

Helen Pokorny (University of Westminster, Debbie Holley, Bournemouth University and Suzanne Kane, Salford University


This session is located in our portfolio of research in the area of stay-at-home students who commute to university (published academic articles addressing both qualitative and quantitative data; a literature review and a number of practice-based presentations, interventions and discussion groups at three higher education institutions). The completed phases of this research address an area of current concern in relation the theme of student access, retention, attainment and progression as demonstrated by huge response to the consultations for the NUS project Reaching home. We will present the distinct nature of our own research context which is urban and outline the qualitative research methodology (BNIM) which was particularly effective for this kind of work and will be of interest to others wishing to research this topic in their own context. In the case of this research the unique methodology underpins the richness of the findings. We share key findings from our study for discussion, present some ideas for addressing low ‘ssob’ within this group which include strategies relating to communication, pedagogy and spaces; and will facilitate participants in sharing their own practice through the use of social media. This sharing is a particularly important part of the presentation as for our students the distinction between the social and learning contexts is blurred. This presents challenges for academics and requires a shift from thinking about student-centred teaching, peer working and collaborative assessment as ways of enhancing teaching and assessment to also thinking about these approaches as ways of enhancing belonging for this Generation TEF. Such approaches are not expensive nor complex, but require a shift in ways of conceptualising teaching. Colleagues will leave with a wealth of ideas and resources that can be implemented in their own context. Our intended audience are those who teach/support learning. We all have a role to play in addressing this issue which is essential for institutional responses to the TEF, given that for students and institution alike, every student loss has a financial and reputational consequences.  This is an original, evidence based session providing based on a portfolio of published research, practice-based sessions, and providing unique in-depth insights into the student experience.

Kane, S., Chalcraft, D., Volpe, G., (2014) Notions of belonging: First year, first semester higher education students enrolled on business or economics degree programmes. International Journal of Management Education. 12 (2) 193-201.

NUS (2015) Reaching home: Policy and practice for students living in the parental home. National Union of Students.

Pokorny, H., Holley, D., Kane, S., (2016) Commuting, transitions and belonging:  the experiences of students living at home in their first year at university. Higher Education. DOI 10.1007/s10734-016-0063-3

Shoderu, R., Kane, S., Husbands, D., Holley, D., (2012) Developing a Sense of Belonging: Findings from a three institution study, with implications for BME students and staff engagement. Compass: The Journal of Learning and Teaching at the University of Greenwich. 5, 67-74, ISSN: 2044-0073

Leave a Reply

Your details
  • (Your email address will not be published in your comment)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>