REACT project’s Special Issue of the Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change
We are delighted to announce the launch of our special issue of the Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change as part of the dissemination of the HEFCE Catalyst funded REACT Project. This journal represents the culmination of the REACT initiative, offering research papers, case studies, opinion pieces associated with REACT collaborative development programme and research. Please do take a moment of your time to have a look at the journal and read some of the exciting work from the institutions across the programme.
This special issue of The Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change is slightly different from previous issues in that it focuses on a particular programme, known as ‘REACT’, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). ‘Realising Engagement Through Active Culture Transformation’, or REACT, looks closely at the engagement of so-called ‘hard-to-reach’ students in Higher Education, and this issue of the journal provides a kaleidoscope of views and standpoints, starting points and conclusions, through both qualitative descriptions and reporting of quantitative data. It is not a ‘recipe book’ for ‘student engagement’. There is no clear-cut, neat picture of what ‘student engagement’ is, nor of what characterises a ‘hard-to-reach’ student. However, overall, it gives a rich picture of the many complexities of engaging with students who are less likely to engage, and of the many ways in which universities are working to understand the issues and consequences and to engage all students more effectively.
In all, forty-four contributions make up this issue, in the form of research articles, case studies and opinion pieces. Much has already been written on the topic of ‘student engagement’, but the importance of this particular set of pieces is that they narrow the focus of ‘student engagement’ by concentrating specifically on ‘hard-to-reach’ students. This does not mean narrowing or ‘closing down’ any aspect of discussion on the topic, but it provides a particular lens with the potential to inform wider debates.
On behalf of the REACT Team