I recently attended the Wonkhe event, The Secret Life of Students 2023, in London.
There was some excellent sessions and I made some sketchnotes for lots of them.
Belonging in a cost of living crisis
The stats are dire and the initiatives have come thick and fast – but what sort of impact is the cost of living crisis having on the student learning experience? Do efforts to enable students to succeed in these circumstances normalise a thin and stretched student experience?
The real risks to equality of opportunity
Tacking equality gaps in higher education remains a huge concern – particularly when some initiatives and efforts seem to fall foul of government guidance and preference. In this session we’ll bust some myths and seek to understand what really works when it comes to narrowing the gaps.
How to (re)calibrate the needle of trust
Post-Covid, there’s been lots of debate about the extent to which safety-net shifts in trusting students should be rolled back in the name of academic standards, as well as discussion about assessment methods that both appear to narrow awarding gaps and exacerbate allegations of cheating. How viable is it in 2023 to maintain the idea that every student should achieve a standard at the same pace? Where is the line between cheating and collaboration? And what could new AI tools mean for teaching, learning and assessment?
Cracking the code
So your department has a difficult NSS score on assessment fairness, and the Dean wants you to turn things around – fast. Or a flag goes up on your engagement analytic dashboard – what now? In a field teeming with data, finding out what is going on with the people behind the numbers can make the difference. In this session we’ll consider the role of the qualitative in turning data to action – and share new insight from our new student survey platform Belong on what students are really thinking.
Why are students so left wing?
The political leanings of students have been central to the free speech debate that has played out in recent years – but is it nature, or nurture? Some would argue that the past decade has seen a huge expansion in higher education participation, opening up opportunity to more students than ever. Others would argue that politics is increasingly skewed away from students and young people’s economic interests. What’s really going on – and what should universities, SUs or governments do about it?
Secrets of the student experience
Increasingly universities are expected to have a handle on “difficult” aspects of the students’ experience: alcohol and drugs, sexual harassment, and sex work. In this session, we will think through the various frames available for managing behaviours and the implications for students, university policy, and the competencies of university staff.