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Higher education providers are increasingly embedding student-staff partnerships in their innovation programmes and quality processes to drive impactful change. However, to date, little guidance had been given to support the sector in preparing staff for this work.

This project considered the effectiveness and scalability of these partnerships across an institution, developing practical insights to support the establishment of successful student-staff partnerships. By conducting interviews with staff and students across the partner institutions and then publishing a literature-based research report, the team were able to comprehensively understand existing issues and current best practices from multiple stakeholder perspectives and identify key themes – including setting expectations, trust, empowerment and impact.

This led to the development of a toolkit of practical resources that offers excellent support to those interested in developing and maintaining student-staff partnerships.

Discover the recommendations and resources from this project:

  • The Student-Staff Partnerships Toolkit, packed full of resources and advice
  • A literature review undertaken during the project
  • Project blogs that outline thinking and progress whilst the project progressed


Access the Student-Staff Partnerships Toolkit

You’ll find a wealth of practical advice and resources within the Student-Staff Partnerships Toolkit, which is dedicated to sharing good practice on building and maintaining these kind of partnerships. The toolkit outlines key themes for success – with a short video and a series of reflective prompts to explore each theme. Whether you are considering starting a project, currently in the middle of one or evaluating an existing partnership, this Toolkit will offer you excellent support and guidance.

Literature review: How are staff supported to undertake student-staff partnership opportunities?

Publication date: 17 Oct 2023

Read the project blogs
  • Dan Axson and his colleagues from the Universities of Sussex and Brighton presented their interim findings at the SEDA Autumn Conference in this blog post
  • Dan Axson and Professor Susan Smith from the University of Sussex talk more about this project in this blog post

Project lead: University of Sussex

Project partners: University of Salford, University of Brighton and University College London

Other Collaborative Enhancement Projects

QAA supports a number of projects every year, covering a range of topics and interest areas. Each is led by a QAA Member, working in collaboration with other members institutions. You can find more information on all projects, and access resources and outputs, on our website.