Claire Street: A mature student’s journey
Through Partners in Learning Claire discovered the passionate and creative atmosphere she had been seeking.
Working within Partners in Learning has been an extremely rewarding experience for me. This project has allowed me to draw on all the skills and experience I have gained in both my working life and as a student at Canterbury Christ Church University.
I have had the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of students, something which I often felt was a missing aspect of my university experience prior to becoming part of the project. As a mature post-graduate student I tended to feel isolated from any activities outside of my own university course, missed out on interaction of fresh ideas and viewpoints on the subject of student experience, and certainly hadn’t heard of nor considered getting involved in something like the Christ Church Extra Award.
The project remit was very vague initially and I was unsure of how I could contribute meaningfully; it was in fact the evolutionary nature of the project that has been the most exciting part of it.
By allowing us to define the project ourselves we felt an immediate connection with it and sometimes a proprietary attitude towards it.
We were given absolute control of every aspect of the project, a freedom not often afforded to students. From the very first meeting we fostered a team of creative and passionate advocates of the principles of ‘The Learning & Teaching Strategy’.
Our creative process fostered debate within the team, conversations with students informed our plan and, after literally cutting and pasting the 9 principles we were able to create something that we felt represented the student voice, our voice.
Having invested so much of ourselves in this project we have been driven by passion and a true belief in the principles of ‘The Learning and Teaching Strategy’ – evident by the many librarian request for us to be quiet. My colleagues and I have grown in confidence as we have worked together towards our goal, we have found the words to define our project and in doing so have been rewarded with friendship and, a much richer university experience.