We asked a small group of students what made them feel part of the University community, the responses we gathered covered a wide range of areas.
Tanya (Year 2, Sociology) shared her experience on a Research Enterprise Development project within her faculty, where she worked alongside Dr Julia Carter for 10 weeks on a project titled ‘Weddings and Popular Culture’:
“The internships are brilliant. You get to work alongside an academic, learning new and valuable skills, and take part in research projects. Doing my internship taught me so many things that have proved such a help in my university career. It set me up really well for the following years of study and I know it look great on my CV.
[On the ethos of partnership] Whilst I was working for my lecturer, I got to use my own ideas in the project, and we felt more like colleagues than student/lecturer. It was a huge boost to my confidence, and working with my lecturer has added a new dimension to my learning, in that I got to be a part of their own research and learn from them in ways other than lectures. It also meant that my lecturer knew my interests, and has been able to steer me in the direction of further research
I think being able to work alongside a lecturer made me feel more at home in uni, if that makes sense. I felt part of something big, and really special”
Savanna (Year 1, Applied Criminology and Forensic Investigation), Nathan (Year 1, English Literature with Digital Media) and Anna (Year 2, Education Studies) spoke about the social aspect of getting to know lecturers and peers:
“My course at the end of each term hold a pub trip so that we can talk to our lectures in a chilled atmosphere and get to know them on a personal level and in the hope we meet and make friends on our course”
“It’s all a nice sort of community feeling. The university is very friendly, even some lecturers remember who I am. Like one remembered me from the open day.”
“Everyone on my course is lovely and that makes me feel part of uni”
Alexandra (Year 2, American Studies with Film, Radio & Television Studies) talked about a variety of activities she had been involved with, and the sense of belonging she feels:
“I think being a Student Rep makes me more engaged with the people on my course, and by extension, that makes me feel like a part of university. But for me personally, volunteering for Academic Learning Development and Academic English Service has been something that makes me more engaged and more out there, helping people to find their own place where they feel comfortable. Also, working as a Student Ambassador, Student Arrival Guide, Student Library Support Assistant and other jobs where I talk to people about our university really gives me that feeling of belonging.”
Aggie (Year 2, Education Studies), Ben (Year 3, Sport and Exercise Science ), Sophia (Year 3, American Studies and Film, Radio and Television Studies) and Anna (Year 2, Education Studies) spoke about how the Student Union had granted them their community:
“There’s always an event being put on by the SU that I fancy going to, and also being part of the netball team and being on committee really helped me feel like a part of the university”
“I was part of a sports team and social so that helps with mass inclusion especially with events such as varsity which brings everyone together for common goal.”
“I think that societies have influenced me feeling part of the university the most. It brings on another much needed social aspect to the university experience – rather than just being friends with people on your course, you get to meet a variety of different people and form friendships based on mutual interests or issues that you’re passionate about, like Fem SOC and that then develops into a sense of community.”
“I’ve made friends for life in the Disney society.”
Thank you to all students who contributed.