University College London
UCL is a large, research-intensive university based in the centre of London. It has close to 40,000 students, the majority of whom are postgraduate. It aims to create cultures of student engagement and leadership by building on the student academic representative system and the UCL ChangeMakers programme so that students are involved in all aspects of quality assurance and enhancement work at the university, work as consultants on curriculum development projects and have the opportunity to imagine, articulate and initiate improvements to education.

For more information, contact Dr Jenny Marie - Principle Teaching Fellow – Centre for Advancing Learning and Teaching

Project lead: Jenny Marie –

Project team: Claudia Balseca, Cristian Gutierrez, Tejas Joshi, Abbie King, Sally MacKenzie, Jenny Marie, Steve Rowett, Alex Standen, Moira Wright

The project

The UCL project is designed to establish ‘hard to reach’ students as an important discussion point within UCL, and to better locate such students (whether undergraduate, postgraduate taught or postgraduate research students) by collecting together and using data more effectively than has been achieved until now. This includes using a variety of institutional data and interviews to identify non-participants in a wide range of university activities. Qualitative data will also be collected in order to establish the causes of lower levels of engagement within particular areas of the institution. This will be achieved by interviewing key stakeholders (including students) across the university.

This research activity is expected to provide a far richer understanding of who ‘hard to reach students’ are and, alongside this, to support the development of strategies for how to address lower levels of engagement. Given the broad scope of the project, lessons will be learned that are relevant to a number of contexts. The empirical aspect will draw in a wide range of stakeholders with whom findings will be shared, along with other institutions in the REACT network and beyond. In addition, the project team has responsibility for different areas of enhancing the student experience and findings will be applied within each of these areas.

The role of REACT

REACT is providing support for collecting and analysing research data; for the development of tools to address student disengagement; for sharing ideas throughout the network; and for providing data from across the sector to contextualise the story at UCL.

Playful methods of gathering data on ‘hard to reach’ students

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ChangeMakers Partnership Projects

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UCL ChangeMakers supporting departments

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ChangeMakers Student Reviewers of Teaching

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