Student Experience Strategy 2021-26

Our holistic approach to the student experience

At QMU, we aim to offer an environment in which our students can thrive, where they can develop themselves academically, professionally and personally, and where they are prepared for successful and fulfilling careers, further study, and other opportunities. 

Co-created with our Students’ Union and students from across the University, our Student Experience Strategy sets out our holistic approach to this, encompassing the learner journey; employability, quality enhancement, innovation in learning, teaching and assessment, and health and wellbeing.  

You can find out more about our Student Experience Strategy on this page.

Student Experience Strategy

Executive Summary of the Strategy

The QMU Student Experience Strategy is concerned with the holistic student experience. This encompasses both the student learning experience, and aspects of the wider student experience that support and complement student learning. The Strategy is relevant for all of our students based in Edinburgh, as well as distance learning students and students at our partner institutions around the world.

The Student Experience Strategy for the period 2021-2026 has been developed in partnership between the University and the Students’ Union, drawing on the outcome of consultation and co-creation with students and staff. Embracing and extending this ‘Students as Partners’ approach will be fundamental to our plans for implementation of the Strategy, and students and staff will work collectively to deliver this.

Principles Underpinning the Strategy

Our overarching principles for the student experience are listed below. These are inter-related and of equal importance.

  • All QMU students experience a transformative journey through outstanding learning and teaching and co- and extra-curricular opportunities that enable them to achieve their individual goals and enhance their well-being.
  • We share individual and collective responsibility for enhancing and placing the student experience at the heart of our thinking and practice.
  • We establish, maintain and contribute to communities and a learning environment that supports our students to flourish and succeed and actively influences wider society.

The principles are aligned with the objectives established in our overarching institutional Strategic Plan, and which are reflected in other reference points such as our Outcome Agreement with the Scottish Funding Council.

The accompanying infographic summarises core themes and action headings (key areas of focus) within the Student Experience Strategy. A prioritised Strategy Delivery Plan, will support the translation of strategy into practice. This will be iterated and monitored on an annual basis by the Student Experience Committee.

As the infographic  shows, key areas of priority are presented under one of five action headings:

  • The learner journey
  • Employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Quality enhancement
  • Innovation in learning, teaching and assessment
  • Healthy Universities

These are supported by three overarching themes of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; Students as Partners; and Sustainability and Social Justice that cut across the student experience during the period of Strategy. These themes are fundamental to the delivery of an outstanding student experience, and underpin all of our actions and activities.

Student Experience Strategy 2021-26: Actions

These actions are underpinned by a detailed delivery plan, which is subject to annual review, evaluation and prioritisation through the Student Experience Committee. Our actions under each of the headings will be informed by our experiences during COVID-19, drawing on good practice and learning from positive as well as negative experiences.

The learner journey

  • Provide high quality and personalised support to all students as they transition from pre-entry through to graduation and beyond.
  • Map a range of learner journeys to enhance signposting to available support, resources and campus facilities.
  • Develop, promote and recognise learning (Graduate Attributes) achieved through co- and extra-curricular activities.

Healthy universities

  • Create a culture that enables healthy learning and practice.
  • Create a physical and online environment conducive to positive mental and physical health.
  • Develop practices that enable healthy communication, engagement and community building.

Innovation in learning, teaching and assessment

  • Develop mechanisms for capturing, learning from and sharing good practice in LTA, including experiences of LTA during COVID.
  • Provide a flexible and technology rich approach to support student learning and engagement.
  • Support the development of inclusive curricula and authentic assessment approaches that reflect the culture, values and strengths of QMU and promote application of learning in real world situations.

Quality enhancement

  • Develop our Quality Enhancement Framework plus associated resources and support to ensure continued alignment with QMU and sector priorities.
  • Maximise staff and student engagement with quality enhancement activities.
  • Build on existing good practice in representation/closing the feedback loop.

Employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship

  • Implement the Employability Strategy and Graduate Attributes across all programmes and wider student experience activities.
  • Support and encourage development of enterprise skills to foster employability and entrepreneurship in graduates.
  • Encourage creation of ventures with social impact through support and promotion of social entrepreneurship.

Themes: 1) Sustainability & Social Justice 2) Equality, Diversity & Inclusion 3) Students as Partners

  • Embed the themes across Academic Development and Programme Review activities, and within professional services, adopting a co-creation approach with students and staff.
  • Develop Curriculum Champions (students and staff) for the themes.
  • Support and encourage students and staff to role model the themes.