Both a megaphone and a seat at the table: student voice in the development of advising support

Jennie R Blake (University of Manchester)
Emma Sanders (University of Manchester)
Raluca-Elena Valcescu (University of Manchester Student's Union)

Monday, April 8, 2024 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM

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Session Outline

Over the last three years, the University of Manchester has been working to enhance and flex its approaches to advising across the University. At the centre of this work was an acknowledgement that the student voice had to be integrated and elevated throughout the process and within any recommendations, models and evaluation proposed. Although there was significant history of student consultation at the University, in this case the team looking at academic advising wanted to take a different approach, one that ensured the student voice was "heard", that it had a continued impact and that the outputs of all the work advocated for student agency themselves.

This talk will be delivered by representatives from the University and the Manchester Student's Union and trace the holistic and multi-pronged incorporation of the student voice into academic advising policy, practice and evaluation. Drawing directly from inclusive and liberatory practices, student voices were incorporated in original research, overarching policy and training materials for advisors across the institution. (Dollinger et al)(Fielding, M) This allowed Manchester to not only reach "out" to students to hear about their experience, expectation and ideas around advising but also to deliberately build "in" training and models that explicitly value and make space for student agency and leadership within the advising relationship.Although still in a relatively early stage, this process has already shown fruit in "seeding the small" and generating small and contextual culture changes, to support bigger ones to come.(maree brown, a.) The talk will also establish a potential guide for others wishing to put these practices in place in their own institution.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
C5 - How equitable and inclusive environments are created and maintained
R1 - Build advising and tutoring relationships through empathetic listening and compassion for students, and be accessible in ways that challenge, support, nurture, and teach
P2 - Appreciate students’ views and cultures, maintain a student-centred approach and mindset, and treat students with sensitivity and fairness