Research Output
Student Belonging Good Practice Guide
  This Good Practice Guide offers a toolkit and a conversation starter for anyone working in higher education (HE) who is thinking about embarking on a student belonging project. As well as sharing hints and tips, it draws upon student belonging insights via case studies, an extended literature review and student voice. We aim to provide those of you working within student partnerships or with a professional interest in student engagement easy access to key definitions and debates in the field of student belonging. As this guide provides a shorthand to the contexts of student belonging, we anticipate readers may wish to use the ideas presented here during your curriculum planning or project setting phase, to ensure student voice, orientation and partnership working are at the core of your academic lifecycles and institutional activity preparations. We hope this guide will help you to facilitate communication, influence policy and encourage focus and investment in student engagement in your institution. We believe in being inclusive so much of what you read below will describe student belonging and engagement through this lens.

Through our case studies this guide will touch on key themes aligned to student belonging and engagement: student voice, student-staff collaborative working, transitions and orientation, the student journey/lifecycle. These cases are a work in progress – we don’t have all the answers (yet) but we do hope it will be useful to those of you who are looking to explore methods to gain further insights into student mattering, engagement and identity. We will discuss initial findings and the next steps that the partner institutions have adopted but in the main these case studies will set the scene for others wishing to follow suit. Throughout the case studies we offer tools for colleagues in higher education institutions (HEI) to use – these include pre-arrival survey questions, and activities to harness self-perceived student identity and attachment to the university. However, these are not prescriptive; we recognise that each institution will need – and should, in the name of good practice – use these as conversation starters or prompts for approaches that are specific and tailored to your institution and its unique student body.

This guide is the output of a RAISE Network-funded project, in partnership with Teesside University, Edinburgh Napier University and Nottingham Trent University. Researching Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement (RAISE) is a worldwide network of staff and students in HE who work or have an interest in the research and promotion of student engagement

  • Type:

    Research Report

  • Date:

    05 February 2024

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Garden, C., Watchman Smith, N., Naughton, C., Skelton, F., Calabrese, P., Hunter, L., …Azam, F. (2024). Student Belonging Good Practice Guide. RAISE Network (Researching, Advancing & Inspiring Student Engagement)



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