Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fourth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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A Grassroots, Practical Response to Student Belonging through Learning and Teaching Experiences
Rachel Wilson, Gabrielle Murray, Bronwyn Clarke

Last modified: 24-05-2018

Abstract


RMIT University is Australia’s second largest higher education provider and has a very diverse student body. Taking a holistic approach and capturing the entire student life cycle, the RMIT Belonging Strategy outlines a rationale and plan for delivering belonging interventions across the whole institution. An institution wide strategy requires economic, political and global considerations; however, as grass-roots academics, our work is informed by the philosophy that education can affect positive communitarian and individual change, and that meaningful and authentic relations with staff and students enable genuine collaboration and growth (Chickering, Dalton, & Stamm, 2006; Kreber, 2013). Guided by these principles, we identified five drivers that impact student belonging at the university, and proposed a measurement framework to form an ‘index’ of belonging that can be tracked and reported. This paper focuses on the innovative and collaborative work of developing an enterprise wide strategy for inclusive belonging and presents a roadmap of the process. We argue that grassroots, practical responses through learning experience interventions have the greatest potential to influence student engagement.

 


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