Publication image

Resources and Information on Student Partnership in Higher Education to better understand the evidence base for partnership and for those considering publishing their work

The StudentShapers scheme is developed on the basis of the Learning and Teaching Strategy adopting an evidence based approach to our education at Imperial. A range of recent literature on the subject of working with students as partners in Higher Education demonstrates the value to both staff and students and achieving institutional goals in adopting this approach.

StudentShapers has been developed jointly between Imperial College and Imperial College Union and is managed by the Education Office. Associated scholarly activity on the theme of Students as Partners is an objective of the scheme and is linked to the college’s Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship.

Publishing your Student Partnership work 

Curriculum Development work or educational research undertaken in a staff-student partnership often yields results that may be able to make a useful contribution to the scholarly literature on students as partners in higher education. Maintaining the partnership through to publication can also further enhance the benefits of the partnership.  

For staff and students undertaking a curriculum development project reporting novel or new ways of teaching within a discipline may be relevant, especially when supported with a robust evaluation of implementation. For example see the work by Esat Alpay and colleagues on developing a new learning tool within engineering, or an article from the Department of Chemical Engineering, authored by staff and student partners on new educational design approaches within laboratory based subjects:: 

  • E. Alpay & S. Gulati (2010) Student-led podcasting for engineering education, European Journal of Engineering Education, 35:4, 415-427, (Link)

For research students the integration of new research into an effective teaching exercise or process may also be a valuable additional aspect of a project. For example see the work by Imperial PhD student Mitch D’Arcy, published with his supervisor and research group collaborators on translating a research experiment into a relevant undergraduate exercise: 

  • D’Arcy M., Bullough F., Moffat C., Borgomeo E., Teh M., Vilar R. & Weiss, D.J. (2013) Adsorption of Oxy-Anions in the Teaching Laboratory: An Experiment to Study a Fundamental Environmental Engineering Problem. Journal of Chemical Education91(4), 505-51 (Link)

For Imperial College staff or students planning to present an aspect of your work in the area of student partnership, please get in touch so that we can support your activities. A list of education related journals is available here.

The evidence base for a partnership approach: Literature on Students as Partners

For staff or students interested in reading more on the background and literature on student partnership in Higher Education there are some key papers and publications linked below. 

A more comprehensive set of references on student partnership is on Professor Mick Healey's Resources Page: access the bibliography here.Mick also gave a keynote presentation at the 2015 Education day; a summary of the day and panopto recording can be accessed here:

Evaluation and research of StudentShapers

An educational research project is underway to evaluate StudentShapers, with the intention of improving the programme whilst also contributing to the literature and understanding of staff-student partnership in higher education.  All partners in approved projects, whether staff or student, have been invited to contribute via a project report form and questionnaire upon completion of their project. 


Further information can be found here: Information for participants



  • Bovill, C. (2017) A Framework to Explore Roles Within Student-staff Partnerships in Higher Education: Which Students Are Partners, When, and in What Ways?  International Journal for Students as Partners, 1 (1) (Link)
  • Curran, R., (2017) Students as partners—good for students, good for staff: A study on the impact of partnership working and how this translates to improved student-staff engagement. International Journal for Students as Partners, 1(2). (Link)

  • Healey, M Flint, A and Harrington, K (2014) Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education, York: Higher Education Academy (Link)
  • Matthews, K. E., Dwyer, A., Hine, L., & Turner, J. (2018). Conceptions of students as partners. Higher Education, 1-15. (Link)
  • Mercer-Mapstone, L., Dvorakova, L.S., Matthews, K.E., Abbot, S., Cheng, B., Felten, P., Knorr, K., Marquis, E., Shammas, R., & Swaim, K. (2017) A Systematic Literature Review of Students as Partners in Higher Education, International Journal for Students as Partners 1 (1) (Journal Link)
  • Taylor, Carol. "A guide to ethics and student engagement through partnership." Higher Education Academy: York (Link)