'Our community building and belonging': a student and staff co-creation project

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This article presents an evidence-based case study of a co-creation research project aimed to build and improve a sense of belonging and community through co-created activities, events, and campaigns. Various activities brought together both students and staff across a post-92 university in the North of England. The co-created project gathered empirical data to explore how belonging and community were experienced by students, evaluated the impact of the co-created events and campaigns for students, and highlighted key areas for the university to further develop. These included recommendations for how the university supports students to feel a sense of belonging, the efficacy of its Race Equality Charter action plan addressing differential outcomes, the learning and teaching approach around using co-creation, embedding equity and social justice within both curriculum and student support services, improved communication systems with students, and ensuring the concept of belonging is at the forefront of student experience. The article concludes by highlighting the intrinsic connection to retention, progression, and success for students with feeling a sense belonging in higher education and describes how co-creation can be used for social justice and equity activism to bring about positive changes to benefit a whole university community.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSage Open
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2023


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