New Student Experience and Engagement Themed Network successfully proposed by Josh Gulrajani

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new Themed Network; Student Experience and Engagement. You can sign up to get involved in this network by editing your details in My AUA and selecting it from the drop down menu.

This network was proposed by Josh Gulrajani, who will also be the inaugural Network Coordinator. We asked Josh to share a little bit about himself and his vision for the network going forward.

Josh’s background

I started my law degree at the University of Essex in September 2013, with the plan to enter corporate law once I completed my degree. That all changed when I was elected as my Students’ Union’s VP Education in 2016. I’ve kept with the higher education theme since, working first at King’s College London in Quality Assurance and Student Experience, and now as the Student Experience Analyst at Bath Spa University, where I am the primary staff member focused on student experience data, insights and analysis.

I’ve been a member of the AUA since February 2018 – the first point at which a membership was financially viable for me – and am currently undertaking the AUA PgCert, due to complete in April 2019.

Network developments

This new Student Experience and Engagement Network will aim to bring together staff within this field of university administration, as well as those that aren’t but wish to understand how their role directly and indirectly impacts the student experience. The hope is to provide a platform for discussion and sharing, a collective to meet and network, and a voice to project into the HE sector at large. The overall aims, as I see it, four-fold.

Share: An opportunity for university administrators working in the fields of student experience and engagement to share best practice, methods of working, and approaches to enhancing the student experience for all types of students from all walks of life. This aim is with a specific note that different provider types approach enhancing the student experience in very different ways, and everyone has something to learn from each other.

Learn: An opportunity for any individual working in university administration to learn about this newly-emerging, very much unique part of the sector. No other role within university administration has the ability to collaborate with such a wide range of stakeholders, while maintaining a level of student-facing contact and engaging in all levels of university governance. This is an opportunity for all members to develop their understanding of student experience and engagement.

Collaborate: This is an opportunity to identify members across the various parts of the UK interested in student experience. Working with the regional network coordinators and institutional advocates, I hope this network creates opportunities for members to work across their institution, but also across multiple institutions, creating innovative projects to better the student experience for all.

Contribute: This themed network is representing an area not currently represented by any formal HE body, and so this brings an opportunity to engage with the wider sector discussions on the student experience, and various groups of underrepresented students. Over the coming months, this network will be contacting organisations such as AMOSSHE, RAISE, the Office for Students and QAA, to provide network members with an opportunity to engage with the wider sector.

More information regarding the network will be revealed in due course. You can also keep an eye out at the Annual Conference for some publicity on the network.

Do you think you could be the Deputy Network Coordinator for this network? Perhaps you have an idea for an event or piece of work for the network to focus on? If so, please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!

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