Students

NSS Q26 – “The students’ union (association or guild) effectively represents students’ academic interests.”

NSS Q26 – “The students’ union (association or guild) effectively represents students’ academic interests.”

Union Futures Project: With the publication of an amended National Student Survey (NSS) questionnaire for 2017, and a new question (Q26) for students’ unions, in October 2016 we launched our first Union Futures project bringing together 18 students’ unions as part of a joint research venture to inform and enable a proactive response to the new NSS question. In a…
“What does a tick mean?!” Exploring poor experiences of assessment and feedback through student experience research

“What does a tick mean?!” Exploring poor experiences of assessment and feedback through student experience research

Since the advent of the National Student Survey (NSS) assessment and feedback has received consistently lower ratings compared to other areas, however concerns in this area have been highlighted in institutional experience surveys going as far back as the late 1980s. The result is neither good for students nor good for institutions facing increased pressure from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). …
Student mental health: Being well, doing well

Student mental health: Being well, doing well

At Alterline we pride ourselves on knowing what students are thinking and experiencing; what they love about student life and what’s going wrong. Over the last few years there’s one theme that has grown impossible to ignore and we’re passionate about helping to address – student mental health. In this article, we take a look at the current research on…
Why university libraries are becoming more coffee shop and less text book

Why university libraries are becoming more coffee shop and less text book

Students spend a lot of time in the university library, but is the experience what it should be? Alterline Research Director Ben Hickman explains how university libraries can help student experience in a world where tuition fees may soon be linked to the Teaching Excellence Framework. Customers.  It’s not a word often used to describe university students. But rises in…

New project announcement:

Understanding the digital behaviour and experiences of students at the University of Sheffield Library

The University of Sheffield Library has commissioned Alterline to deliver an in-depth qualitative study investigating students’ and academics’ experiences of their digital offer. The project will combine ethnographic observation, interviews and focus groups and will culminate in a report which explores current behaviours, identifies key areas for improvement and maps users’ needs and expectations. The Library will use the evidence to shape their digital strategy and improve user experiences.

New project announcement:

University of Glasgow

We are thrilled to announce a new project with the University of Glasgow. Working with the Student Services Team we are supporting them in developing an innovative model for delivering services, help and support in the new space. Keen to put students at the heart of the process, the Student Services team has commissioned Alterline to run a series of focus groups with students to explore their current experiences of campus services and future aspirations for the Learning and Teaching Hub.

New project announcement:

London South Bank University – The next stage of ‘Redefining alumni relations’

In 2015 Alterline were commissioned by the Alumni Relations team at London South Bank University (LSBU) to conduct research with internal stakeholders and alumni that would help reposition them as an important contributor to the University (click here to read more).

We’re delighted to announce we will be taking the lead on the next stage of ‘Redefining alumni relations’  at LSBU, by providing an in-depth, qualitative understanding of the lives of alumni. The new project will generate richer insights and capture the lived experiences of alumni before, throughout and after their time at the institution. The research report and subsequent documentary-style videos will be used to inform strategies for engagement with alumni and give current students an understanding of how the university fits into their wider lives and career goals.

Manchester student life – research to support the Union’s strategic plan

Manchester student life – research to support the Union’s strategic plan

  Alterline’s research and consultancy support, alongside their ground breaking segmentation were instrumental in the development of our new strategic plan. They brought real insight and challenge to the process and transformed our understanding and relationship with our students.Ben Ward - Union Director   With over 43,000 students the University of Manchester Students’ Union has the largest membership of any…
Understanding students’ lives, improving student experience

Understanding students’ lives, improving student experience

We believe that the fundamental key to improving students’ university experiences is to first of all understand their lives! Today’s students lead busy lives and we’ll only understand what they want or think about the services they use if we know more about both the context and the detail of what they do.To do this we use a range of…
The Power of Ethnography: Driving improvements in university libraries

The Power of Ethnography: Driving improvements in university libraries

  Ethnography literally means ‘a portrait of a people’. An ethnography is a written description of a particular culture – the customs, beliefs, and behaviour – based on information collected through fieldwork.Marvin Harris - Anthropologist   Developed from the academic discipline of cultural anthropology, ethnography is the study of people in their natural environment. It is increasingly being used by…