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AMOSSHE Insight: community development activities

This project, undertaken by the University of Stirling, identifies and pilots activities that support community development within the transient student population, identifying the infrastructures, frameworks and resources required for the sustainable development of community within university accommodation.

Project leader: Joanne McManus, Head of Accommodation Service, University of Stirling.

Total award from AMOSSHE, with support from Unite Students: £3,500.

University of StirlingFind out more about the project:

Context

AMOSSHE Insight

AMOSSHE, in collaboration with Unite Students, is supporting a series of member-led projects related to the theme “student resilience in an accommodation setting”. 

These projects extend sector knowledge about how Student Services professionals can develop student resilience, specifically within a student accommodation setting, and contribute to the development of a sector-wide student resilience toolkit.

Unite Students

Aims and objectives

The aim of this project is to evaluate activities that will support the wellbeing of students in university accommodation. As the student community in university accommodation is transient, the project will not only seek to identify the factors that contribute to success, but also map the organisational framework that will support the sustainability of activities with a new community each year. The activities will focus on the external factors of social integration, support networks and social relationships. The project will be supported by the University of Stirling’s Students’ Union, and the students will be directly involved in identifying activities.

The project has these objectives:

  • To engage with the student community and to identify a range of community-focused activities that will enhance social interaction and help students build positive social relationships and/or make support networks more accessible.
  • To pilot three or four of the activities with the student community.
  • To evaluate the impact of the activities on participants’ resilience and the feeling of community within the wider student population in accommodation.
  • To map a framework of the institutional support required to facilitate community development and student resilience in the university accommodation community.
  • To make recommendations for the further development of community and resilience amongst students.

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Methodology

The project will utilise methods used in action research to work with students to investigate what they feel is important in a successful, respectful, inclusive and diverse student community, and to identify and pilot activities that will positively influence the development of this community.

The evaluation methods will be determined by the type of activities, but may include measuring uptake of activities amongst different groups of students, measuring access to formal support networks, and surveying the participants and others for feedback. Project leaders will be encouraged to critically reflect on outcomes, and in particular the role the institution can play in facilitating the ongoing development of the community amongst students in student accommodation.    

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Intended outputs

The project outputs / products will include:

  • A written report on the project findings, including a case study and recommendations for action and further research.
  • A framework of institutional support, to allow for sustainability and scalability of activities going forward given the transient nature of the student population.

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AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is a UK non-profit professional association. Company registration number 4778650.
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