We have spent enough time condemning consumerism in education, and now we need to articulate the alternative.
Student engagement is a great concept but it needs to be deployed to radical ends. Among the various concepts that cluster around student engagement, that of ‘partnership’ has gained significant currency.
Students as partners is not just a nice-to-have, it has the potential to help bring about social and educational transformation, as long as we know what we are trying to do and we maintain a critical attitude about the ways the concept is adopted and used.
At its roots partnership is about investing students with the power to co-create, not just knowledge or learning, but the higher education institution itself.
In November 2012, NUS published A Manifesto for Partnership. At the heart of this document is the idea that individual civic engagement is strongest when it comes about through the collective, and that strong students’ unions are core to any understanding of partnerships.
On these pages you will find more information about A Manifesto for Partnership and examples of how different students’ unions are developing local partnership approaches.
NUS is committed to continued work with students’ unions to support the development of partnership approaches. Please do get in touch to tell us what you think about the manifesto and any ideas you have on how we can support you to make partnership a reality. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.