Involving international postgraduate students in university initiatives – a qualitative investigation into ‘UCL ChangeMakers’

Anastasia Vikhanova, Vanessa Wedi


UCL ChangeMakers is the collaborative initiative launched in 2014 to enhance student learning experience in University College London (UCL), UK. Its aim is to enable students and staff to work together to make changes in the UCL community. In 2016/17, the UCL ChangeMakers initiative struggled to recruit projects from the postgraduate (PG) student population; however, postgrads are believed to have brought exceptionally valuable ideas into the initiative. The current study aimed to investigate the general image of the UCL ChangeMakers initiative among the UCL PG population and identify potential areas of improvement for attracting more PG students into the scheme. Two focus groups were conducted with current international PGs participating in the UCL ChangeMakers programme and international PGs from the general UCL population. The results included a discussion on current UCL PG ChangeMakers’ experiences, the image of the initiative among the general PG UCL population and suggestions for promotion of and improvements to the initiative. Furthermore, recommendations for postgraduate involvement in university initiatives were made.


Education; Connected Curriculum; Student Initiative; Student-Staff Partnership

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