Staff-student partnerships: power and opportunity

Sarah Pittaway


Over recent years, partnership has become a key issue in the Higher Education landscape.  The Change Agents’ Network Conference 2018 showcased a host of exciting partnerships and some prompted delegates to consider the underpinning power dynamics behind them.  This piece outlines some of these issues and goes further to explore how equitable partnership opportunities are, and ending with a call to action, asks who we might unintentionally be leaving behind.


partnership; student engagement; widening participation

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Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and Archives and Records Association (ARA) (2015). A study of the UK information workforce: mapping the library, archives, records, information management, knowledge management and related professions. Available at: (Accessed 22 May 2018)

NUS (2015). A manifesto for partnership. Available at: (Accessed 22 May 2018)

Pittaway, S. (2016). ‘Students as partners in recruitment’, SCONUL Focus, 65, 40-43. Available at: (Accessed 22 May 2018)

Pittaway, S. (2018), ‘Can students contribute to the recruitment of staff? New approaches to partnership working at the University of Worcester’. In: Change Agent Network Conference 2018: Championing Student-Staff Partnerships in an Age of Change, 19-20 April 2018, University of Winchester. Available at: (Accessed 22 May 2018)

Shah, D. (2018). What do we really mean by “partnership work”? Available at: (Accessed 22 May 2018)

Shotts, J. and R. Taylor-Long, Reflections on CAN 2018. Available at: (Accessed 22 May 2018)



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