87 research outputs found

    Obesity

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    Transition to higher education : prospective and retrospective student experiences

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    Pre-university (foundation or Level 3) study attracts significant student numbers annually, but approximately 10% of successful Level 3 students do not progress into their university degrees. This project aimed to identify the experiences of current and previous Level 3 students, using questionnaires and focus groups to explore differences by gender, ethnicity and intention to study. One hundred and two current and 56 previous level 3 students participated. Those who felt part of the university were significantly more likely to agree that the foundation course met their expectations. Personal support from academic staff, was highly ranked by students in all year groups, peaking in the final year. Despite considerable student diversity, the foundation year met expectations. However this was significantly lower for Black students compared with other ethnicities, which needs further exploration. Fostering ‘belonging’ to university is important for foundation year students to improve retention rates into their degree courses

    Student perceptions of belonging at university : a qualitative perspective

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    Belonging is multidimensional, personal and geographical in nature. Establishing a sense of belonging benefits students and institutions. This study sought to explore aspects of belonging from the student perspective. Data were collected using open text boxes within a questionnaire and an optional focus group. A total of 617 students participated of whom 85% completed the questionnaire. One focus group with 3 participants was held. Qualitative data highlighted personal and social aspects of belonging, and the benefits of belonging for successful study. The importance of belonging was not agreed universally but most students identified it as important, and felt that they personally belonged. Understanding what belonging means and what influences it is important to enhance student engagement and retention

    Exploring self-assessments in university undergraduate students : how accurate are they?

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    Self-assessment, whereby students are actively engaged in assessing the quality of their work, has been shown to benefit them. It is not routinely carried out in all institutions. This pilot study aimed to explore the extent to which students chose to engage with self-assessment when invited to do so, and how accurate they were when they did. A short pilot tool including qualitative and quantitative elements, was circulated to students within a school of the largest faculty of Kingston University. Students completed the self-assessment and submitted it with their completed assignments. Actual grades achieved were compared with self-assessments. Qualitative data were analysed using basic thematic analysis. The highest average marks achieved were in the group who correctly self-assessed their work. More students incorrectly self-assessed than correctly assessed their work, and almost a third of students did not engage with the activity. Those who incorrectly over-assessed their work had average marks similar to those that did not engage with the activity, significantly lower than the average marks achieved by the incorrect under-assessors and the correct self-assessment groups. Correct self-assessing students were more specific about the skills they demonstrated and the support they used for their assignments

    Food insecurity among students: why does it matter and how should universities address it?

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    Food insecurity (FI) is a major concern, particularly affecting those on low incomes, students included. FI may affect student attendance, engagement and sense of belonging to the university. A short survey about the cost-of-living crisis in a large London widening-participation university received 1090 student responses and these expressed high levels of concern. We contend that universities must help alleviate FI among their students. We accept that offering practical help to students may require significant continuing investment. Utilising existing community support within the context of a mutually beneficial relationship could reduce the burden on institutions and, in exchange, could offer in-kind support to the local community.

    Chicken soup for the soul: promoting well-being and belonging through food and cultural competence skills.

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    This conference paper asked a question - What does well-being and belonging in Teaching and Learning Development look like in practice? The paper presentation focused on two Kingston University initiatives to develop and enhance students’ sense of well-being and belonging: Cultural Food Stories and Cultural Competence skills workshops were explored in the session to create a conversation about how Learning Developers could move into the extra-curricular space to create a sense of belonging through communal dining. Food is universal and has cultural and social meanings (Dunbar, 2017). During the physical separation experienced throughout the pandemic, the Cultural Food Stories initiative explored whether recipe and story sharing could enhance staff and student belonging, while simultaneously honouring cultural diversity. Given the importance of belonging in enhancing student learning, engagement and retention (Tinto, 2017), this is highly pertinent. To enhance student success, it is also essential to equip students with the skills they need to appreciate how cultural differences and similarities help to enhance personal and professional interactions rather than to stereotype or marginalise. The Cultural Competence skills initiative creates tailored workshops to support students’ ability to understand and respect their own and others’ cultural background and values. These strategies help to equip our students with the resilience and skills needed to thrive and be successful professionals in their future careers. In our paper, we argue that wellbeing and belonging are key tools for developing students learning and can be easily incorporated into educational practice. By inviting diverse students to participate within each of these initiatives, their cultural heritage is not only welcomed but also acknowledged explicitly. Attendees will leave with a practical toolkit to embed our Cultural Food Stories and Cultural Competence skills initiatives as part of their teaching and learning practice and devise associated activities that enhance professional development skills and better support all our students, regardless of background

    Using food-related images to enhance belonging in university staff and students

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    Food has multiple roles within individuals’ lives, with potential to bridge gaps between different groups and enhance belonging. This project sought to explore through food-related images submitted by staff and students, the themes and values identified, and explore whether taking part enhanced belonging at university. Data were collected using a questionnaire and optional interviews. The questionnaire included demographic information, food-related questions and a link to upload a food-related image. University staff and students were invited to participate by email. A total of 23 staff and 67 students completed questionnaires, and 13 interviews (4 staff and 9 student) were completed. Multiple themes were identified. These included food as an evocation of place, time and people; food in relation to tradition; the use of food to bring people together and to share, and food-related skills such as cooking and growing. Health and wider themes such as the environment and global warming were also highlighted. Demographic and study/work characteristics had little impact on either food-related beliefs and behaviours or sense of belonging at the institution. Participation increased sense of belonging in 39% of staff and 49.3% of student participants; it was not decreased in any
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