23 November 2017 | EQAF Paper

21st Century Student Engagement: Moving beyond a ‘complain-comply’ Culture of Quality Assurance in Higher Education?

Patricia Callaghan, Dale Whelehan


Student Engagement in module and programme evaluation has become a pressing issue in the quality assurance and enhancement of the higher education teaching and learning environment.

The importance of the student voice in the design, implementation and review of programme and module content can be seen through the long established academic structures in Students’ Unions. Despite extensive efforts made by both the student body and academic staff to involve students in the teaching and learning, barriers to meaningful student engagement have cultivated a ‘complain-comply’ culture to quality assurance. This paper is the outcome of action research in Trinity College Dublin that attempts to understand these barriers and how they can be lessened. The research was conducted by the University Academic Secretary and the Students’ Union Education Officer during the academic year 2016-17.


This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.


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