The University of Winchester is leading the way in the field of Student Engagement in Higher Education.

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About us

The Centre for Student Engagement provides services for and research into the field of Student Engagement in Higher Education, in which the University of Winchester is leading the sector and international practice.

Student Engagement has come to mean many things to many people and institutions. It has been linked to student participation, involvement, commitment, effort and motivation; to Student Unions and to academic study; to developing new relationships between staff and students. Student Engagement is a growing academic discipline relating to practices such as student engagement in university processes such a: student representation, student voice, co-design, students as partners and peer support, and research areas such as students’ sense of belonging, student development and enhancing students’ experiences.

This centre is therefore dedicated to helping to improve and facilitate good practice to ensure a better experience for students studying at the University of Winchester, and to be able to share this practice across Higher Education Institutions nationally and internationally.

Who we are and what we do

Meet the team

Core Team

Tom Lowe, Centre for Student Engagement Manager

Main research interests:

  • Practicalities of student engagement schemes in Higher Education
  • Student development in Higher Education
  • Facilitating a sense of belonging in Higher Education

Find out more about Tom

Maisha Islam, Centre for Student Engagement Administrator

Main research interests:

  • BAME and Religious Student Experience
  • Sense of Belonging in Higher Education
  • Inclusive Student Engagement Practice

Email Maisha

Visiting Fellows

Dr Catherine Bovill, Senior Lecturer in Student Engagement, University of Edinburgh

Prof Colin Bryson, Director of Combined Honours Centre, Newcastle University


Sam Jenkins, Volunteering and Community Officer at Winchester Student Union

Main research interests:

  • Student engagement in volunteering and fundraising
  • Student engagement in social action and participation 
  • Student engagement in digital and employability skill development

Email Sam

Savannah King, Student and Alumni Communications Officer

Main research interests:

  • Experiences of international students and alumni
  • Partnership – between students and institution, alumni and institution and students and alumni
  • The role of communications in student engagement, satisfaction, attainment, retention and pride

Email Savannah

Maria Moxey, Sports Facilities Operational Supervisor

Main research interests:

  • The value of sport as a form of student engagement at University
  • Sport, identity & a sense of belonging
  • Subcultural sport & gender identity

Email Maria

Cassie Lowe, Learning and Teaching Enhancement Officer

Main research interests:

  • Undergraduate Research
  • Students as Partners
  • Student Voice

Find out more about Cassie

Postgraduate Certificate in Student Engagement in Higher Education

The Student Engagement in Higher Education course offers an opportunity to learn from sector experts from Winchester’s world leading practice and recently established Centre for Student Engagement with internally recognised Visiting Fellows. Students are provided with the opportunity to develop an applicable knowledge and critical understanding of theory and practice surrounding Student Engagement to be equipped to become a more applicable practitioner in diverse settings.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Certificate in Student Engagement in Higher Education course

The ‘Get Involved’ Project: a signposting service for student opportunities

The ‘Get Involved’ signposting service brings together all of the opportunities available to students at Winchester in a single accessible platform. With over 140 opportunities to dive into, this online service provides students with a ‘one-stop-shop’ to explore sports teams, extra-curricular activities and campus employment by browsing at leisure to increase accessibility for students at Winchester.

To find out more about student opportunities available at Winchester, you can browse through the Get Invloved list.

REACT (Realising Engagement through Active Culture Transformation)

The REACT programme was a £304,000 catalyst-funded project from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) designed to make a significant impact on student engagement and the student experience in the Higher Education (HE) sector in England and Wales over a two-year period, from July 2015 to July 2017. The focus was on the engagement of so-called ‘hard to reach’ students.

The programme comprised:

  • Investigation into the term ‘hard to reach’ and a consideration of which students are characterised in this way;
  • A formal research project looking at links between student engagement, retention and attainment;
  • A development programme as a collaboration between fifteen UK universities.

For more information, visit the REACT website.


Research into Muslim students' engagement in Higher Education

This research project was conducted by the Centre for Student Engagement in partnership with Dr Gary Jones, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, to expand the institutional understanding and knowledge surrounding sense of belonging and student experiences of Muslim students at Winchester. The number of Muslim students entering Higher Education is slowly rising, with the University of Winchester following this trend. Currently, there are an estimated 330,000 Muslim students in HE and FE in the UK; this number is expected to grow, especially in terms of young Muslim women.

Little is known about Muslim students’ HE experiences, with limited published reports surrounding religious student groups and wider BAME research identifying that universities are still struggling to identify tangible steps to enhance BAME attainment and retention. The Centre for Student Engagement interviewed 20% of Winchester’s Muslim student population to investigate their sense of belonging, and beyond curriculum engagement with wider activities at the institution.

For more information on this study, you can read the published paper here or email Maisha Islam for more updates on the project.