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Student engagement and enhancement through research and scholarship

Peter K. McGregor (Cornwall College, Newquay, UK)
Jason Birt (Cornwall College, Newquay, UK)
Kelly Haynes (Cornwall College, Newquay, UK)
Ruth J. Martin (Cornwall College, Newquay, UK)
Lawrence J. Moores (Cornwall College, Newquay, UK)
Nicola J. Morris (Cornwall College, Newquay, UK)
Brender Willmott (Cornwall College, Newquay, UK)
Andrew C. Smart (Cornwall College, Newquay, UK)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 9 February 2015




A significant (8-18 per cent) proportion of higher education (HE) students in the UK are hosted by colleges. The quality of college HE provision has been questioned. The purpose of this paper is to present the case studies showing an HE ethos and student scholarship in a college environment from two levels of degree, three areas of science and contexts from submission to government consultations to tropical fieldwork, and from event organisation to volunteering.


Five case studies are presented, each of which was developed and delivered by a subset of the authors (see biographies for details). During delivery, individual staff developed opinions on the success of components of the approaches; these were discussed with co-deliverers, other authors/staff members and degree programme external examiners during the academic year. The information reported in this manuscript is a composite of these views.


All of the case studies were designed to have elements of HE ethos and student scholarship that contribute towards a high-quality student experience. The extensive links with potential employers and outside professionals help to ensure student engagement with real world issues and provide opportunities for individual enhancement, often through extracurricular activities.


The range of case studies presented here indicates the potential for engagement and enhancement in a college HE context; it also indicates the college-wide culture of progression and scholarship. Whilst the details are necessarily specific, the diversity of the case studies indicates the potential of the approaches outlined in other subjects.



The authors thank: the FdSc and BSc students at Cornwall College Newquay for their willingness to engage in the case studies described in this paper and for their help in developing the approaches; their academic and support colleagues for their support; Danau Girang Field Station and Cardiff University for hosting the field trip; and their industry partners for continued collaboration.


McGregor, P.K., Birt, J., Haynes, K., Martin, R.J., Moores, L.J., Morris, N.J., Willmott, B. and Smart, A.C. (2015), "Student engagement and enhancement through research and scholarship", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 86-94.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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