On Wednesday June 3, 2020, staff and students at Plymouth Marjon University virtually celebrated the pilot year of its Change Maker project.
The project involved eight students employed by the university, each with an individual task to improve student experiences at Marjon.
Known as the change makers, the students were given 50 hours paid work to research, plan and deliver their projects. They were supported by volunteer staff members.
The work carried out by the change makers involved: setting up a student peer support network, enhancing employability advice, gaining better access to specific university facilities, and improving the student colleague and mature student experience.
Each project was student led, with a focus on developing critical thinking, engaging in two-way learning with their staff volunteers and working towards the values of the university.
Following the online celebration event, Student Engagement Officer and project lead, Laura Butler said: “I could not have asked for a better outcome from the pilot year of this project.
“Every one of our change makers has fully engaged with the process, from recruiting, training days, research and presenting their findings.
“I am confident when I say that all of our change makers have implemented positive change and that the Change Maker project will continue in the next academic year.”
The event recognised the achievements of the student led projects and Marjon have committed to acting on the findings presented. Some of which are:
- The launch of a student-volunteer mental health support platform.
- Students will soon receive course and job specific employability advice sessions on their timetables.
- A study into improving university access for mature students is with the campus architects for action.
- Improvements are underway to enhance a break room used by students.
- The launch of a student managed TikTok profile which supports new students with the transition to university life.
Third year Youth and Community Work student, Joe Lynch, was the driving force behind launching the support platform, The Listening Post, for students. After the celebration he commented:
“I wanted to become a Change Maker as I already had a project I wanted to set up.
“I enjoyed the experience, being able to set a goal and being my own leader really helped me to understand the process better.
“Setting up something that not only actively supports others, but also to help those who are developing as professionals in their degrees is extremely rewarding.
“I would like to see my project continue after I have left Marjon and I hope students see its potential and further develop on The Listening Post themselves. I want it to be a collaborative effort led by students and accompanied by staff in giving the Marjon community support in the best way possible.”
The success of the Change Maker project comes hand in hand with Marjon’s latest achievement, ranking first in England for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2021.
To find out more about why Marjon is ranked first for student satisfaction in England, click here.
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