Leeds Arts University in national project to promote belonging through assessment

06 April 2021

Leeds Arts University is working with UAL (University of the Arts London) and The Glasgow School of Art on a new collaborative project to enhance equity in student outcomes. 

The project has received funding from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and is founded on the idea that a sense of belonging is considered one of the most important needs of students in their learning; the pandemic has deepened feelings of ‘unbelonging’ among many higher education students as it has exacerbated existing inequalities.

Over the next 18 months the project, named 'Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion', will look at ways that belonging in creative higher education can be enhanced through compassionate assessment. The collaboration of Leeds Arts University, Glasgow School of Art and UAL will develop important insights and resources that will be published openly for the creative education and wider HE sector.

The project will propose new quality indicators that focus on belonging, compassion and equity, in critique of traditional metrics. It will identify approaches to assessment that nurture belonging through meaningful, compassionate interactions and practices.

Sam Broadhead, Head of Research, Leeds Arts University said, “We are very excited to be part of the Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion project and are looking forward to working with our colleagues from University of the Arts London and Glasgow School of Art. We will instigate a range of activities including a blog and a symposium to explore how student belonging in arts’ assessments practices can address issues of social justice linked to the awarding differentials that exist between white students and students of colour. We welcome the contribution from Leeds Arts University’s educators and students; their expertise and experiences will enrich the conversation.”

Vikki Hill, Educational Developer: Attainment (Identity and Cultural Experience) Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange, UAL said: "We are delighted to have secured the QAA project bid to develop our partnership with colleagues at Glasgow School of Art and Leeds Arts University. We recognise the importance of creating universities that are caring, compassionate and authentic in both policies and practice. We’re really excited to develop this work and to share across UAL and the higher education sector."

You can read more about Belonging through assessment: Pipelines of compassion on the UAL website here