In the first of our podcast series, The Common Room, Miriam Rahali talks to three students, Arya, Brian, and Erica, about their role and impact as LSE Change Makers, a new initiative introduced to foster student-led research and engagement
“I found the process to be really cathartic. … to … put our feelings out there in the world and see if other people experienced them too. And to understand that some things are particular to our disciplines, but some things are shared.”
Erica Stanley, LSE Change Maker
In an attempt to increase student engagement and foster independent research, Pro-Director for Education, Professor Dilly Fung partnered with the LSE Students Union to launch the Change Makers programme that was piloted during the 2018-2019 academic year. It is an initiative led by Dr Ellis Saxey of the LSE Teaching and Learning Centre that gives students a chance to effect meaningful change at LSE through independent research. Change Makers made £50,000 available for student-led research projects that identified areas for further improvement, such as community life, inclusive education, assessment and feedback, and building connections beyond LSE.
As a PhD Candidate in the Department of Media and Communications, I joined the Change Makers initiative as a project mentor. In this role, I guided students in the design of their research question, the application of appropriate methodologies, and conducting fieldwork.
In this podcast, I interview three participants, not only to understand the factors that enabled their participation in Change Makers, but also to explore their experience and project outcomes. In our project teams, we contributed creative solutions to school-wide challenges with key recommendations being implemented by the School in the upcoming academic year.
In 2019-2020, the funding for the Change Makers programme will increase to £65,000 – an indication of LSE’s commitment to ensuring support for students to undertake research that promotes positive educational change and development. The relationship between teaching students and conducting research is becoming increasingly interlinked, and the School is committed to defining itself in ways that reflect this partnership. At its core, the LSE Change Makers project is a community-building exercise that aims to empower students, and fundamentally transform how we, as a community, collectively produce knowledge that has a beneficial impact on the student experience and higher education.
Host: Miriam Rahali
Guests: Arya Gerard, Erica Stanley, Brian Walker
Producer: Chris Doughty
Equipment: Courtesy of the LSE US Centre and Chris Doughty
Soundtrack: Nap All Day, Sleep All Night, Party Never Courtesy of Fintan Stack
We are very grateful to our partners who collaborated with us to make this podcast a reality.
This post is opinion-based and does not reflect the views of the London School of Economics and Political Science or any of its constituent departments and divisions.