Listening to the Student Voice – Student Engagement in Professional Higher Education

Marina Brunner
Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Karlsruhe

Ulf-Daniel Ehlers
Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Karlsruhe


The practical orientated education and training of professional higher education institutions attract a very diverse student body and more and more non-traditional students are finding their way to higher education institutions in Europe. In order to sufficiently address the different needs of this group, non-traditional students must be given opportunities for student engagement in student organisations and extracurricular activities outside of lectures. Furthermore, the diversity characteristics of non-traditional students within professional higher education institutions need to be analysed, as well as the barriers and challenges to student engagement. With the help of qualitative expert interviews and focus groups, five problem areas were defined and an outlook on possible improvements was given in order to sharpen the view of an inclusive university environment outside of the lecture hall.

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