Sunderland University: Student’s sense of belonging research

Public Knowledge were commissioned by the University of Sunderland to undertake qualitative research as part of a larger project supported by the Higher Education Funding Council and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which is examining what works for student retention and success.

Three individual discussion guides were designed in order to examine the integration and sense of belonging experienced by local students and the opinions of lecturers, and to evaluate interventions introduced by various departments in order to increase student integration.

The University of Sunderland were responsible for recruiting respondents, whilst Public Knowledge scheduled appointments for depth interviews and focus groups. In total 3 focus groups and 4 depth interviews were conducted with students and 3 depth interviews were conducted with academics. All focus groups and depth interviews were recorded on digital audio equipment and transcribed to aid analysis and reporting.

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