Who we are

The Student Engagement, Evaluation and Research (STEER) directorate was formed in 2015, to support the needs of students, as identified through the generation, evaluation and analysis of student information. We support and conduct evaluation, research and analysis of the student experience and student engagement, in ways which support the ambition to be the world’s leading applied university. Our aim is to inform and develop practice within the University, in order to improve the student experience and support the delivery of the University Strategy.

We are part of a larger team central titled Student Experience, Learning and Teaching (SETL), which incorporates operational support for teaching and learning, and our digital capability. The work of STEER is aligned to the SETL priorities which include ensuring consistently excellent performance across the whole student lifecycle, an excellent student experience, and innovation in academic practice.

This blog documents our work and support offer, research and evaluation projects and reflections on institutional and sector developments in student experience and student engagement.


What we do

STEER supports the delivery of our university strategy, Transforming Lives, and the needs of our learning community. We do this through the generation and use of evidence-based research to identify and inform the development and evaluation of effective practices that enhance our students’ engagement and their experience. This includes the collection and analysis of student and sector information, evaluations and surveys, as well as direct student engagement activity at all levels of our formal and informal structures.

We support the overarching drive for a transformative student experience through evidence-based research to inform decision making. We use evidence-informed approaches to student engagement to create and share knowledge and good practice, and we evaluate the real impact of activities intended to deliver excellence by applying new and established research methodologies working across the university community and in the wider sector.


What we offer

  • Research expertise and consultancy to support educational development
  • Design and facilitation of events and workshops for enhancing the student experience
  • Student engagement in internal assurance and enhancement activities
  • A partnership approach to addressing issues in student engagement
  • Leading the development of an evaluative mindset to enhance the student experience
  • Corporate administration and sector benchmarking of various institutional student data sets to drive an excellent student experience
  • Developing approaches to Learning Analytics to support student engagement
  • Exploring the utility of measures of learning gain internally and across the sector

We work across two broad themes



Meet the team

Learn more about the team by visiting SETL ‘who’s who’.

Last updated: 16th May 2024 NB