Student Hubs’ work has a double benefit - on the students that take part in our activities and the communities in which they take place.

This evaluation aims to understand Student Hubs’ contribution to the experiences of our volunteers, community partners and local beneficiaries. In addition to assessing these outcomes, it explores the impact that Student Hubs has on universities.

This evaluation was conducted by the Student Hubs team between September 2016 and June 2017, covering the 2016/17 academic year. The process was overseen by Rachel Tait and Catherine Mitchell, Network Operations Managers.

This evaluation included:


Equal Opportunities forms completed by 3,779 student volunteers at the beginning of their engagement with Student Hubs; online feedback surveys using a 4-point scale (Definitely, Somewhat, Not Really, Definitely Not) completed by 332 volunteers after joining one of our community projects; and feedback surveys completed by 73 out of 264 community partners. The response rate was 25% among volunteers and 28% for community partners.

Case Study Interviews:

Student Hubs staff gathered 43 case studies from volunteers and community partners in order to provide more detailed and nuanced qualitative evidence. Some are included in this report.

Our Theory of Change

In other words...

We offer students opportunities to actively engage with social and environmental challenges, in their local, national and international communities.

Our approach is based on the ‘double benefit model’: all of our activities are designed to benefit both students and their local community. This approach aligns with the 6 quality principles of youth social action developed by the experts, Generation Change and Step Up To Serve.


We challenge students to critically engage with the issues they are tackling, and to become leaders for the causes they are passionate about.


We were established by students, for students, so student leadership is at the core of what we do. Our Hubs are led by student committees.


We are committed to ongoing monitoring and evaluation in order to prove and improve the impact of our activities.


Our range of activities ensure that students are able to progress from one challenge to the next, further developing their skills and confidence as social leaders.


Our Hubs are tailored to the needs of each university and its student body, ensuring that student social action becomes a core part of the student experience.


We encourage students to reflect on their social action activities as they progress through university. We support them to critically engage with causes and evaluate their personal impact.

We are also committed to ensuring our programmes are accessible to all. Currently:


of UK Domicile students participating in our programmes are from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.


of students participating in our programmes are from low-income backgrounds.


of students participating in our programmes have a declared disability.

Charlotte Hill, Step Up To Serve

"Student Hubs has been a driving force behind the #iwill campaign from the outset. The meaningful social action that is led by students through the organisation’s work embeds the 6 quality principles, ensuring that students have a fantastic experience and make a real impact in the community.

They are also creating significant impact by engaging students who wouldn’t have taken part in social action otherwise. We know that in 2016-17, 36% of the students who took part in one of Student Hubs’ programmes were taking part in social action for the first time – so they are reaching new audiences, which is a key driver for the #iwill campaign. We look forward to continuing to work together towards our collective 2020 goals."

Charlotte Hill, CEO, Step Up To Serve