Student Hubs’ work aims to have a double benefit - on the students that take part in our activities and on 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 2017 and June 2018, covering the 2017/18 academic year. The process was overseen by Catherine Mitchell, Network Operations Manager.

This evaluation included:


Equal Opportunities forms completed by 919 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 251 volunteers after joining one of our community projects; and feedback surveys completed by 118 out of 233 community partners.

The response rate was 13.3% among volunteers and 51% 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

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

Our approach is aligned with the 6 principles of quality youth social action developed by 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 ensures 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 the accessibility of our programmes. In 2017-18:


of UK Domicile students participating in our programmes are from BAME backgrounds.


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


of students participating in our programmes have a declared disability, which is twice as many as 2016-17.

Read our blog to find out more about our work in this area.

Spotlight on: Linkages

"I absolutely love going to the knitting group. I think that at the start of the year I was really struggling with having a sense of purpose at university and going to this knitting group gives me an outlet where I can make something creative and talk to brilliant people. Going to this group every Friday is something I look forward to, which keeps me in check and gives me more stability.

It’s a break from university life, because it’s completely different, so they help me just as much as I help them. I also love how it makes me feel like I am a part of something that is truly from Bristol.

I’ve made friends with a lot of them. Some of them help me out with my knitting, others are great to joke around with. I love spending time with them all, they’re all great."

Angus, LinkAges volunteer, University of Bristol