During the summer, Steph participated in our six week virtual Engage for Chance programme at the Open University in Wales. Here are her thoughts on the experience:

“I think it’s… given me more of a voice. I mean I’m quite a talkative person anyway but it’s given me a way to focus my voice and practice with presentations and things – when we go out into the world after a degree we need that presentation experience but it’s not seen as important as other things like assignments and writing skills, and, I think that it gave us the opportunity to practise and present our projects to other people and give us that confidence. And it’s also given me the confidence to go out and talk.

I’ve just joined the committee of the Open University Environmental and Sustainability Society and it’s given me a focus and the confidence to talk out and be a voice in the Open University for that society… Sometimes it can be a bit isolating because you’re doing – you can talk to other students – but you’re doing your work separately alongside them. Whereas this has been something where we’ve been able to bounce ideas off each other and discuss and kind of give each other confidence and support… I think it’s definitely encouraged me that I’m going in the right direction. I got into this degree to go into sustainability or environment, or engineering in that regard. It’s definitely given me the confidence to go out there and get some work experience, which has then led into employment alongside – that I can do alongside my degree… It’s given me transferable skills and the confidence to go for it – and to chase it.”

This year we developed new practices around one of our main objectives: mainstreaming student social action. Working with new organisations to spread our magic even further than our local Hubs we trialled new ways of working. In 2021 -22, 1330 students were engaged across 7 institutions, including

at the Open University in Wales

14 students launched a new Engage for Change programme, with five project proposals being completed! Over sixty hours of training was given across a six week period, providing students with tangible ways they could engage with their university around climate action.

at Leeds Conservatoire

17 students, university staff and community members attended a One Community Forum, resulting in five key recommendations to engage university students with social action. We looked specifically through the lens of artistic citizenship, and are delighted to continue working with the institution in 2023.


These style of projects provide new ways for institutions to engage with us, allowing us to work within more student bodies and move towards truly mainstreaming student social action.


Turn to page 11 in our full report to learn more about our new ways of mainstreaming social action, or head back to our main page.