Volunteering: Enhancing the quality of the student experience

Michele Cano-Kourouklis, Siobhan Drummond

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The concept of volunteering has received growing attention in higher education over the last few decades as it has become a key instrument of public policy in many Western countries. However the various definitions and understanding of the activity has resulted in a growing range of practices across the university sector. Models range from being exclusively student managed as an extra-curricular pursuit to volunteering modules forming an integral part of the curriculum. Moreover there has been little attention given to understanding more about the effects that volunteering has on learning and how it might be developed to enhance the quality of the overall student experience.

This paper will present the findings from interviews with students on an undergraduate programme in Event Management. The sample comprises students with volunteering experience which does not form part of their degree. The questions explore what they mean by volunteering, the relationship of their experience with learning at university and the effects that volunteering has on their identity. The analysis indicates several ways in which university and individual learning might be developed and improved through volunteering and recommendations are made to develop student employability attributes (CBI and Universities UK, 2009) and enhance the current practices in vocational programmes at the same time.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Event15th Toulon-Verona Conference "Excellence in Services" - Rishon Lezion, Israel
Duration: 3 Sep 20125 Sep 2012


Conference15th Toulon-Verona Conference "Excellence in Services"
CityRishon Lezion


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