The ESRC, as part of it’s project on Processes and Practices of Governing in Colleges in Further Education in the UK, has carried out a research piece into the role of the student governor.
Both staff and student governors are considered to be full members of the governing body, with all of the responsibilities and expectations that the role of governor entails (LSIS, 2009). In Codes of Good Governance and in board meeting papers, ESRC found that colleges in all four UK nations link the role to such concepts as ‘student experience’, ‘student voice’, ‘learner engagement’, and ‘representation of the student body’. However, in their observations of board meetings, interviews with board members, and discussions with student governors themselves, they found great variations in expectations of the role as well as in the engagement of student governors. They present some of the findings relating to the different ways in which boards understand, engage, and support student governors, and propose some recommendations that can be made in considering these in this report.