Understanding and improving the student experience

The new book, co-written by London Met Professor Jan Bamford, will be published in late May 2022 by Routledge.

Date: 30 May 2022

A new book explores the challenges of improving the student experience in higher education through a ‘third space’ perspective.

Co-author, Jan Bamford, is Professor of International Higher Education and is currently Acting Deputy Dean, Guildhall School of Business and Law at London Met. Jan Bamford has worked at London Met for nearly 19 years, including in its previous iteration as the University of North London.

The book explores a range of educational strategies and approaches by drawing on higher education policy, interviews with academics working in third space roles in higher education in the UK, France, Germany, Holland, North America and Italy, as well as auto-ethnographic narratives. 

The chapters consider key topical areas affecting student experience including academic support, assessment and feedback, creative approaches to pedagogy, approaches to supporting international students and students as partners. The role of education in a post Covid-19 world is also discussed.

This work offers further insights into the way in which the ‘third space’ roles are so important to the functioning of higher education institutions and the ways in which the improvement of the student experience is inexorably intertwined with those in such roles.

With evaluative and practice-based insights into embedding institutional changes to improve student outcomes, this book bridges the gap between academia and administration and is ideal reading for anyone interested in improving the student experience within their institution.


Sociologist Ray Oldenburg, who coined the term, identifies ‘third places’ as “the public places on neutral ground where people can gather and interact. In contrast to first places (home) and second places (work), third places allow people to put aside their concerns and simply enjoy the company and conversation around them.”

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