A sense of belonging is considered one of the most important needs of students in their learning. The pandemic has deepened feelings of ‘unbelonging’ among many higher education students as it has exacerbated existing inequalities.

This QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project 2021 is a collaboration between three art and design universities spanning Scotland and England. The project, led by colleagues from University of the Arts London, partners with Glasgow School of Art and Leeds Arts University.

The project will identify approaches to assessment that nurture belonging through meaningful, compassionate interactions and practices.

Photo credit:Textile with geometric pattern by Emily Boxall. Undergraduate (BA) (Hons) Textile Design, Chelsea College of Arts. Copyright: University of the Arts London

By its conclusion in November 2022, the project will deliver a number of open-source outcomes that will be shared with the HE sector:

  • A symposium on compassionate assessment
  • a briefing paper on the project’s activity
  • a blog documenting the organic development of materials and providing a space for exchange of ideas
  • and a participatory digital resource.

The project is funded by QAA and supported by the Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange at UAL.

Contact us:


Glasgow School of Art

Leeds Arts University