Dynamic Conversations: Pushing over Arenstein’s ladder: Rethinking partnership

Dr Cathy Minett-Smith, Dean of Learning and Teaching, University of the West of England

Arnstein's ladder of citizen participation is a well referenced and tested partnership working framework. Developed in 1969 in the context of urban planning, it presents a framework for shared decision making with stakeholder engagement. The application of Arnstein's ladder to other contexts, including education, has criticised the implicit suggestion of a hierarchy in partnership present in the ladder analogy. In higher education, this has potentially resulted in a pre-occupation with narratives of co-production which may not be inclusive of all students.

This presentation explores Arnstein’s ladder through the lens of student involvement in a QAA collaborative project between 4 universities. The authors argue that partnering with students in different ways in this project was vital to the quality of the outcome. Hence the provocation in this presentation to push over Arnstein’s ladder, thereby disrupting perceptions of authenticity and value in different forms of student partnership activity.

Dynamic Conversations: Reimagining student partnerships for a sustained future of learning

Join us for our online panel discussion to explore the key topics covered in this edition of Dynamic Conversations:


You must be logged in to post a comment.