Being a student advocate: a transformational experience


  • Peter Dolan Liverpool John Moores University, Student Recruitment & Admissions



Over the past decade, LJMU has been proud to employ student advocates to encourage the next generation into higher education. This is recognised good practice identified by the OfS for supporting Access and Participation Plan objectives.  Through LJMU’s outreach programmes, prospective students are exposed to transformational experiences which can be the spark which ignites a passion to follow a subject at university.  For student advocates themselves though this experience provides developmental opportunities which can be life changing for the individual.  For LJMU to maintain and where needed improve its widening access record, representative students are critical to inspiring and motivating the next generation. 


Feedback from student advocates not only cites how the role supported them financially and developmentally during their time at LJMU, but also through the formation of longstanding friendship groups, forged through working together on student recruitment initiatives.    This session will explore the journey of our own students and explain how the opportunity to be a student advocate helped them grow, giving them increased confidence, and skills which helped fulfil their potential beyond academic success.  From initial training and safeguarding support through to graduation, delegates will learn about the different types of work student advocates undertake across the student recruitment team which adds value to their student experience. This will include an insight into mentoring, design of subject taster sessions, presentation skills, Unibuddy, the Campus Connect pre-university community and working on university summer schools. The presenters will provide feedback on the impact of working with young people from disadvantaged diverse backgrounds and the rewards of seeing this transformation.    How working as part of a team and a sense of belonging forged through bonds made with other advocates and the student recruitment team will be discussed as an important factor in enhancing wellbeing whist at LJMU.