Staff and students also agreed that the course is an important platform for developing these connections. And yet students did not report a strong sense of connection, either at the course or university level. Throughout the research students gave countless examples of course initiatives that made a difference to their sense of community, connection, and ultimately their sense of belonging. These initiatives included online social spaces, informal social interactions, group work and communal spaces.
In the quantitative research, staff tended to overlook peer connections as a basis for confidence, whereas students reported that exposure to other students through academic societies, group work, or in seminars, studios, and labs increased their confidence levels. The benefit of students being able to support each other should not be overlooked.