Digital Media to ‘Engage the Disengaged’: Reaching out to Humanities Students at the University of Southampton

Eleanor Quince, Charlotte Medland, Ellen Blacow, Kirstie Guildford, Ursula Grover, Florence Angelo


In 2014, Dr Eleanor Quince and a team of student partners created the ‘Mission Employable’ initiative in the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Humanities. The initiative aimed to put students back at the centre of their own employability and careers development activity, via five main areas: Peer Mentoring, a compulsory Employability Module, Student Working Group, Alumni Network and External Advisory Board. Two years on, Mission Employable provides employability and careers advice and guidance to over 3,000 students across seven disciplines. Not all of these students can have direct impact upon activity by creating content and working in close partnership, so how do we give every student a sense of ownership? This paper will explore the ways in which Mission Employable has harnessed and implemented digital media – in particular, social networks – to reach out to Humanities students who might not otherwise directly engage with us. From Facebook for off-campus Peer Mentoring support, to e-portfolios for extra-curricular development, to hashtag campaigns, Instagram selfies and animated module ‘trailers’, Mission Employable has embraced the digital as a space for all of its student partners to engage, network, advise and create.

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