Empowerment vs Consumer: An SU Officer’s perspective of authentic Student Voice

In this webinar, Callum Perry, an experienced Undergraduate Education Officer, delved into the intricacies of student engagement in HE, moving from tokenistic representation to impactful student voices. We explored challenges, strategies for inclusivity, and the shift towards meaningful engagement.
Callum Perry

Event Overview

Watch the replay of our insightful webinar featuring Callum Perry, a seasoned Undergraduate Education Officer from a UK Student Union. Drawing from personal experiences and theoretical frameworks our guest speaker paves the way for a more inclusive and impactful approach to student engagement.

During his tenure from 2019 to 2021, Callum was exposed to the multifaceted nature of student engagement, including the triumphs of connecting with diverse student demographics and the challenges of transcending tokenistic representation.


Key topics discussed:

  • Exploring the challenges in achieving ‘good’ student engagement and the impact on student representation.
  • Strategies to reach and genuinely engage with the ‘hard to reach’ student demographics, fostering a culture of inclusivity and co-creation in educational policy.
  • Insights into changing the narrative from tokenistic representation to meaningful engagement, emphasising the importance of honesty and transparency in student interactions.
  • A reflective exploration of student engagement, distinguishing between moments of authentic connection and those of misalignment, guided by key theories in student voice and participation.


What you’ll learn:

  • An understanding of the dynamics of student engagement from the perspective of a former Student Union Officer, enriched by personal reflections.
  • Interactive discussions were facilitated through a Padlet, enabling participants to share their experiences and collaborate.
  • Actionable insights and reflective questions designed to challenge the status quo and inspire to foster a more engaging and inclusive educational environment.
  • Exploring how student voice can be harnessed for positive change in student experience.


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Callum Perry

Callum Perry

PhD student at University of East Anglia


Ashley Storer-Smith

Student Voice Manager at the University of Nottingham SU

Speaker Profile

Callum Perry

PhD student at University of East Anglia

Callum formerly held the position of Undergraduate Education Officer at the University of East Anglia (UEA) from 2019 to 2021, while completing his bachelor's degree in Education. In this role, he contributed significantly to student representation and curriculum development, focusing on areas like inclusive education, student partnership, and the broader university strategy. Notably, Callum led as the Student President of Aurora, advocating for thousands of students across nine European universities, and founded two student representation initiatives to enhance European educational collaboration. His commitment extended to national education quality as a student member of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Panel at the Office for Students (OfS) and the Student Strategic Advisory Committee at the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Upon concluding his tenure in student unions, Callum advanced his academic journey by earning a Masters in Social Science Research (MRes) and embarking on a part-time PhD in Education, with a research focus on teaching and learning practices in higher education. Currently, Callum is a Lecturer in Inclusive Learning at City College Norwich, where he champions student leadership. His dedication to educational development is further exemplified through his role as a Governor on the boards of two local secondary schools, underscoring his commitment to shaping inclusive and equitable educational landscapes.

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