Belonging & Success Research Group

The University of Leeds aspires to be a place where our students from diverse backgrounds feel they belong, can thrive and are valued for their unique contribution. This is reflected in our Access and Student Success strategy and cuts across our strategic plans for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Student Education, Digital Transformation and Research and Innovation. It is an aspiration relevant to the sector nationally and internationally and is reflected in the World Health Organisation Sustainable Development Goals.

This cross-disciplinary research group brings together staff and students together to work across the core themes of belonging and success. It explores the concept of belonging and community and its interrelationship with an individual’s wellbeing and success in education. It acknowledges that curriculum, relationships with staff and students and hygiene factors including the physical environment all have a crucial role in enhancing belonging and student success. Research themes and outputs include belonging and under-represented groups; inclusive pedagogies and belonging; impact of reverse mentoring; assessment and student success; compassionate curriculum; belonging and the physical environment.

The group aims to:

  • consolidate and expand the research on belonging and student success testing models and interventions which can be implemented;
  • act as a focus for staff and students involved in research on belonging and success from a range of disciplines and using different methodologies;
  • foster a positive, inclusive research group environment where participants feel they belong, can thrive and are valued for their unique contribution.

Group membership

Louise Banahene (Director of Educational Engagement) and Paul Taylor (Dean of Student Education – Experience) jointly convene the group. Meetings are held approximately every two months offering a chance to share research progress and identify opportunities for collaboration and support in delivering projects. Colleagues who are actively involved in research that feeds in to the belonging and community agenda are invited to join the group. Please email the  Horizons Institute ( if you would like to join.


Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Education (RAISE) conference 2023

In 2023, the University of Leeds will host the RAISE network conference. Members of the Belonging and Success Research Group will lead the organisation of the programme. More details including dates and themes to follow.

To reflect the inclusive and representative nature of this research group we are pleased to include a group of student researchers, all involved in delivering projects to support the access and student success agenda.