What is the Connector Programme?

Learn about what the Connector Programme stands for and aims to achieve.

Our History

The Connector Programme has been through an exciting journey in its first 18 months. It started in January 2020 with 12 Student Connectors, collaborating with staff to develop the beginning of the Spirit of Sussex Award and The Connector Programme. As of July 2021 there have been over 200 Student Connectors partnering with staff on 30 different projects across the university.

The university has embraced the idea of co-creation and collaboration amongst students and staff. The Connector Programme promotes a collaborative, inclusive and student-centred approach, with Connectors positioned to make meaningful contributions to the development of the university whilst gaining the skills and knowledge to succeed during and after university. We are looking forward to strengthening and expanding the Connector Programme in the years to come.

Funding

The Connector Programme supports the Sussex 2025 Strategic Framework as an essential aspect of Learn to Transform. We are fully funded via the Access and Participation Plan, including Student Connectors' salaries. 

The university’s Access and Participation Plan intends to:

  • embed an ethos of co-creation between students and staff through employment opportunities 
  • enable students to shape their experiences 
  • reduce the attainment gap between Black and white and Asian and white students and between those with and without a disability. 
Our Aims

The Connector Programme has been developed to address each of the institutional goals set out in the Access and Participation Plan. The Connector Programme benefits students, staff and the wider university community by:

  • offering accessible paid roles to a diverse student body
  • fostering collaborative and equal relationships between students and staff
  • providing opportunities for Connectors to make meaningful contributions to the university community.

Student Connectors are valued partners, bringing their own ideas and perspectives to their work as well as tapping into student networks, in order to have a tangible impact on the University whilst leaving a legacy for their peers. There are several benefits for Student Connectors:

  • They gain valuable real-world experience in a supportive environment which builds personal and professional skills and confidence in a paid role, enriching their student experience
  • It provides a valuable source of evidence and demonstration of core skills that will appeal to future employers across all sectors.

Staff Connectors are equally valued partners in the Connector Programme. Through partnering with students, staff gain a fresh, diverse and informed student perspective, as well as intrapreneurial, passionate and energetic new team members.  This supports and pro-actively feeds into continuous improvement work.  In addition, new initiatives are born that reflect student need; relationships between staff and students are strengthened and the wider student body becomes more engaged.

Across the University, the work of Student Connectors and the act of co-creation initiates positive change whilst creating a more connected community at Sussex. 

Read more about the work and achievements of Student and Staff Connectors here

Connector Teams

Student and Staff Connectors work on multiple areas across the university, from embedding technology to improving assessment and feedback to increasing student engagement with schools and services. 

Find out what projects Student Connectors are currently working on here.

Please note, the list is updated twice a year in February and June to reflect which projects have ended and the addition of new ones.