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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Oct. 20, 2014

Northwest, BCU continuing collaboration on student engagement opportunities

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski and Stuart Brand, director of learning experience at Birmingham City University, signed an agreement Friday to renew the institutions' collaboration regarding student employment and student engagement opportunities. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski and Stuart Brand, director of learning experience at Birmingham City University, signed an agreement Friday to renew the institutions' collaboration regarding student employment and student engagement opportunities. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Northwest Missouri State University on Friday formally renewed a partnership it began in 2010 with Birmingham City University (BCU) in the United Kingdom to further its collaboration toward improving the student experience through student engagement at both universities. 

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski and Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet signed the agreement with Stuart Brand, who is director of learning experience at BCU. The agreement extends the two universities’ exploration of student employment and mentoring and aims to energize their focus on developing joint projects and sharing experiences surrounding themes that include the freshman experience, learning communities, student academic success, study abroad and academic collaborations.

“I don’t know if you can describe a better partnership and relationship than what we have currently with Birmingham City University,” Jasinski said. “So many have been impacted through this relationship, and this partnership will continue to be strong and grow.”

Brand and a contingent of BCU representatives returned to Northwest last week and are visiting the campus through Tuesday for a series of discussions with Northwest staff and faculty. The BCU contingent also includes Luke Millard, head of learning partnerships; James Tranter, a student employee at the university; and Elgan Hughes, president of students’ union and student engagement officer.

“(Northwest) is an incredibly special place to be,” said Brand, who delivered Northwest’s spring 2013 commencement address and received an honorary degree from the University. “When we first came here in 2010, we were blown away by reception we received. Every person we met made it clear they were part of a special community. Every time I come here I go back full of ideas and rejuvenated.”

The relationship involving Northwest and BCU formally began when Brand and Millard visited Northwest in January 2010 with the intention of learning about Northwest’s student employment program. Northwest offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to build professional skills on campus. 

The concept of student employment was unprecedented in the United Kingdom, and three teams of Northwest student employees later helped introduce the program to BCU staff and stakeholders and to other higher education institutions during a visit to the United Kingdom that summer.

The collaboration has resulted in the development of a popular student employment program at BCU, which is paying rewards for BCU students in terms of engagement and work experience and for the university in terms of more efficient and effective work processes — the same outcomes and benefits Northwest has experienced through its student employment program for decades.

“We owe Northwest Missouri State a great deal for that, both in terms of practical and also moral support,” Brand said. “For this collaboration to continue and grow is crucial. It’s absolutely what we most wish to do and I’m looking forward to having further discussions.”

Now, BCU and Northwest are piloting a Student Engagement Leader program that involves improving student learning and students engaging students. Additionally, students in Northwest’s behavioral sciences program and BCU’s School of Social Sciences are benefitting from new study abroad opportunities, and departmental collaborations are underway regarding the development of innovative, joint academic programs.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468