Birmingham City University Case Study

The challenge

Central to Birmingham City University’s strategy is transforming students and their strategic goals include:

  • Ensuring that student learning and support enables our students progress to successful achievement
  • Maximising student satisfaction and the learning experience
  • Becoming recognised as the sector leader for student engagement

The University wanted to introduce a scheme that would support student learning and engagement.

The solution

Following a comprehensive tender process, the University decided to introduce an Aspire Engage cashless bursary branded I AM BCU.

How it works

First year students get a I AM BCU branded smartcard with £150 of funds that they can spend on textbooks and other learning resources. The scheme has its own I AM BCU website and is supported by an on campus JS Group Engagement Partner. The Engagement Partner works with all the University stakeholders to promote I AM BCU and to report on student engagement and take up.


The better outcome

I AM BCU is in its first year of operation but there has been a high level of student engagement (89% by semester 2) and the University have confirmed the scheme for 2018/19 and 2019/20.

I AM BCU is #5 in the top 11 reasons to choose BCU! www.bcu.ac.uk/student-info/why-study-at-bcu/why-choose-us

The £150 is a weight lifted off my shoulders. I can get to focus on my studies and not stress about saving money to buy the essentials.

To find out more about Aspire Engage can help drive student engagement, please contact, David Fox, HE Partnerships Director on

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