The Student Voice Australia Pilot was established to build on interest and enthusiasm in the sector to further embed the STEPUP Principles for Quality Enhancement developed through sector wide consultation led by Professor Sally Varnham.

In 2016, Professor Varnham was awarded a National Senior Teaching Fellowship (through the then Office for Learning and Teaching) entitled Creating a National Framework for Student Partnership in University Decision-Making.  During this Fellowship, Professor Varnham undertook a sector-wide collaboration to consider the “what, why and how” of student partnership in Australian institutions and nationally.  The result from this collaboration is a set of Principles known as STEPUP (Students and Tertiary Education Providers Undertaking Partnership) for quality enhancement.  These Principles are in short and expanded form here. The STEPUP Principles and Framework were launched at the Fellowship Symposium at UTS on 1 September 2017.

The Fellowship followed the completion of the Australian Government’s Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Strategically Commissioned Priority Project:  “Student Engagement in University Decision Making and Governance: towards a more systemically inclusive student voice”.    The team for this Project, led by Sally Varnham, looked at comparative international jurisdictions and current practice in Australian institutions.  This had identified the need for a sector-wide collaboration which was then enabled by the Fellowship.

Project Reports

The OLT project Student engagement in university decision-making and governance- towards a more systemically inclusive student voice led by Sally Varnham produced a number of reports:

Project Final Report 2016

International Research 2015

Project Australian Case Studies 2015 and 2016

Project Australian Surveys 2015 and 2016


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Fantastic to be ⁦@UniNewEngland⁩ today workshopping student engagement in university decision making and governance and how to build a culture of partnership within our institutions. So much knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm in the room!

So excited to begin the Student Voice Australia pilot with this fabulous bunch of people! Congratulations to the ten institutions leading the way by funding this exciting project to facilitate student partnership in governance and decision making in Australian teriary education.

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