Sector-wide collaboration

This is the week we launch the Fellowship sector-wide collaboration. The aim is to reach an agreed set of principles and a framework for student partnership through engagement. To the launch event here at UTS on Friday 28th April we invited DVC/PVCs or their nominees, and students from around Australia. The attendance is looking very exciting and is almost at capacity.

The invitations are much wider for the state workshops – any university personnel and students who are involved in student engagement or have an interest in the area and wish to be involved are welcome to attend. The dates, times and venues are listed below. There will also be an opportunity to provide input online.

The plan with the launch and the state workshops is to keep them short and focussed with attendees being asked to record their input online during the discussions. We have prepared and sent out a Briefing Paper to all those who are attending so they can get a glimpse of the research which has been conducted in Australia and elsewhere, together with the student partnership initiatives put in place in other sectors such as the UK, Europe and New Zealand. We will be posting the Briefing Paper on this web page.

The Briefing paper also has these questions designed to lead into the discussion:

Opportunities
1. What opportunities should universities be providing for students to participate in decision making in their institutions?

Communication and Transparency
2. How should institutions be communicating with students about those opportunities and outcomes from engagement?

Student Leadership
3. How can universities best work with student leaders to develop and maintain effective student representation?

All student voices
4. What can universities do to encourage representation of all student voices?

A national partnership culture
5. On a national level what should the sector be doing to further a partnership culture?

This series of workshops builds on the wide interest which has been shown by the sector over the course of my research and my Fellowship. The idea is to now provide the opportunity for all members of the sector, senior managers and students, academics and professional university staff to share their knowledge, experience and insights on the role of student voice in university decision making and governance.

Workshop program
Fellowship Launch UTS 28 April 1-3pm
Queensland – Brisbane QUT Kelvin Grove Campus 3 May 9-11am
South Australia – University of Adelaide 24 May 1-3pm
Melbourne – RMIT Storey Hall 26 May 10am -12 noon
Western Australia – Murdoch University Perth 2 June 9.30-11.30am
The New South Wales workshop will be at UTS in June – date TBA

While I am encouraged by the enthusiasm shown in the sector, I want to stress that my role is to facilitate a wide discussion on this very important area and it is your views which are central to this exercise.

Sally Varnham

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