Student Voice in University Decision Making
OLT Strategic Priority Commissioned Project led by Professor Sally Varnham from University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Faculty of Law held an event that focused on student engagement in university decision making and governance towards a more systemically inclusive student voice. A two-day symposium and workshop at UTS attended by current the National Treasurer of CISA Evgeniya Khrenova and Equity Officer for the term 2015-2016 Saba Nabi.
Symposium held on Monday 5th of September was highly interactive and encouraged students and university management and stuff to collaborate and exchange different perspectives. In the first half of the day student leaders from student representative organisations across the country facilitated a session where attendees could discuss student representation in their institutions. Series of local and overseas speakers including Eve Lewis, director of Student Partnership in Quality Scotland (sparqs), Gwen van der Velden from University of Warwick; and Anthony McClaran, the CEO of TEQSA. During the symposium, both students representatives, university administration and speakers had the chance to discuss an importance of creating an effective environment for systemic engagement of students with their institutions.
On Tuesday, 6th of September, Eve Lewis from sparqs organised a workshop that focused on building a successful partnerships within institutions. First part of the workshop was dedicated to student training and development issues and consisted of activities tackling student unions and student learning experience, class rep development and the feedback session that looked how Students’ Unions can implement the change. In the afternoon, workshop took staff perspective into account and encouraged different levels of the university administration to engage in exercises that looked into student engagement, partnership, development of student expertise and strategy planning.
Both days were fully packed with insightful topics regarding student engagement and participation in university decision making. It was a good platform to hear about different student representative structures, their pros and cons. At the end of every session there was some brainstorming time that encourage collaboration between students and staff in order to think of the ways of improvement to the current models.
CISA representatives thank Sally Varnham for the opportunity to participate in the symposium and the following workshop.