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Transforming the student learning journey through partnership

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 4:15pm – 4:45pm parallel session



Room 3 – 303-G15 Sem



Dr Alison Jaquet
The University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

Donna Thompson
The University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

Melanie Hulm
The University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia



Student engagement has become a widely recognised and pervasive construct across educational contexts (Trowler & Trowler 2010, p.14). Student engagement is multifaceted and includes quality teaching and learning, supportive professional services and, increasingly, collaborating with students as partners (SaP). There is growing recognition of the value of students’ skills, knowledge and dispositions in engagement and that, in partnership, we can create a reflective and transformative experience for all (Healey, Flint and Harrington 2014, p.17).

This showcase presents the development of a SaP approach to student engagement across USC, including a student governance framework that enables students and the university to work towards authentic partnership in decision-making. To establish students as active partners in shaping their learning experiences, a bottom-up, tiered student governance model was created in partnership with USC students. This model, known as the USC Student Senate, has been adopted to encourage authentic student engagement and to amplify and diversify the student voice in learning and teaching across the multi-campus regional University.

The framework was designed to facilitate a collaborative and productive relationship between the institution and the student body with a tiered scaffold of student-led groups, committees, and associations from different spheres of the student experience. The USC Student Senate structure replicates staff governance structures to enable students to be an engaged and active voice in institutional change processes. We will showcase the initiative and the perspectives of participants which have created new insights into the complexity of embedding partnerships into the implementation of a multi-campus, institution-wide governance framework.  



Healey, M, Flint, A & Harrington, K. (2014). ‘Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education’, The Higher Education Academy. Retrieved from
Trowler, V., & Trowler, P. (2010). Student engagement evidence summary. Report for the Higher Education Academy Student Engagement. Retrieved from
Varnham, S. (2019). ‘Student Voice Australia’, Students and Tertiary Education Providers undertaking Partnership for Quality Enhancement,


Presentation topic

Students – Working in Partnership

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