Last week, Sarah Ingram (Academic and University Affairs officer, Cardiff Students’ Union) and I attended the second ‘Students as Partners’ meeting, held as part of the Higher Education Academy ‘Future Directions’ work. The meeting was attended by staff from almost all institutions across Wales, who were accompanied by a range of current and incoming Student Union Officers.
The Student Union Officers described the current levels of engagement between staff and students at their University. The group also discussed the plans for the future, to ensure more opportunities for partnership working between staff and students. There were some good examples of how some institutions already work in partnership with students, but it was recognised that ensuring a consistent approach to partnership working across the whole institution was challenging.
Three projects/reports were then discussed as examples of good practice – links below:
- Birmingham City University – Students as Academic Partners;
- HEA on Student Engagement;
- Exeter University – Students as Change Agents;
We then broke into smaller groups for the rest of the meeting, to the definition of ‘Students as Partners’ and what we can do to establish more opportunities for partnership working going forward. We discussed the usefulness of working with members of student societies to gain discipline specific student views and also the importance of providing the appropriate training and knowledge to students to enable them to work in partnership with staff and feel enabled to make decisions.
Working with Students as Partners is a key to the new Education Strategy at the University. As we move forward with PALET, we are seeking to ensure that we work more closely with students to explore ways in which they can become more involved in the design and review of the curriculum.
For more information about the HEA Wales Students as Partners work, please visit wiki page for the group at: http://studentsaspartners.wikispaces.com/Meetings