Illuminating Partnership – 5 ways participating in Student-Staff Partnerships can light up your uni experience

20 Sep 2022

You can’t start a fire without a spark – Bruce Springsteen

Student engagement is a huge focus for Australian universities. Evidence clearly shows improved results when students partner with institutions to shape the quality of learning and teaching and student experience (1).  So, what does this look like at UQ?

At UQ, the Student-Staff Partnerships (SSP) program seeks to empower students and staff to collaborate as equal partners and mutual learners. It facilitates opportunities to connect the diverse voices, skills, and talents within the UQ community to enhance the University experience of both students and staff.

Five reasons to get involved in Student-Staff Partnerships:

1. Draw on your unique experiences to be a voice for change at UQ

You are the expert in your own experience, and the SSP programs aim to give you the opportunity to share your perspectives and experience with staff at all levels of the organisation. We believe your lenses and voices are invaluable in shaping UQ.

2. Collaborate on a range of exciting and innovative projects

Since the SSP program started at UQ in 2018, 2111 students have collaborated with 1570 staff on 674 exciting projects. SSP projects are incredibly diverse, and many have led to the development of amazing programs like the UQ Community Garden and Green Ambassadors Program.

Students are empowered to be the drivers of change at all levels of the university. Meaningfully contributing to decision making, problem solving, program development, and curriculum designs, students effect positive change on the wider student experience at UQ.

3. Form meaningful and collaborative partnerships across the University

Engaging in SSP programs will provide you the opportunity to make new connections, build networks and forge relationships with fellow students, academics, professional staff, and the wider UQ community. You will gain exposure to new ideas, ways of thinking, and insights into the behind-the-scenes administration of this large and complex organisation.

4. Add to your professional portfolio

Getting involved in an SSP program can support you to develop key capabilities and attributes that will enhance your employability, such as: -    collaboration, teamwork, and communication skills -    confidence in sharing your experience, and representing your peers and community -    adaptability and initiative -    ability to manage time and competing priorities

Your involvement the SSP program can also be counted as a supplementary activity towards the UQ Employability Award.

5. Be part of a vibrant community of students and staff partners

As a student partner, you’re part of something bigger than yourself – you'll be connecting with a thriving community of engaged students and staff from across the university who are passionate about shaping with UQ experience for the better.

[1] Jana Lay-Hwa Bowden. (2022) Analogues of engagement: Assessing tertiary student engagement in contemporary face-to-face and blended learning contextsHigher Education Research & Development 41:4, pages 997-1012.