As the only peak body-representing students across the tertiary sector, NZUSA has a number of areas of focus which work to enhance the student voice.
Student Voice for Students
Students engage in shaping the learning experience both as individuals and as representatives or officers in their students' association or student council, and the support required varies considerably between the different roles and learning experiences.
We provide support to student representatives in both polytechnics and universities, to help them engage at the institutional level with issues relating to the quality of learning and teaching.
Student Voice for Institutions and Student Organisations
We also support the development of practices and activities in institutions and their students’ associations that encourage and support student engagement. See our work on the pre-conditions that facilitate a representative student voice to enhance quality within an institution.
Like the rest of our work, partnership is key to supporting institutions. Partly this is about developing effective mechanisms of representation that allow student-run organisations and institutions to learn from the valuable experiences and perspectives of student representatives.
But another key part of this is equipping and developing staff with the tools to engage students and work effectively with those representatives.
We are currently exploring a number of projects to help create step change for student voice within institutions that serve as pilots to enhance representation across the sector.
Student Voice in the Sector
We provide student engagement with national sector agencies and provide student perspectives on policy developments.
Many aspects of learning and teaching in universities and polytechnics are shaped or decided at a national level by various sector agencies and their committees. We work at this level to contribute to these discussions and use the democratic and research capabilities of being a national body to ensure that students play a part in them.
A key aspect of this work is our Learner Advisory Panel Project which utilises an on-line discussion tool to gather student perspectives and experiences to help inform the work of the agencies which are responsible for working with students.
There are a wide range of agencies and representative bodies for New Zealand’s universities, polytechnics, wānanga and private training establishments and we work closely with them all.