SV at Unis 2017

Student Voice at Universities

27 September, [Universities New Zealand, 142 Lambton Quay]

Knowledge transfer and developing capacity amongst high-level student representatives


Since 2014, the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations have co-hosted an annual series of summits on supporting effective student engagement in quality assurance at tertiary organisations, in conjunction with Ako Aotearoa and the Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQA). These built on an earlier partnership project with Ako Aotearoa exploring what makes for effective student voice and a Memorandum of Understanding with AQA towards a common workplan including establishing a pool of students or recent graduates who can be academic auditors.

This year’s summit is in conjunction with AQA and is dedicated to supporting effective student voice in universities.  It consists of a day-long programme targeted at student representatives, and which links across to, and shares speakers with, the Summit for Quality which AQA is hosting the following day. This event is designed to transfer knowledge from those who have led student voice activities in 2017 to those coming into those roles for 2018, and offer additional support for those responsible for high-level student voice at their university.


MORNING SESSION: Where Does Student Voice Fit?

8:30am – 9:00am


9:00am – 9:15am

Welcome and Introductions: What are we part of today?

NZUSA President Jonathan Gee will welcome attendees and NZUSA Executive Director Dr Alistair Shaw will introduce the current project NZUSA has with AQA to develop an ever-improving pool of higher level student representatives, and where we see it going.

9:15am – 9:45am

The System Architecture: How does everything fit together?

Emeritus Professor Sheelagh Matear, Executive Director AQA, will provide a brief introduction to the overall system of external quality assurance for New Zealand universities.

9:45am – 10:25am

You’re The Expert

This session will discuss the role of positions like Education Vice-President and Education Officer as a student expert and partner in learning and teaching decision-making. Participants will be invited to share experiences of their universities.

10:25am – 10:50am


10:50am – 11:40am

How do Universities Make Decisions, and How Do Those Processes Enable the Student Voice and Enhance Quality?

Associate Professor David Crabbe, Dean of Education, VUW will take participants through a university’s decision-making processes showing where students fit and how those processes are intended to enable the student voice and ensure/enhance quality.

11:40am – 12:30pm


What is enhancement, and how can students and student representatives contribute to an enhancement theme? This session will be led by Professor Roni Bamber, who led the most recent Enhancement Theme initiative for QAA Scotland.

AFTERNOON  SESSION: Student Engagement and Quality Enhancement

12:30pm – 1:15pm


1:15pm – 1:25pm

Afternoon Welcome and Introductions: Where are we now and where are we going?

1:25pm – 2:15pm

Students as Auditors

Dr Sheelagh Matear and Jonathan Gee will introduce the Cycle 6 audit process, including the goal of having student auditors – and what we need to do to achieve that goal.

2:15pm – 2:55pm

Students on Internal Review Panels

Megan Wilson, the QAU Reviews Manager, will introduce the University of Otago’s involvement of students in review panels – how students are selected, prepared and how they contribute.

2:55pm – 3:35pm

Students on Academic Committees

Heather Merrick, Academic Quality Manager, The University of Auckland, will talk about Academic Committees and engage attendees in conversation about universities could support and engage students reps through induction or mentoring activities to help them to better understand their roles.

3:35pm – 3:50pm


3:50pm – 4:30pm

Barriers and Enablers: Small group discussion

In this workshop session, attendees will discuss the following:

  1. What are the things that incoming representatives need to know (and that out-going representative wish they had known)?
  2. What are some concrete ideas that would support more and better student representation?

4:30pm – 5:15pm

Setting Priorities

This session will focus on the potential ideas and perspectives discussed in the afternoon, and identifying a set of priorities for action.

5:30pm – 6:30pm

NETWORKING FUNCTION (nb this will take place at NZUSA)



A small registration fee of $115 (incl GST) is being charged for this event to cover catering, materials and the evening networking function. You can register here.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Dr Alistair Shaw, Executive Director of NZUSA, at

The voice of New Zealand's 400,000 students.

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations exists to advance the political, social and economic interests of tertiary students whatever they study and wherever they live. NZUSA is a membership body of local students' associatons. We believe in opportunity for all.

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