From opportunity to obligation: Embedding student and staff co-creation and shared decision-making in universities (online)
Student and staff partnership has recently captivated many in the higher education sector. As universities strive to attract students, support increasingly diverse cohorts, and fend off new competitors in the market, asking students what they need, and want, is a logical endeavour. And yet, the rationales to embrace student and staff collaboration go beyond sensible business practice. By partnering with students, universities can demonstrate their commitment to community engagement, strengthen relationship-rich learning, and support civic responsibility in their students.
So, what are universities doing to shift partnership from a peripheral practice to simply the way things are done? In this seminar, Dr Mollie Dollinger outlined national and international examples of ‘whole-of-institution’ approaches to student and staff partnership. She also highlighted relevant policy changes from quality assurance agencies in Australia and abroad that signal a shift in the institutional responsibility to support partnership. She ended on recommendations on how to develop university-wide partnership programs that ensure diverse student participation, adoption from both professional and academic staff, and streamline data collection of student feedback.
Dr Mollie Dollinger is a lecturer of student success at La Trobe University. She serves as the academic lead of the student partnerships portfolio, which was launched in 2019. She has published widely on co-creation, higher education policy, and mechanisms to improve the student experience. In 2019, Mollie and colleagues were awarded a National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) grant to explore how co-design approaches could be applied to improve university pathways for regional and remote, low socioeconomics and/or indigenous students.