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Feeling precarious and moving beyond buzzwords: Strategies for getting started with partnership in partnership
By Alex Playsted and Kelly Matthews

Reading, writing, and talking about principles of engaging in partnership are important. But translating principles to practice - to implement partnership programs or practices that foster a culture of partnership - can be tricky. Drawing on the experiences of people in our Students as Partners Network can help. If you are feeling precarious about starting partnership, concerned about buzzwords or tokenistic talk, or are grappling with how to create a language for partnership, then:

continue reading here

Annual Students as Partners Roundtable 

The National Roundtable will be held on 2 August 2019 at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. Registrations will open on 20 June, so mark your calendar!

Register your interest now at the event website

The event brings together students, academics, and professional staff from across Australia and New Zealand (overseas colleagues welcome) to explore innovative and transformative developments in education led by Students as Partners initiatives. The 2019 organisers from UNSW are

  1. Nadhirad Daud, Chair of the Arc Board (student organisation)
  2. Angela Griffin, UNSW Student Representative Council President 
  3. Rebecca LeBard, Senior Lecturer in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences
  4. Zac Rushton, Programs and Projects Officer in the PVC(E) portfolio
  5. Kristin Turnbull, Academic Development team in the PVC(E) portfolio

They are looking forward to hosting the 2019 event to learn from others, share practices and explore opportunities for further development. In doing so, it creates a space for collaborating with other institutions to identify and overcome barriers that work toward best practices. They are inviting everyone in the network to attend the free event and be a part of co-creating the day by sharing case studies, ideas and practices - express your interest now and let them know how you want to engage by completing the register your interest form.  

Host the Students as Partners Roundtable! 

Express your interest to host the Roundtable in 2020 or 2021.

A wonderful opportunity to lead the conversation about partnership, hosting the Roundtable is both exciting and rewarding. Whether your university is well down the pathway or just coming to engage in student-staff partnerships, hosting the Roundtable will focus efforts and enhance local practices by bringing practitioners from across Australia to your door-step. 

Expressions of interest (EOIs) close 1 July 2019.

Read more here including guidelines for the short EOI submission

International Students as Partners Institute

10-12 July 2019 at the University of Adelaide

Student and staff facilitators from McMaster University (Canada), University College London (UK), and the University of Adelaide (Australia) will be running three days of workshops at the 2019 International Students as Partners Institute (ISaPI). Overseas facilitators bring rich experience and insights from McMaster’s Student Partners Program and UCL’s Changemakers Program along with local facilitators. The workshop will have varied activities and breakout sessions, to enable common discussions but to also allow individuals to explore areas of interest in more detail. 

Register by 23 June for ISaPI workshops 

Talking about student partnerships in governance and decision-making
By Kate Walsh

I am concerned that ‘student partnership’ has become a bit of a catchphrase at the moment for anything that involves any kind of student engagement activity, including consultation or simply asking students what they think. This idea is captured nicely in the following quote in recent Australian research:

Anything that involves students to me is not students as partners. It has to be underpinned by the intention to take seriously what they contribute.

The Student Voice Australia Pilot offers an important opportunity to maintain our line of sight on partnership and being partners with students, particularly in a decision-making and governance context. 

Read more here

The International Journal for Students as Partners has welcomed two new editorial teams from Hong Kong and Malaysia signalling the reach, growth, and interest of students as partners research and practice.

  1. David Carless, Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong
  2. Connie Kwan, Student, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong
  3. Abderrahim Benlahcene, Doctoral candidate, Educational Psychology, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
  4. Amrita Kaur, Senior Lecturer, School of Education and Modern Language, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)

IJSaP is always welcoming new reviewers - register here - with support and training materials for people new to the reviewing process.

IJSaP is also seeking reviews of relevant books, events, or resources. Please contact IJSaP editorial team with ideas or queries. 

Some possibilities and provocations

Global learning and engaging with students as partners sound like two ideas that should be friends. For Wendy Green, they are friends. She edited a special issue, Engaging Students in International Education, with several articles specifically drawing on theorisations and practices of engaging with students as partners. Her research findings from 13 pilot projects engaging students as partners in global learning concludes:

Access and equity, tensions between process and outcomes, and the workings of power and privilege in universities were particularly troubling themes, which emerged during the Fellowship. However, if we frame challenges as provocations—that is, as opportunities to critically analyze and creatively respond to the accepted, naturalized practices of universities —we can see exciting possibilities for staff and students engaging as partners in global learning in universities “as if” it were already our way of life (Cook-Sather & Felten, 2017).

Becoming: Realizing selves through participating in pedagogical partnership

The stories of becoming—of realizing selves—included in this issue of Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education focus on the two senses of “realize”: to become aware of and to make happen. They are six stories of how student consultants in the Students as Learners and Teachers (SaLT) program became aware of themselves and their processes of development and brought into being new versions of those selves. Each story captures the way in which such becoming and such realizing are complex intersections of intention and accident, choice and circumstance.

The above is an excerpt from Alison Cook-Sather’s introduction to another thought-provoking issue capturing the messy, unfinished stories of pedagogical partnership. 

Share your resources

Thank you to Dr Lucy Mercer-Mapstone for taking the lead by sharing a resource co-authored with Dr Jenny Marie (who will be co-facilitating workshops at ISaPI in July at the University of Adelaide). An experience- and evidence-based 'Practical guide: Scaling up student-staff partnerships in higher education draws on data from 11 UK higher educational students as partners schemes and was written for anyone interested in implementing and/or scaling up students as partners project initiatives in higher education. It can be accessed here:

Sharing our work is a wonderful opportunity this network provides, so contact me by 30 June to share your work in the next update.

Talking about power in partnership

Series of 5-minute videos from Western Sydney University (Australia), Bryn Mawr College (USA), and University of Queensland (Australia) that pose intriguing questions about power in partnership and stimulated further discussions at the 2019 RAISE special interest group meeting for partnership hosted by the Centre for Teaching Innovation, at the University of Westminster (UK) in January. You might want to consider using in your next workshop or communities of practice to open up discussions about power.

The latest issue of Connect

Connect has been published bimonthly since 1979 and the April issue is now available. It aims to:

  • document student participation approaches and initiatives;
  • support reflective practices; and
  • develop and share resources.

While focused on the school sector, there are clear shared commitments between 'student voice' and active student participation in schools with engaging 'students as partners' in learning and teaching in higher education. Connect is edited and published by Roger Holdsworth with support from the Youth Research Centre, The University of Melbourne.

Students as Partners Network

Coordinated by Kelly Matthews at the University of Queensland

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