Student-Staff Partnerships initiative

Related strategic goal Goal 3 Dynamic People and Partnerships

The Student-Staff Partnerships program aims to create a cultural transformation at UQ whereby students are empowered to contribute to decision-making processes and to effect change in the enhancement of the student experience.

The founding rationale for embedding student-staff partnerships across multiple levels of UQ is that there is inherent and untapped value, creativity, and innovation that comes from actively engaging students across all aspects of their experience –including design, delivery, evaluation, engagement and governance.

Engaging students as active partners helps to develop students with transferrable skillsets that extend beyond disciplinary context, thus improving their employability skills and transforming them into game-changing graduates. This engagement also generates a sense-of-belonging to their University and engagement between students and their experience on-campus, thus improving the student experience.

This widespread adoption of the partnership ethos has empowered students and staff from diverse backgrounds and challenged power hierarchies that exist between students and staff.

The program helps staff members rethink and redesign models of student representation and provides a platform for student voices to be amplified within a school and faculty level. In this way, the program collaborates with academic and professional divisions to develop methods for working in partnership with students in ways that are impactful, meaningful, and lasting.


In early 2017, as part of the Student Strategy implementation, a Student as Partners Steering Group Committee was established to expand the implementation of Students as Partners across UQ in new and innovative ways. The Steering Group Committee was co-chaired by a student and staff member and oversaw the execution of 11 partnership pilot projects. These pilot initiatives engaged 29 students and 22 staff in meaningful partnerships to further expand and embed student-staff partnerships at UQ. 

The recommendations from the 2017 Students as Partners pilot initiatives led to the development and implementation of the Student-Staff Partnerships program.

Key deliverables

The Student-Staff Partnerships program has:

  • facilitated student and staff engagement with student-staff partnership projects that enhance the student experience
  • provided support to encourage authentic student representation on all UQ Committees and strengthen the influence of the student voice
  • developed sustainable and scalable policies, procedures and campaigns to engage, train and support students and staff
  • continuously engaged students in the development of the program to model the partnership approach and move towards student-led improvements and initiatives
  • established a meaningful and empowered Community of Practice who learn from one another and advocate for authentic partnerships across UQ.

 Key achievements

Key achievements

  • Partnership projects:
    • 668 staff and 872 student partners have engaged across a range of partnership projects including:
      • 161 Teaching and Learning Partnership Projects
      • 108 Student Experience Partnership Projects
      • 14 Governance and Strategy Projects.
  • Student representation:
    • Approximately 20% increase in the number of student representatives in UQ governance groups
    • Industry and training to 116 (1 in 3) student representatives
    • Attendance pf 82 student representatives at social events.
  • Student voice:
    • Assisted 51 staff members across UQ to develop and facilitate face-to-face feedback sessions with 307 student respondents
    • 532 students engaged via online surveys
    • Combined number of 829 student who have had their voices heard via the SSP program since May 2018.