JCU Student Advisory Forum

The JCU Student Advisory Forum was established to promote cross-institutional communication and interaction among JCU students and staff.

The Forum is designed to encourage a culture of effective student engagement by:

  • Providing an opportunity for students to provide feedback to the University
  • Providing a forum for students to participate in decision-making processes
  • Providing a forum where students can provide feedback on course matters, including development of new course offerings across discipline areas
  • Aiding in the co-creation of solutions, and development of new and innovative ideas and practices
  • Providing an occasion for University representatives to respond to issues raised by student representatives, and
  • Enhancing student employability by offering opportunities for students to gain experience and develop new skill sets.

In particular, the Forum provides an additional avenue for students to help decide how revenue from the Student Services and Amenities Fee will be used across the University.

Student self-nominations are now finalised for the two year term i.e. 2021-2022.

The first meeting for 2022 was held on 5 April. View the presentation here.

The second meeting was held on 31 August. View the presentation here.

'Hot' topic meetings or surveys are conducted throughout the year.

The Student Advisory Forum is Co-Chaired by:

  • Professor Maree Dinan-Thompson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education; and
  • Invited Student Representative i.e. Mr Thomas Sherrington, JCUSA President

Membership Term

A 2-year membership term will apply based on criteria outlined in the Student Advisory Forum Handbook. Exceptions to the 2-year term may be made dependent upon the length of a student's course of study.

A call for student nominations occurs biennially via an email bulletin.

JCU Student Advisory Forum Secretariat:

Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education
Phone (07) 4781 4565

Recently in Australian Higher education, there has been considerable interest in developing more systemic approaches to the inclusion of student voice in university decision-making and governance, across all possible areas of student engagement and at all levels of institutional governance.

The premise on which this work is based is that engaging students as partners in their educational experience makes a positive and importance difference to student engagement, will help shape the quality of that experience in an individual institution and contribute to the overall success of Australian universities collectively.

Examples of this work include:

  • Student Voice in University Decision Making, a project led by Professor Sally Varnham of the University of Technology Sydney, which developed systemic approaches to the inclusion of student voice in decision-making and governance in Australian universities. The project relates not only to activities at the highest levels of governance, but also student representative activities at faculty, school and course level.
  • Two Australian Learning and Teaching Fellowship projects:
    • Students as partners, led by UQ's Dr Kelly Matthews, which seeks to harness student and staff creativity via collaborative partnerships to enhance teaching and learning
    • Creating a National Framework for Student Partnership in University Decision-Making and Governance, led by Professor Sally Varnham of UTS
  • An OLT funded project, Developing and Supporting Student Leadership (DaSSL),a framework and website designed to ensure student leadership is explicitly considered in the development and delivery of student programs in higher education.

The more recent focus on students as partners in Australia has built on longer-term work, and a strong culture has developed in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, for example:

  • sparqs (student partnerships in quality Scotland), an agency that promotes placing students "at the heart of decisions being made about the quality and governance of the learning experience"
  • The Higher Education Academy's Enhancement Theme, Students as partners
  • The Student Engagement Partnership, a central hub for student engagement expertise operating in partnership with major UK sector organisations
  • A Manifesto for Partnership by the National Union of Students