Current Students Support Student consultation process

Student consultation process

Every year, JCU Council reviews and approves JCU’s student consultation processes both for general purposes and for the specific purpose of expending the proceeds from the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) income.

JCU actively seeks to consult with and obtain feedback from its students, and to enable students to participate in decision making. This takes place through regular senior management meetings with elected student representatives, appointing students to University decision-making bodies and a variety of consultation and feedback mechanisms with the student body across the institution, embedded in both the Academy and in the Service Divisions.

General consultation with students

JCU recognises the JCU Student Association (JCUSA) as the elected representative voice of the student body. The University consults with the elected representatives of the JCU Student Association on matters generally pertaining to the interests of students through the following mechanisms:

  • Regular, scheduled meetings between the Deputy Vice Chancellor Education and the JCUSA President;
  • Regular meetings with senior staff and relevant elected student representatives;
  • A Vice Chancellor-appointed nominee on the JCU Student Association Student Council (who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor Education);
  • Extraordinary meetings; and
  • Requests to JCU Student Association for opinion and comment.

JCU includes students in decision-making bodies (e.g. University Council, Academic Board, and the proposed Education Committee Sub-Committee from 2023 titled Student Experience Sub-Committee) to represent the interests of students. JCU regularly informs students about other opportunities to become involved in decision-making at JCU in order to seek student advice and feedback. Disciplines in the Academy also regularly hold student-staff liaison group meetings.

JCU recognises the following Student Councils as the representative voice for students at the Singapore and Brisbane campuses and consults with their elected representatives on matters generally pertaining to the interests of students on these campuses:

  • Student Council JCU Singapore; and
  • Student Council JCU Brisbane.

The Student Advisory Forum was established to promote cross-institutional communication and interaction among JCU students and staff. The Forum involves student representation from the JCU Student Association (JCUSA) and other student representatives, who are nominated from their Colleges or Divisions or who self-nominate, together with staff from the Academy and professional and technical areas of JCU. A dedicated website has been designed to ensure that effective engagement and communication channels are maintained between students and James Cook University.

The University also consults broadly with the student body on matters that are relevant to the interests of students using the following mechanisms:

  • Surveys to monitor the effectiveness of key student services;
  • Surveys to gain feedback about subject offerings and teaching;
  • General invitations for comment via the web, social media and student bulletins; and
  • Kiosks and Workshops.

Process for SSA Fee consultation

With regard to the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSA Fee) allocation process specifically, the SSA Fee Income Allocation Working Group is tasked with this function and consults broadly with students to advise the Vice Chancellor directly on an agreed, proposed annual allocation. The Working Group plays a central role in the student consultation and fund allocation process, as it is constituted by a balanced membership of JCU Student Association (JCUSA) representatives, who work with staff of the University with expertise in specific areas of the SSA Fee legislative remit, including, for example: facilities management; student administration and academic services; student support services; library and information services and Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives. The Committee is chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Education.

Each year, the Chair of JCU’s SSAF Income Allocation Working Group consults with JCU student representatives (through JCUSA and the broader student body), to discuss priorities for expenditure of the proceeds of the SSA Fee income. The Working Group then considers matters raised through the consultation process and develops a proposed expenditure plan, detailing the established priorities, proposed heads of expenditure and projects to be funded.

Once the proposed expenditure plan has been developed, it is published to the JCU student body and students have a minimum of two weeks to provide feedback and comment. Through the consultation process and publication of the proposed expenditure plan, the elected student representation and the student body are provided with information about:

  1. the purpose of the SSAF;
  2. the amount of revenue anticipated;
  3. the mechanisms to establish priorities for expenditure; and
  4. the timing and mechanism available to comment on the proposed priorities.

Feedback received from students is considered by the SSA Fee Income Allocation Working Group, which then recommends a proposed SSAF expenditure plan to the Vice Chancellor for approval.

Details of SSA Fee expenditure over previous years is available here.

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