Amid international acknowledgement that new approaches are needed to engage 21st century students in their learning, the research clearly demonstrates that students who are actively engaged in their scholarship will achieve better outcomes overall – academically, socially, personally, professionally, intellectually.

The dialogue has evolved to “student as partners in teaching and learning as a process for engaging” – rather than the “doing to or doing for students” paradigm. It is a way of thinking, a mindset, a culture.

The Students as Partners (SaP) program harnesses the creativity and resourcefulness of students and staff in a collaborative partnership to enrich teaching and learning – students are engaged as agents of change.

This program has the potential to make a positive and ongoing impact upon teaching practice and learning outcomes at Macquarie University.

(Above): How do our students understand SaP?
– courtesy of the 2018 FoHS Partnership Program pilot.


What does the FoHS Students as Partners program aim to achieve?

  • To foster a culture of partnership where students are active members of their community of learning.
  • To enhance learning outcomes and overall student learning experience – academically, socially, personally, professionally, intellectually.
  • To support and enhance staff, student and peer to peer relations.
  • To encourage the commitment of all staff and student to the ethos of genuine partnership, acknowledging roles and responsibilities based on the principles of openness, clarity, respect and accountability.

What is involved in the Students as Partners (SaP) program?

This program will deliver across a range of component initiatives including:

(1) A Students as Partners Faculty Group will be established to identify and drive Faculty-wide partnership opportunities. It will be co-chaired by the academic Grant Lead, Nick Wilson (Linguistics) and Dean Bevitt, a Psychology student champion, with Departmental and PACE academic and student representatives. Lia Saunders is the Project Manager.

(2) It will build on the Partnership Program piloted in select units from S1 2018 where student representatives are gathering learning experience feedback from their Unit peers and collaborating with Unit Convenors to address learning issues arising during the session. This program was identified as a priority in the Faculty’s Learning 2020 Strategic Plan. Follow @mq_SaP to learn more.

2018 FoHS Partnership Program: LING121 team of student and staff partners

(3) Peer mentoring programs will be established within the Bachelor of Human Sciences and the Bachelor of Speech, Hearing and Language Sciences.

(4) The program will collaborate with Prof Kerry Sherman (Department of Psychology) in the development of a model for engaging international students in curriculum design.

(5) A key outcome will be the development of a Student/Staff Partnership Agreement by 2020.


How does the program fit in with MQ and Faculty key strategies?

The program aligns with:

Learning for the Future FoHS Strategic Plan Learning 2020
Students as Partners
(Key Objective 1.2)
to foster a student-first culture student engagement, student/staff partnership agreement, employability
and peer mentoring

How do I get involved?

Contact Lia Saunders (lia.saunders@mq.edu.au) if you would like to find out how you can participate in the program.

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Posted by Lia Saunders

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