Student communication and engagement
The University carries out extensive formal and informal communication and engagement with its students as part of its commitment to ‘students as partners’.
Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington conducts extensive communication and engagement with its students, reflecting the University’s commitment in its Strategic Plan to students as partners.
There are many formal avenues for communication and engagement with students and many students also engage informally with academic and professional staff throughout the University.
Academic student representation
There is formal student academic representation on a range of boards and committees. These include:
- University Council and Council sub-committees
- Academic Board
- Academic Committee
- Learning and Teaching Committee
- Faculty Boards
- Faculty Learning and Teaching Committees
- Class Representatives.
There are many avenues for student feedback including student evaluations coordinated by the Centre for Academic Development to ensure that our learning and teaching is effective, the opportunity for feedback from students when we change or add a course and formal feedback processes that are carried out once in every three offerings of a course.
Student services representation
Students are formally included in the many forums that make decisions about student services through representation from a range of groups including VUWSA, Ngāi Tauira, PGSA, V‑ISA (International), Pasifika Students Council, and Disabled Students Association. These forums include:
- The Advisory Committee on the Student Services Levy (ACSSL)
- Mauri Ora Student Participation Group
- Piki Governance Group
- Student Wellbeing Awareness Team
- Sexual Violence Prevention Working Group
- Access Committee
- Joint Student Union Board
- Sponsorship Committee
- Clubs Council
- Hardship Committee.
Regular engagement forums
Formal academic and student services representative structures are complemented by regular one-on-one meetings between student leaders and university leaders. These include meetings between various members of VUWSA, Ngāi Tauira, PGSA, V‑ISA (International), and the Pasifika Students Council and the Vice-Chancellor, Provost, Chief Operating Officer, Vice-Provost (Research), Vice-Provost (Academic), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori), Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika), Assistant Vice-Chancellor (International), Director Student Academic Services, Director Student and Campus Living, and the Dean of Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research.
There is a weekly meeting between the Vice-Provost (Academic) and the Director of Student Academic Services with representatives of all of the above student groups as well as representatives from the Victoria University of Wellington Law Students’ Society, Chinese Students Association, Disabled Students Association and the student members of the University Council. A senior member of the University’s communications team attends to ensure key messages from the meeting are disseminated to students via university channels.
University staff attend the student-led and organised Student Assembly as invited.
The University’s Pandemic Committee has student representation and there have been regular meetings throughout 2020 in response to COVID-19. Other committees with student representation include:
- Library Information and Strategy Committee
- Te Herenga Waka Resilience Programme Student Advisory Panel
- Human Ethics Committee
- Animal Ethics Committee
- Research and Sustainability Steering Group
- Honours Committee.
Specific consultation is undertaken with students on strategic university initiatives with recent examples including the development of the University’s Sexual Harassment Response Policy and Procedures, Digital Roadmap, Students Services Programme and the Strategic Plan.
Staff and students also work in partnership on civic engagement activities with examples including Sustainability Week, Leadership Week and Matariki.
The University regularly surveys students to understand the effectiveness of University activities.
Regular surveys include:
- Getting Started—for all students new to Victoria University of Wellington in 2020
- YOU. Student Wellbeing survey—for all new undergraduate students and returning students
- SERU-I survey—an international benchmarking survey for all undergraduate and postgraduate students in alternate years
- Undergraduate experience survey—for all undergraduate students
- International Student Barometer
- Strategic Student Services Levy Survey every 2 to 3 years
- An annual student accommodation survey at the end of Trimester 2.
Training for students
Students are offered university-funded and delivered training including:
- Responding to disclosures of sexual harm—for Residential Assistants and VUWSA
- Active Bystander Intervention—for Residential Assistants
- Online modules, co-created with students, on Respectful Relationships (covering Healthy Relationships, Consent, Unacceptable Behaviour, Active Bystander Intervention, Pathways for reporting and support) for all first-year students
- Tutor training programmes.
University communications to students
The University communicates with students across a range of channels, including:
Email—the student newsletter Whītiki is emailed weekly and emails are sent regularly to specific groups of students and to University accommodation residents and their whānau
Posters and signage
Digital screens—on all our campuses
Text messages—used in emergencies or exceptional circumstances
University responses to Salient
Contact Centre outward call campaigns—in specific circumstances