The Student Engagement Framework

Te Herenga Waka is committed to working with students as partners. The Student Engagement Framework has been developed to support this work.

The framework establishes the vision, values, and objectives of student engagement within Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. The vision of the framework is to create a culture of collaboration—based on genuine respect, transparency, and inclusion—to achieve our strategic direction. It builds on the University’s Strategic Plan, and reflects our Te Tiriti Statute, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Framework.


Support our strategic vision and honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Our community needs to be committed to an environment where staff and students work together as valued partners and where honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi is central to our aspirations.

Develop a culture of respectful and valued engagement

Engaging and valuing the expertise of our students in governance, academic quality, research excellence, and service quality will enable our community to achieve its goals.

Foster equitable, diverse, and inclusive practice

We all share a responsibility to respect the rights, differences, and dignity of others, and to sustain a culture that fosters the acquisition of knowledge and wellbeing.

Develop student capability for leadership

Students must be supported and resourced so they can undertake representative work in a meaningful and knowledgeable way.

Keep students connected and informed

Strong communication is key to being part of a connected and informed community and creating a sense of belonging.

Monitor and review partnership progress

Monitoring and reviewing progress will prepare and position us for the future.

More information about the objectives is available in the full Framework PDF document.

Benefits of collaborative working

The Framework lays out the benefits of collaborative working for staff and students at the University.

Collaborative working:

  • improves the effectiveness of the organisation
  • increases the transparency of information between partners
  • creates space for student voices to be genuinely heard and engaged in their own learning
  • enables informed decision-making
  • provides the opportunity for students to participate democratically in institutional life, which sets them up for active involvement as citizens in a democratic state
  • contributes to, and improves, the quality of learning, research, governance, and services
  • creates connectedness and improves community wellbeing
  • builds a shared vision and strategic direction that all can support and own
  • supports inclusiveness and demonstrates that we live our values
  • contributes to the development of our graduate attributes:
    • to have a specialised understanding of their chosen field(s) of study
    • to exhibit well-developed skills in critical and creative thinking
    • to communicate complex ideas effectively and accurately in a range of contexts
    • to demonstrate intellectual autonomy through independence of thought, openness to ideas and information, and a capacity to manage their own learning
    • to demonstrate intellectual integrity and understand the ethics of scholarship
  • enables students to be better prepared to contribute to society and develop the skills and attributes to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Ways of working together

The principles set out in the Student Engagement Framework will apply to multiple issues with varying complexity. Working together will involve a range of approaches to partnership, depending on the context. Relevant and appropriate approaches will include advisory roles, advocacy, co-design, consultation, decision-making, and feedback.

  • Advisory roles: These have the power to make recommendations but not to approve or implement them; for example, the Mauri Ora Student Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on the Student Services Levy.
  • Advocacy: Public support for an idea, plan, or way of doing something.
  • Co-design: Staff and students work together to actively create an agreed outcome.
  • Consultation: The action or process of formally consulting or discussing a critical issue. This is usually used to gather views from a wider group that may have different opinions and perceptions.
  • Decision-making: The act or process of deciding something, especially with a group of people; for example, Council members.
  • Feedback: Information about reactions to a service, product, a person’s performance of a task, or similar, which is used as a basis for improvement.

There is formal student academic representation on many boards and committees, including dedicated University committees.

To learn more about the Framework, download the full Framework document.