Charting a course to success


While university life is often what you make of it, a new Student Charter identifies the ingredients for success and commits both staff and students to fostering them.

First proposed by Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) president Max Hardy in late 2010, the Student Charter was developed by the Academic Office and VUWSA working in collaboration and heeding feedback from the University community on earlier drafts.

The document articulates five goals students are encouraged to work towards to get the most from their studies, and outlines how the University will support students to achieve these goals.

Associate Professor David Crabbe, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Academic), says the new Student Charter differs from past charters prepared in 1998 and 2000, which were lengthy and seldom used.

“This document was prepared in a spirit of partnership. It reflects our desire to work closely with students to create an environment that provides a good learning experience and a good general student experience, and is a collective statement of responsibility across the University to foster such an environment.

“We deliberately kept it concise so that everyone can use it as a point of reference. It provides broad brush strokes; each statement can be referred to and elaborated on when considering policies, processes and activities in daily university life.”

The five goals encourage students to be active members of a scholarly community committed to enquiry and integrity; engage intellectually with others; develop autonomy in pursuing knowledge and understanding; broaden their social and cultural engagement; and communicate concepts, ideas and arguments effectively.

David says the Charter is designed as a key document to guide both learning and teaching. It is already being used in the training of class representatives and will be included as part of Victoria’s staff induction processes.