The Government understands there is still uncertainty for students as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold. Our key priorities in response to COVID-19 have been to make sure students can continue their studies and are able to access financial support and pastoral care.
We will continue to look at ways we can support students as we recover from COVID-19. In doing so, it is especially important that students’ voices are heard and heeded.
In 2018, we started a conversation with Aotearoa New Zealand about what matters most in education. As part of the Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, we have heard from students, whānau, educators and communities about the importance of student voice to students, staff and providers.
We also heard there are pockets of good practice in our tertiary system where student voice is listened to and incorporated. But there is also room for improvement.
We consulted with the public from 21 August to 4 October 2019 on the current state of student voice. We also wanted to hear how student voice works for students, staff, and providers, and how it could be enhanced across three areas:
The discussion document from this consultation can be viewed here: Tertiary Student Voice Discussion Paper [PDF 737KB].
The ideas, thoughts and opinions you shared will help shape our thinking around ways to enhance student voice in Aotearoa New Zealand’s tertiary education system. The results from this consultation are now available.
We heard from a wide range of people across Aotearoa New Zealand, including through 329 survey responses, 18 written submissions, and nine face-to-face meetings.
There were nine key themes that were raised about how student voice currently works and how it could be enhanced going forward. These were:
There was broad support for the three focus areas with particularly strong support for establishing a national centre for student voice. Many people noted a national centre as a key way to enhance student voice in Aotearoa New Zealand.
For more detail about the feedback we received through consultation, please see the two papers below:
We have recently published the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021. From 1 January 2022, this code will replace the interim code for domestic learners which came into effect on 1 January 2020, and the code for international learners which has been in place for many years.
The code has a strong student voice lens, including enhanced expectations that providers will work with diverse learners and their communities to develop, review, and improve learner wellbeing and safety practices; and that providers will have processes for actively hearing, engaging with, and developing the voices of diverse learners.
The code also includes strengthened requirements for providers’ reporting and publishing, to increase transparency and ensure learners have sufficient information and resources to participate fully in decision-making processes.
You can read the complete code below.
Whiria Ngā Rau: Progressing from Student Voice to Partnerships rethinks tertiary 'student voice' and provides a framework for our system to progress towards a future where learners are vital, well-supported partners in an education system that honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
This framework was developed through a collaborative process building on the research, training practices and lived experience of student leaders, with support from the Ministry of Education.
If you have any questions about the work on enhancing student voice in tertiary education, please contact us at the Tertiary Strategy Mailbox: Tertiary.Strategy@education.govt.nz