After working together for several years, the Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQA) and the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) have agreed a formal partnership to enhance student voice and the engagement of students in the academic audit process.

AQA and NZUSA share an objective of having an authentic, enduring, diverse and effective student voice that contributes to academic quality and quality assurance in New Zealand universities. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) also supports a specific objective to include students, or recent graduates, as auditors in the sixth cycle of academic audit for AQA.

Sheelagh Matear, Executive Director of AQA, says the MoU creates a framework within which AQA and NZUSA will work together over the coming years.

“We have set out what each of our commitments are and how we will contribute to shared objectives.”

Jonathan Gee, President of NZUSA, says students are engaged closely in the core operations of a university and their representatives often have an insight into the highest levels of governance through representation on university councils and academic boards.

“This MoU seeks to build on these structures and embed student voice as a key feature of quality assurance.”

The MoU includes a joint work programme between the two organisations to train student representatives and to share information about international best practice of student voice in academic quality.

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