Student Citizens' Assembly Update

Anthony Artusa


Over the past two weeks, 85 students joined a Student Citizens’ Assembly as part of the process to co-design a Student Experience Framework. The two sessions, held in hybrid mode with students attending both at the Junction and online, were centred around understanding the current student experience at Swinburne, the ideal future state and the enablers that will help us get there. We also explored the important role that student voice plays and how Swinburne staff and students will partner to co-create the student experience.

A broadly representative group of students participated in the Assembly. Students were chosen from all levels of study, including VET, Undergraduate, Postgraduate by coursework, and HDR, were and represented students studying on campus and through Swinburne Online, and both as well as domestic and international students to ensure that a diverse set of voices was engaged in the conversation.

“It is vitally important that a Student Experience Framework is created that is for ALL students”, said Aimee Gipper, Project Coordinator.

“Students were clear that they wanted a student experience that made them feel engaged and one that was easy to engage with.”

Some of the key themes that we heard from student participants were:

Curricular: Your learning experience - in class/lab/studio and in industry

  • Give students choice on how to access their lectures
  • Greater support with preparation for and sourcing of placements

Co-curricular: The academic and personal support services that are available to you

  • More real-world tasks that give opportunity to practice learnings
  • 24/7 student support counselling
  • Individual case managers for tailored course and admin support and advice

Extra-curricular: Social connection - clubs, sporting teams, events, etc.

  • More Swinburne-wide events
  • More sports facilities, live music, hang out spaces, food & freebies
  • Acknowledge extra-curricular activities on academic transcripts

Enabler: The foundations required for an organisation to function and operate

  • More student spaces for study/socialising/rest with longer opening hours
  • Supercharge the Swinburne app to be a better source of information
  • Consistent and clear communication of support services and events

“What we heard from students is that they want to see a better ‘vibe’ on campus, for longer – with activities regularly happening on campus”, said Gipper. “As we’ve seen over the past two weeks, students are excited to collaborate with the University to co-create what their experience and that of their peers will look like”

Day 2 of the Assembly was focussed on Student Partnership and Student Voice Model. Some of the key themes were:

Partnership Model: How students are engaged to co-design and co-create the student experience - for students, by students

  • Class reps to discuss areas for improvement and solve issues
  • Cross- discipline projects with students and staff teams
  • Student mentors to provide industry resources and information
  • Student facilitated mental health support groups
  • Development of a new single platform for all Swinburne activity including an area for club communications
  • Student placements at Swinburne Student Life

Student Voice Model: How students' feedback and input is captured, considered and utilised when making decisions that impact the student experience.

  • Students want input into assessment due dates and timings
  • Ongoing two-way communication channel between staff and students
  • Centralised system to raise tickets on service improvements
  • Anonymous avenues to provide feedback
  • Consolidated student representative body
  • Make it clear who student club leaders and representatives are
  • Accessible online platform to raise issues with the ability to vote and receive reward and recognition

“It was wonderful to see so many students in one room, and online taking the time to help improve the Swinburne student experience for all. It was truly inspirational and we have gathered some great ideas to move forward with,” said Gipper.


 Click here for more information on the project.

*Items discussed at the Student Citizens' Assembly will be used to draft a Student Experience Framework, Student Voice Model and Student Partnership Model, however, not all items suggested will be included in the final framework and models