• Research and Examples of Practice

  • Conceptions of students as partners: Free access to research involving 11 Australian universities  engaged in students as partners projects

    Engaging students as partners (SaP) in teaching and learning is an emerging yet contested topic in higher education. This study interviewed 16 students and staff working in partnership across 11 Australian universities to understand how they conceptualised SaP and the opportunities they believed SaP afforded their universities. Thematic analysis revealed three overlapping conceptions of partnership: SaP as counter-narrative, SaP as values-based practice, and SaP as cultural change. The findings are first interpreted through the lens of liminality and an ethic of care. This is followed by a discussion of inclusivity of involvement, resistance, and reinforcement of neoliberal agendas despite good intentions. Finally, implications for cautious enactment of both practice and research are offered.

    Access the research here. This study was conducted in partnership and co-authored by Kelly Matthews, Alexander Dwyer, Lorelei Hines, and Jarred Turner.

  • International Journal for Students as Partners: Free, open access journal documenting research and practice

    The International Journal for Students as Partners (IJSaP) is a new journal about learning and teaching together in higher education. IJSaP explores new perspectives, practices, and policies regarding how students and staff (used here and subsequently to refer to academic staff/faculty, professional staff, and other stakeholders) are working in partnership to enhance learning and teaching in higher education. Shared responsibility for teaching and learning is the underlying premise of students as partners, and IJSaP is produced using a student-staff partnership approach. IJSaP is designed to appeal to a wide audience of readers and potential authors in the higher education community.

    It publishes high quality research articles, case studies, reflective essays, reviews and opinion pieces from around the world. Contributions written collaboratively by students and staff are particularly encouraged, although single and other co-authored pieces are also acceptable. All submissions go through a rigorous review process involving both staff and students who are trained and supported as reviewers.

  • Literature review on students as partners: 65 emprirical works over a five year period analysed

    A Systematic Literature Review of Students as Partners in Higher Education

    An international group of 20 students and staff from 4 countries have spent a year reviewing empirical research articles on students as partners. A great project inspired by my Australian Learning & Teaching Fellowship, this first publication from a subset of the broader project team offers an overview of our findings from 65 articles published in a five-year period.

    Interesting lit review on student partnerships: Despite many benefits, most are small scale, extracurricular, undergrad-focused, unpaid - Mary C. Wright, Director of Brown University's Sheridan Center for Teaching & Learning in the USA

    The findings of the literature review were discussed across four themes:

    1. Reciprocity of partnership
    2. Making space for sharing the (equal) realities of partnership
    3. Engaging in partnership practices in higher education
    4. Toward inclusive, partnered learning communities in higher education 

    Nine implications for future partnership research and practice were offered - read them in the article.

  • Australian case studies of partnership in practice 

    Short, practical case studies as examples of real students as partners practices are available here

  • International case studies of partnership in practice: Mick Healey hand-out on 'students as change agents'

    Mick Healey keeps an up to date reference list for works on students as change agents. The resource is available on this page of his website.

  • Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education: Reflective essays on partnership practices

    Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education (TLTHE) serves as a forum for the reflective work of college faculty and students working together to explore and enact effective classroom practice. Published three times per year, the journal is premised on the centrality to successful pedagogy of dialogue and collaboration among faculty and students in explorations and revisions of approaches to teaching and learning in higher education.

  • Engaging students as partners: A guide for faculty 

    This book offers a guide to developing productive student-faculty partnerships in higher education Student-faculty partnerships is an innovation that is gaining traction on campuses across the country. There are few established models in this new endeavour, however. Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching: A Guide for Faculty offers administrators, faculty, and students both the theoretical grounding and practical guidelines needed to develop student-faculty partnerships that affirm and improve teaching and learning in higher education.

    Must read text for anyone interested in learning more about students and staff working in partnership. Written by Alison Cook-Sather, Catherine Bovill, and Peter Felten. 

  • Supporting partnership through a community of practice


    The UQ Students as Partners (SaP) Community of Practice (CoP) was developed to create space for staff and students to explore, share, and improve partnership practices together to positively transform teaching, learning, and the student/staff experience.

    This SaP CoP was co-developed through partnership in June-July 2017 by:

    Fadia Khouri, Master of Educational Studies, international student, and 2017 ITaLI Winter Scholar Yvonne Oberhollenzer, Project Manager (Student Strategy) in ITaLI Kelly Matthews, Senior Lecturer in ITaLI


    The setting up of the UQ SaP CoP involved the co-design between staff and student via the UQ Winter Research Program (UQ Student Employability Centre, 2017).The development of the partnership included the agreements on the project deliverables, timeframe, and initial activities in ways that suited all partners. The expectations and personal goals were also shared to better support each other in their fulfilment. Reflection was also a key aspect of the process; it enabled an ongoing enhancement of the partnership and the recognition of the personal and mutual achieved outcomes. Regarding the co-design of the CoP, UQ SaP key stakeholders, staff and students that have knowledge on SaP or CoP, and external experts in SaP and/or student engagement were involved in the consultation process through brainstorming sessions, interviews, and online enquiry forms. This allowed a better understanding of the interests, needs, expectations, and potential challenges of the UQ SaP CoP.

    Read the full report: Co-designing a Community of Practice for Students as Partners in Partnership 

  • Inspiring Students as Partners Programs

  • Students as Learners & Teachers (SaLT) at Bryn Mawr, USA

    SaLT was piloted in 2006 by five faculty-student pairs who focused on making the faculty members' classrooms as inclusive and responsive to a diversity of students as they could be.

    The one-on-one, semester-long collaborations developed during the pilot phase of the program became the basic model for all partnerships through SaLT, which is now one of the longest-standing pedagogical partnership programs in the world. Most partnerships are between students and faculty, but other members of the community, such as librarians, have also partnered with students to explore and refine approaches to teaching and learning.

    The SaLT model has been adopted and adapted at universities internationally. 

    The key to SaLT is student consultants working with lecturers. Read more here.

  • Student Partner Program at McMaster University, Canada

    Since 2013, the MacPherson Institute has engaged both undergraduate and graduate students in our Student Partners Program (SPP), which was developed in collaboration with the Arts & Science program. The program was designed for students who are interested in pedagogical research and innovation. Since its inception, a wide range of students have contributed to the enhancement of teaching and learning at McMaster by participating in projects run through the SPP. Members of the student team have contributed to the design and development of new courses, helped to create resources for faculty and students, and collaborated with staff and faculty partners on research projects related to teaching and learning. Student partners are hired three times a year—in May, September, and January.

    The McMaster Student Partners Program GuideBook is a helpful reference for others seeking to establish similar programs

  • Student Fellow Scheme, University of Winchester, UK

    The purpose of the Student Fellows Scheme (SFS) is to recruit, train and develop students, who work in partnership with academics and professional staff, on targeted educational development projects. 

These projects can include: conducting evaluations, research or developing new initiatives that address a range of broad topics. The main purpose is to make a change to some aspect of the university that improves the experience for students. This could be on a specific module or across the whole institution. 

Students receive a bursary of £600, given in four installments across the academic year, subject to the completion of progress review stages

    Read more about the Student Fellow Scheme.

  • Change Makers at University College of London, UK

    UCL ChangeMakers supports students and staff in working together to make a difference to student learning at UCL. UCL ChangeMakers is about collaboration and innovation to enhance the UCL learning experience. Students and staff work together to make changes for the benefit of everyone in the UCL community.

    UCL ChangeMakers began in 2014/15 by supporting 10 student-initiated projects. We have since grown to work with over 100 students and staff each year on project work and also support the ASER Intensive departments through specialised UCL ChangeMakers roles and further project work on assessment & feedback. We now also support 80 students working in pairs to review the teaching of 40 members of staff as part of UCL's Peer Dialogue scheme.

    Read more about UCL Change Makers Program.

  • Higher Education Academy Reports

  • Engagement through partnership: Students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education

    Healey, Flint and Harrington 2014 Higher Education Academy Report summarising research, practices and exisitng model for student-staff partnerships. It presents a new model for considering partnership practices with case studies. 

  • A guide to ethics and student engagement through partnership

    Carol Taylor 2015 Higher Education Academy Report discussing the ethical issues that are part of the everyday lived experience of partnership and student engagement. The guide covers some key ethical frameworks and includes a series of questions designed as ethical prompts to help those engaged in partnership consider how to enact ethics in their partnership work. The guide includes two diagnostic tools to promote discussion of ethics in partnership processes.