In 2020, the Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQA) was externally reviewed. Several of the External Review recommendations considered how AQA can better support and work with the student representatives it engages with, including a recommendation that AQA work with students’ association to develop a national framework and good practice guidelines for working with students in academic quality activities.
These recommendations coincided with a broader trend that is occurring in pockets of the tertiary education sector in Aotearoa New Zealand, an embracing of student partnership.
The first section of the paper explores the terms student voice, student engagement and student partnership to identify the overlaps and distinctions of these concepts, before arriving at definitions for how they will be used in the context of academic quality.
The second section examines student partnership frameworks in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, England, Europe and Australia to understand what factors have contributed to the successful embedding of student partnership practices in those regions. This section also analyses the recent history of student voice and partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand and looks at the development of its own student partnerships principles in Whiria Ngā Rau: Progressing from student voice the partnerships (Ministry of Education in partnership with Te Mana Akonga, New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, Tauira Pasifika, and the National Disabled Students’ Association, 2021).