Student voice is a way to actively contribute to the decision making processes at the University of Waikato. Through different channels, students and alumni can provide feedback, share unique perspective and ideas, and influence outcomes and change at the University.
Check out how Student Voice has influenced change
In 2019 two full time Mental Health nurses were appointed to the Mental Health and Wellbeing team. A Health Promotion Coordinator began in 2019 to support wellbeing of the wider student population, and specifically support Pacific, Māori and LGBTQIA+ student communities.
A dedicated Māori student space, Pūtikitiki, opened in October 2020 via a collaborative agreement between the Waikato Students Union (WSU) and the University. Once The Pā opens in 2023, this will move to a space within the new building.
In 2020 and 2021, the University delivered Chromebooks (on loan) and Internet receivers to students who told us they had IT access needs.
In 2020 the student finance area was reviewed and refined so students could more readily understand and engage with their accounts online. Process improvements included automated receipts, the discontinuation of refunds by cheque, and improvements to invoicing and debt collection processes.
Career development was a high priority over their time at university, and they wanted more employment opportunities.
Students had voiced over several years that they wanted more flexible learning options to choose when to study on campus or at home, and this became more important with the Covid-19 pandemic. In response to what students have voiced, in 2021 permanent Flexible Delivery options were implemented via FLEXI papers.
Core Student Voice Mechanisms
(Every two years)
The Student Barometer Survey is the University's key student experience survey. It is sent to all currently enrolled students biennially via i-graduate. The survey gathers relevant feedback on arrival, learning, living and support, and allows for open comments, which provides a deeper level of understanding students' experiences.
The University conducts formal evaluations on taught papers at all levels, these are sent directly to students and happen at least every second occurrence of the paper.
- Paper Evaluations capture students’ perceptions of learning objectives, assessment, resources, organisation, timing and overall learning experience. Evaluation of the paper is helpful for planning and development.
- Teaching Evaluations are designed to capture students’ perceptions of teaching effectiveness in relation to the ability to generate interest and engagement, approachability, clarity, providing opportunities for active learning, and enthusiasm for the subject and for teaching.
Coordinated by the Waikato Students’ Union (WSU) Voice Team, with the support of the Academic Office, Class Representation (Class Reps) enable students to work collaboratively with staff. This is to enhance the student experience and help facilitate communication. Class Reps are a conduit between students and lecturers, and create an opportunity for class feedback.
The Graduate Destination Survey is a core mechanism to better understand what graduates have gained from their studies at the University, their employment patterns, and how their studies have contributed to their careers so far. It is sent to alumni approximately a year after graduating.
Sent to new A Trimester students in March each year, the New Student Survey gathers feedback on why they chose the University of Waikato, application and enrolment process, orientation, and other initial experiences. Data is used to revise and adjust processes for subsequent years.
Other ways to provide feedback
Beyond the core mechanisms, the University seeks student feedback through varying surveys, consultation processes, focus groups, workshops, user testing of technology systems, and various other forums. Some of the other ways students can feedback and have a voice are via:
- Waikato Students' Union
- Student Clubs and Sports groups
- Communicating directly with your teachers and university staff