Student Leadership in Curriculum Development and Reform project
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Student Leadership in Curriculum Development and Reform project Presented by Kylie Jackson - Project Manager (UWS). Supported by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. 2 year project (Jul 2013 – Jun 2015)

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Supported by the australian government office for learning and teaching

Student Leadership in Curriculum Development and Reform projectPresented byKylie Jackson - Project Manager (UWS)

Supported by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching

About the project

  • 2 year project (Jul project2013 – Jun 2015)

  • The project is being supported by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching

  • UWS lead institution

  • 6 project partners (NUS, La Trobe, UQ, USQ, UniSA, USYD)/Reference group (including National/International HE consultants and CAPA President Meghan Hopper)

  • Critical appraisal of student leadership roles in governance, management and operational frameworks of Australian universities (curriculum development delivery, review and improvement)

  • Project team will consult with students (undergraduate/postgraduate) across universities to understand issues of importance and establish a framework to make sure student voice is heard and responded to in appropriate ways.

About the project

Background to the project

  • Many mechanisms for gathering projectstudent input/student voice, little analysis of the validity and effectiveness of these strategies and how they could be improved.

  • Importance of student contributions to enhance the quality of their educational experience

  • Current challenges faced in developing valid, productive roles for student leaders in curriculum development (Lizzio & Wilson, 2009), include:

    • Role ambiguity

    • Lack of experience

    • Poor student training for leadership

    • Attitudes and expectations of staff

    • Systemic difficulties (including unaligned policies, poor committee structures and other governance related activities)

Background to the project

What will the project do

  • S projecttock take what is currently taking place in Higher Education sector

  • The project will deliver:

    • Good practice frameworks, guidelines and practical resources for empowering students to participate in curriculum development for L&T improvement

    • Resources for change management in this area, including:

      • case studies (reflecting good practice)

      • Documented challenges at institutional, staff and student level/suggestions on how these might be addressed

      • Clearly defined roles, performance indicators, training needs and leadership capabilities

      • Workshops and national forums to appraise findings and identify and validate key recommendations and guidelines for action.

    • Network of institutions committed to sharing practice and learning, using a common analytical lens/contributing to framework (though online surveys and focus groups), to understand effective practice of student participation in curriculum development and improvement

    • Key recommendations (Summary report)

    • National and International publications

What will the project do?

Why is the project so important

The projectproject’s outcomes will address a number of pressing needs in Higher Education in Australia.


  • The resources developed will support greater and valid student participation in learning, teaching and curriculum development.

  • The delivery of practical and productive models of what constitutes an effective partnership between teachers and learners to assure the student learning quality of our universities.

  • Ensuring that ways in which students are supported as leaders to participate in learning, teaching and curriculum development are applicable to their participation as leaders in other activities within the institution and in the wider community, resulting in additional benefits for the higher education sector and Australia more generally.

Why is the project so important?

How to contribute

We are currently undertaking a mapping exercise of student leadership roles in Universities


Typology of student leadership roles:

  • Presidents of student guilds/unions

  • Faculty and school representatives

  • Class and unit representatives

  • Representatives of discipline based clubs and societies

  • Student-led learning community leaders

  • Individual student voice (surveys/direct conversations)

  • Office holders in special interest Clubs and Societies

    If you have any comments or thoughts on student leadership and want to share your views with the project team, please email

How to contribute?