Class Representation Policy
This policy applies to all students and staff members of the University l Waipapa Taumata Rau.
To provide a framework for the management of the class representative system.
The class representative system supports a learning and teaching partnership between staff members and students that:
- enables and encourage students to participate with staff members in the direction and activities of the university with a view to enhancing the student academic and social experience, and
- identifies and addresses issues and areas of concern for students.
Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) is responsible for managing the University class representative system.
1. The following courses must have at least one class representative elected by their peers (unless a year or cohort representative is appointed, see clause 4).
- Tertiary Foundation Certificate courses
- Undergraduate taught courses, including online courses
- Postgraduate taught courses, including online courses.
Note: if the course has fewer than five students, the course director must advise students of alternative mechanisms by which they can provide feedback and raise issues of concern during the course. See clause 5.
2. Class representatives will be appointed as follows:
- One class representative for each course with up to 250 enrolments
- Two class representatives for each course with more than 250 enrolments
- One class representative per stream for courses with more than 500 enrolments that is organised by streams.
3. To ensure that the role can be performed well alongside other commitments, a student may not act as class representative for more than two courses in one academic term.
Year or cohort representation
4. Where appropriate, a student representative (year or cohort representative) may be selected for a whole programme, cohort or year group.
Note: no more than two representatives will be appointed to represent a programme, cohort or year group.
Courses or programmes without class representatives
5. Where a representative is not elected in a smaller taught postgraduate course (i.e. a course with fewer than five students) or programme, course or programme directors must advise students of opportunities where student feedback will be sought.
6. Research masters and doctoral students must have other channels for feedback on their learning experience, including through supervisors and postgraduate advisors.
Note: Procedures for academic complaints are outlined in the Resolution of Student Academic Complaints and Disputes Statute. Postgraduate research students may also seek support through AUSA Advocacy. Doctoral students may seek support from the School of Graduate Studies and can provide feedback on their experience through surveys administered by the School.
The role of a class representative
7. A class representative is responsible for:
- completing the class representation registration form
- completing class representative training
- facilitating communication between staff and students in relation to course matters and class-wide issues
- ensuring that class members are given opportunities to provide feedback for Staff-Student Consultative meetings
- completing the e-Voice Diary
- raising any class members’ feedback and issues to their lecturer or course coordinator, and where appropriate at the academic unit SSCC meetings; and reporting back to students
- referring students with individual grievances to AUSA Advocacy.
Note: see Class Representation Guidelines for further information about the role.
Election and appointment
8. To ensure that all students have the opportunity to stand for class or year representative, information about the class representative system and the role of the class representative will be communicated to new students in orientation resources and made available to current students on Canvas, and on the University and AUSA websites.
9. To ensure representatives are in place early and can complete training, class or year representatives must be elected in the first two weeks of a semester or quarter.
10. Course directors must ensure that teaching staff have informed students about the class representative role and conducted an election within the specified period.
11. Course directors must hold an election in class or online, and may determine which option is most suitable based on the course delivery mode. The election must take place online if there are students enrolled in the class who do not have the opportunity to attend in-person courses.
12. Online elections: the teacher must ask interested students to provide a statement to be posted on Canvas on why they want to be a representative. The class representative shall be elected by an online vote, in the first two weeks of the semester or quarter.
13. In class elections: the teacher must ask interested students to speak briefly on why they want to be a representative. The class representative shall be elected by a show of hands, in the first two weeks of the semester or quarter.
14. If no candidates stand for class/year representative the course director will advise the AUSA Student Voice Manager. The Manager will liaise with the class and assist with the selection of a class or year representative, where possible.
15. Elected class representatives must register as class representatives on the form provided by AUSA.
16. The AUSA Student Voice Manager will maintain a register of the class representatives appointed for an academic term and follow up with course directors where appointments have not been made within the first two weeks of a semester or quarter to ensure representatives receive training.
Training and support
17. AUSA will provide training materials and information to support class representatives in their role.
18. The AUSA Student Voice Manager supports the Class Representation System and works with class representatives and staff. The Student Voice Manager will work with Group Services Administrators and faculty professional staff supporting Student-Staff Consultative Committees, including providing guidance on process.
Standing down as class representative
19. Where a class or year representative withdraws from a course or programme, or if for any other reason cannot continue in their role, they will inform the course or programme director, and AUSA. A representative from AUSA will liaise with the course or programme director to select a new class representative.
Student-Staff Consultative Committees
Academic Unit Student-Staff Consultative Committees
20. Each academic unit or discipline must constitute a Student-Staff Consultative Committee (SSCC).
21. Faculties without academic units may hold faculty meetings rather than academic unit meetings to address issues raised by class representatives.
22. All class, year or cohort representatives, and all postgraduate student representatives, are members of the academic unit or discipline SSCC.
23. SSCC meetings (whether in-person or online) must be held twice each semester or quarter and once during the summer semester. The first SSCC meeting should not happen before week five, and the second SSCC meeting after week seven.
Note: the exact timing of SSCC meetings can differ for quarter programmes and summer semester. Meetings must be agreed by the chair as soon as possible, communicated to SSCC members, and added to the calendar on the SSCC website.
24. An academic unit or discipline must nominate a senior academic staff member to chair academic unit SSCC meetings. At least two other academic staff must be members of the academic unit SSCC.
25. The chair will set the agenda, chair meetings and address and report on matters raised by students.
26. At the first SSCC meeting the chair should ensure that new members understand their role, where they can seek advice or support, and the way in which the Committee will work.
27.At the first SSCC meeting, one student will be elected by the student members to represent the academic unit at faculty SSCC meetings.
28. SSCC meetings will cover the following business:
- Confirmation of the previous SSCC meeting minutes.
- Updates for SSCC members on action points raised previously, as appropriate.
- A report from the student member of the faculty SSCC
- As appropriate, an overview of recent SET course evaluation results (where available) and the academic unit’s response to any general learning and teaching issues identified.
- discussion of any academic unit matters with relevance to students, e.g. disciplinary area or academic unit reviews; curriculum reviews or programme reviews.
- consideration of issues and proposed solutions presented by students across:
- teaching, learning and assessment.
- student support and guidance (academic and pastoral).
- teaching and learning resources e.g. IT, teaching space.
- issues arising from other feedback mechanisms.
- any matters referred for feedback from the Vice-Chancellor’s Student Consultative Group (VCSCG) or the AUSA Student Council.
- matters to refer to the faculty SSCC meeting.
Note: SSCCs do not deal with complaints or grievances about staff or students, which have a separate process. Informal resolution of academic complaints or grievances may involve the support of a class representative. Formal procedures are outlined in the Resolution of Student Academic Disputes and Complaints Statute
29. Administrative support of the academic unit SSCC, including the preparation of agenda, documentation and the recording of minutes, will be provided by a nominated Group Services Administrator appointed by the Group Services Manager. Minutes will include action points on the issues raised in meetings. An agenda must be circulated to all members one week before the meeting.
30. To ensure that outcomes are shared with the wider community, the Group Services Administrator must distribute or make available to members the minutes of SSCC meetings and upload the minutes into the University SSCC website. The University SSCC website will allow staff and student access to academic unit and faculty SSCC minutes through Single Sign-on.
Faculty Student-Staff Consultative Committees
31. Student membership will be:
- one class, or year or cohort representative from each academic unit unless this is the only meeting for the faculty;
- one postgraduate representative from each academic unit;
- one representative from each faculty student association.
32. The faculty SSCC will be chaired by a student.
33. The chair may be an existing class rep, or the representative of a faculty student association. Where there are multiple faculty associations a system of alternating chairs, or a chair and deputy chair, may be agreed. See Guidelines.
34. The student chair will have a senior academic staff member as co-chair or deputy chair to support them in their duties listed under item 37.
35.The Dean or Dean’s nominee, and at least one other senior academic staff member must be members of the faculty SSCC.
36. The Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) will be a member of the faculty SSCC (if not already a member as the Dean’s nominee or senior academic staff member).
37. The chair will set the agenda, induct new members, chair meetings, and address and report on matters raised by students.
38. Each faculty will organise at least one faculty SSCC meeting (whether in-person or online) per semester, and during the summer semester.
Note: the timing of faculty SSCC meetings must be agreed as soon as possible, communicated to SSCC members, and added to the Calendar in the University SSCC website.
39. During the summer semester, if it is not possible to hold a faculty SSCC meeting, faculties will appoint a staff member whom the class representatives can approach to raise issues.
40. The faculty SSCC is to:
- ensure that new members understand their role, where they can seek advice or support, and the way in which the Committee will work.
- hear reports on the successful resolution of issues at the academic unit level that would be valuable shared more widely.
- consider an overview of the most recent Learning and Teaching Survey and SET course evaluation faculty results, and the faculty’s response to any general learning and teaching issues identified.
- discuss unresolved issues referred from academic unit SSCC meetings or for those faculties without academic units.
- consider any issues referred by students to their class/year representatives
- consider issues that have faculty-wide relevance such as programme or accreditation review.
- consider issues for referral to Vice Chancellor’s Student Consultative Group or to AUSA Student Council that have University-wide relevance.
consider any business relating to the student learning experience, student views or feedback.
41. Administrative support is provided by a professional staff member from the faculty with role responsibilities for student engagement. An agenda must be issued one week before the meeting.
Note: See the Class Representation Guidelines for the contents of the agenda.
42. Minutes will include action points on the issues raised in meetings.
43. To ensure that outcomes are shared with the wider community the minutes will be made available to all members of the committee and uploaded to the University SSCC website. The University website will allow staff and student access to academic unit and faculty SSCC minutes through Single Sign-On.
44. Faculty SSCC minutes are to be reported to faculty meetings via consideration at faculty academic or learning and teaching committees.
45. Any issues unable to be resolved by the faculty SSCC may be referred to AUSA Student Council or the Vice-Chancellor’s Student Consultative Group for further consideration.
46. AUSA will prepare a twice-yearly report for Teaching and Learning Quality Committee summarising by theme the issues discussed at faculty SSCCs.
Roles and responsibilities
47. The course director is responsible for:
- facilitating the election of class representatives in the first two weeks of semester.
providing the names of elected class representatives to academic units and faculty professional staff.
- uploading class representative names and contact details to Canvas.
providing time for class representatives to speak in class OR providing space on Canvas for class representatives to communicate with class members.
- meeting and communicating with class representatives, either online or in-person.
48. Academic unit or faculty SSCC chairs are responsible for working together to:
- induct new members.
- organise and chair SSCC meetings twice a semester.
- set the agenda for SSCC meetings.
- follow up on decisions reached or action items, and forward unresolved issues or concerns to the faculty SSCC.
- briefing successor chairs and handing over relevant documentation.
49. A nominated Group Services Administrator is the point of contact between the academic unit and AUSA, and is responsible for:
- advising all class representatives of AUSA training opportunities.
liaising with the SSCC chairs to organise the dates of meetings and notifying the SSCC members.
- Meeting dates should be added to the Calendar on the University SSCC website.
- Distributing academic unit agendas and minutes to all academic unit SSCC members and uploading them to the University SSCC website.
50. The professional staff member of the faculty office is the point of contact between faculty SSCCs and AUSA, and is responsible for:
- ensuring faculty SSCC members’ contact details are made available to students on Canvas.
liaising with the faculty SSCC chairs or co-chairs to organise the dates of meetings and notifying the SSCC members. Meeting dates should be added to the Calendar on the University SSCC Repository.
- organising the nomination of the student chair or co-chair ahead of the first faculty SSCC meeting
distributing faculty SSCC agendas and minutes to all SSCC members and uploading them to the University SSCC website.
51. The AUSA Student Voice Manager takes a leading role in coordinating and facilitating the class representative system across the university, and is responsible for:
- sending reminders to academic units about selection and election of class representatives for each course or programme.
- providing training sessions and support to class and year representatives.
- communicating any issues or matters of interest to class representatives.
- maintaining the AUSA class representatives database.
- raising awareness about AUSA Advocates and the role they play in any individual grievances.
- submitting a twice-yearly report to Teaching and Learning Quality Committee summarising the issues and themes raised at faculty SSCCs.
The following definitions apply to this document:
Academic unit means department or school.
Academic unit (school, department, discipline) Student-Staff Consultative Committees (academic unit SSCC) means a committee comprised of class/year representatives and academic staff members which considers and acts on issues of concern for students.
Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) is the voluntary students’ association at the University of Auckland.
AUSA Advocacy means the advocacy team at the Auckland University Students’ Association who offers free advice to students on academic, financial or personal issues.
AUSA Student Voice Manager means a member of the Auckland University Students’ Association who is responsible for coordinating training, communication and advice to class and year representatives and University staff.
AUSA Student Council means a council of students comprising AUSA Executive members, the Student Voice Manager and faculty association presidents which meets monthly during the academic year.
Class representative means a student enrolled in a course who is selected by students in that course to facilitate communication between staff and students enrolled in that course.
Faculty student association refers to a faculty-based students’ association affiliated to AUSA and a member of AUSA Student Council.
Faculty Student-Staff Consultative Committees (faculty SSCC) means a committee comprised of elected academic unit class representatives and academic staff members of the committee to discuss issues referred from academic unit SSCC meetings and to identify issues for University-level consideration, where appropriate.
Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.
Teacher refers to the academic staff member who is working directly with the students in class or online in the first two weeks of the semester/quarter.
University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.
Vice-Chancellor’s Student Consultative Group is a forum for senior University staff and student representatives to share information and perspectives on strategic issues affecting the student experience at the University.
Year or cohort representative means a student enrolled in a programme selected by students in that programme whose role is to facilitate communication between staff and students enrolled in that programme.
Key relevant documents
Document management and control
Owner: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education)
Content manager: Manager, Academic Quality Office and AUSA
Approved by: Council
Dates approved: 8 Dec 2021
Review date: 8 Dec 2026