Student Voice Policy

This policy is not currently active but will come into effect on 1 July 2024. It is provided here for references only.


This policy applies to all members of the University.


This policy outlines the principles and responsibilities associated with University’s commitment to engaging our students in dialogue and decision making about their teaching, learning and wider student experiences.


The University recognises the importance of the student voice - directly involving students’ feedback, ideas, questions and concerns in decisions at all levels across the breadth of university activities. It is essential that all students have opportunities to influence the life of the University and to contribute to curating a university experience that is beneficial to them and fellow students.

The University’s Student Charter sets out the broader rights and responsibilities of the University and of students.


The University recognises the importance of and is committed to:

a. Te Tiri o Waitangi, in particular ngā tikanga katoa rite tahi | Māori ways of doing, equal to all others, as given expression through Toitū Waipapa | The Enduring Framework.

b. The sacred vā or special relationship between Māori and Pacific peoples by virtue of shared whakapapa as well as commonalities in origins, languages, histories, and culture.

c. The concepts of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga.

d. Excellence in learning, teaching and postgraduate research and to enhancing the student experience at all levels of study and across programmes.

e. Supporting achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in particular Goal 4 ‘Quality Education’.



1. To ensure a high-quality student experience students will have opportunities to reflect on, evaluate, and shape their experiences of academic study and the wider service offering.

2. The University will engage with students and with students’ representatives in order to:

i. Ensure that students are integral to governance and decision making.

ii. Ensure that students are integral to quality assurance and enhancement activities.

iii. Provide opportunities for students to become active participants in their learning and other student experiences.

iv. Foster collaboration and cooperation between students and staff members.

3. The University will ensure that its engagement with students is fair, equitable and mana enhancing.


4. The scope of this policy includes the individual and collective perspectives and experiences of students within the context of their teaching, learning and wider student experiences.

5. This policy is not intended to apply to:

i. Students’ work submitted for credit.
ii. Students’ participation in research as subjects.
iii. Students’ experiences while as employees of the University.


6. The University and its members are responsible for:

i. Providing opportunities for students to participate in and provide feedback individually and collectively on the teaching and research activities, and services offered by the University.

ii. Ensuring that Māori student voice is heard in recognition of the status of tauira as tangata whenua.

iii. Ensuring that all conversations with students – written and spoken - recognise that our student body is diverse and that students will have varied views on issues. When seeking feedback from students, ensure that conversations are inclusive and accessible, and enable all students to participate so that as many student voices as possible may be captured.

iv. Transparency when feedback is collected from students, ensuring it is made clear why feedback is being sought, what will be done with it, and how it will be used and by whom.

v. Ensuring that student voice is represented in strategic decision making.

vi. Recognising and managing the time and effort asked of students as they contribute to university initiatives and decision-making

vii. Ensuring that venues, forums, and media for engaging student voice are safe and accessible.

Note: the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Equity provides guidance on creating a safe, inclusive and equitable University, and an accessible University.

7. Teachers are responsible for:

i. Ensuring that students in their courses or under their supervision are provided with adequate opportunities to provide feedback on their experiences.

ii. Ensuring that the privacy of individual students is protected in their responses to student feedback.

8. Students are responsible for:

i. Providing feedback on their experiences of teaching, research supervision and services provided the University.

ii. Engaging in processes to identify student representatives for courses, programmes and University committees.


9. The University will:

i. Create an environment and opportunities for Student Voice that embrace te ao Māori, mātauranga Māori, kaupapa Māori, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and our Pacific context and connections.

ii. Recognise the diversity among students and seek to support and obtain an authentic student voice from this diverse student community.

iii. Be flexible and strive continuously to create a welcoming, safe, and accessible environment where students feel comfortable sharing their voice.

iv. Ensure student engagement is widely owned by both students and staff at all levels, with students considering, deliberating and developing informed views independent of the University.

v. Ensure that responses are provided to students’ feedback – individually or collectively, as appropriate.

vi. Partner with students to develop and implement strategies, plans, procedures, and guidelines, with accountability and appropriate measures of progress and success, to operationalise the principles and responsibilities described by this policy.

vii. Provide support to students’ representatives in recognition of their contribution and in order to sustain the student voice.

10. All staff members will:

i. Encourage student feedback and provide respectful responses to this.

ii. Recognise that a student’s culture, beliefs, circumstances, health, experiences, identity, and values can all affect their participation. Engage with students equitably, respectfully, and while being attentive to cultural differences and other characteristics that may affect this engagement.

Note: staff members should note the University’s Privacy Policy in respect to information provided by or about individual or groups of students, and the Addressing Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Procedures when engaging with student voice.

11. Students will:

i. Ensure feedback is constructive, respectful and consistent with the University’s Code of Conduct and Equity Policy in respect to manaakitanga.

ii. When acting as student representatives, ensure their contributions strive to represent their peers, and utilise appropriate channels to advise on and resolve matters of concern.

iii. When acting as student representatives, use surveys or other tools to obtain students’ feedback responsibly, and at all time respect the privacy of students and teachers.

Note: students should observe the University’s Privacy Policy in respect to information provided by or about individual or groups of students, and the Addressing Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Procedures when engaging in student voice activities.

Revisions to this Policy

12. Revisions and updates to this Policy will consult with and consider the advice of students and with students’ representatives, and with the Policy Partners.


Diversity among students includes, but is not limited to: learners of varying ages, cultures, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientation, gender identities, international learners, refugee background learners, low socio-economic background learners, disabled students, distance learners, and students experiencing care responsibilities.

Manaakitanga means we show respect, care and support for others and we act with kindness and hospitality.

Members means all students, staff members, honorary and adjunct staff, contractors and subcontractors, consultants, and members of University Council.

Policy Partners include the President of the Auckland University Students’ Association, the President of the University of Auckland Postgraduate Students Association, Director of Campus Life, Dean of Graduate Studies, and Pro Vice-Chancellor Education.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.

Student experience refers to the learning, teaching and assessment experience and the wider student experience, including the experience of student support services.

Student voice is the individual and collective perspective and actions of students within the context of learning and education. It refers to facilitating authentic student engagement through partnership and the inclusion of this voice in institutional decision-making and governance for learning and teaching, research, and the student experience.

Teacher refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part-time basis to provide instruction to students in taught courses.

University means Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Whanaungatanga means we commit to making our University community a place in which all feel they belong.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Pro Vice-Chancellor Education
Content manager: Manager, Academic Quality Office
Approved by: Council
Date approved: 11 December 2023
Effective from: 1 July 2024 
Review date: 11 December 2028