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Academic Quality Agency And New Zealand Union Of Students’ Associations Sign Partnership Agreement

The Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities and the New Zealand Union of Student Associations have signed a Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement updates and reframes a 2017 Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations. The move to a Partnership Agreement was led by NZUSA and reflects national and international developments in student engagement and contribution to academic quality.

AQA and NZUSA share an objective of having authentic, enduring, diverse and effective student partnerships in academic quality and quality assurance in New Zealand universities. The Partnership Agreement also supports a specific objective that students, or recent graduates, will be members of Audit Panels in the sixth cycle of academic audits for New Zealand Universities.

Since the signing of the 2017 MoU, AQA and NZUSA (with Te Mana Ākonga, Tauira Pasifika and the New Zealand International Students’ Association) have held four Student Voice Summits and NZUSA and their partner student associations have contributed a regular Student Voice column in the AQA newsletter. The Partnership Agreement includes a joint work programme to develop capability in student organisations, AQA and in audit panels and to share information about best practice.

Sheelagh Matear, Executive Director of AQA, says “the Partnership Agreement helps maintain AQA’s commitment to ensure that quality assurance is informed by and supports the contribution of student voices”. Andrew Lessells, President of NZUSA says “embedding the voices of students into quality assurance is vital to ensure that academic quality is valued and upheld. We’re excited by the opportunities presented as we transition from student voice to partnership and this Partnership Agreement is a solid step in our journey.”

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