2019 Your UQ Life Newsletter

Welcome to Your UQ Life Newsletter, after great welcome weeks we are excited to share experiences, opportunities, programs, and stories from across your University. 

Have you got a great UQ student experience that you would like to share? Please submit your story and you might be our next feature story. Submit story now.

1. A day in the life of a Student Representative

Submitted by Yonee and edited by UQlife

Yonee is a UQ student representative. In simple terms, this means she works in partnership with other students and staff across the university to better understand and cater for the needs of students. Yonee currently sits on the UQ International Student Experience Working Group. Every two weeks she meets with her group to discuss the needs and experiences of international students and works on solutions and strategies to enhance their everyday life. As the domestic student representative, Yonee is essentially the liaison between her international counterparts and domestic student cohort, funnelling information between the two student groups to find a balance between them.

“There are 10 people in my working group in total. One staff member sits on the Queensland International Student Advisory Panel for 2019; one student acts as a UQ student representative for domestic students (myself); and eight students act as UQ student representatives for international students. We meet fortnightly and collect data from meetings, focus groups and surveys and then pick out problems and discuss them,” said Yonee.

“There are so many issues and struggles out there for students that I simply was not aware of. Everyone has different backgrounds and cultures and think so differently. We cannot just assume everyone has the same view on things or assume the experience of a domestic student is the same as an international student. Everyone’s struggle is different.”

The information and discussions had amongst Yonee’s working group is vital to create change at UQ and beyond. The information goes to the University to help bridge the gap between domestic and international students and to the QLD government to help with policy and procedures regarding international students. Each time the group meets; she learns something new and advances her knowledge and way of thinking.

“My knowledge about different communities and cultures has broadened so much. I find myself looking at things a lot deeper and have a much better insight into other people’s way of thinking. I can really see things from a different perspective now. It has also become apparent how important the student voice is at UQ and how our voices can really effect decision making across the university and wider community.”

So how did Yonee stumble across such a unique role?

“I was always interested in being a part of the Student-Staff Partnerships community and when a role came up on Student Hub that I was interested in I applied. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a student representative role, but I’m so glad I went for it!”

So what is it like being a part of the Student-Staff Partnerships community?

“Personally I really like being involved in a lot of things and the Student-Staff Partnerships community is a supportive environment that offers professional development opportunities, networking events, and breakfasts and meet ups where you can connect with other student representatives and student and staff partners. We talk about our struggles, different approaches and support each other. I also find it is good to explore outside of your school or faculty. While my faculty provides me with a number of amazing opportunities, I don’t want my networks to be only faculty based. Student-Staff Partnerships offers a diverse community of people you can learn from.”

- Check student hub for volunteering and job opportunities!
- Look for communities outside your school and faculty. Eg. Volunteering & Student- Staff Partnerships.
-Get involved! Its’ great for the resume and building confidence!
-The university really can help you! UQ has free legal services, counselling services, employability services, health services and so much more. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
- Attend events. You learn a lot and meet heaps of people!
- Read your UQ email, follow your school or faculty social media account, or follow other larger university accounts like UQlife, UQSEC, UQUnion and Uniofqld! They offer a number of opportunities.

If you would like to know more about student Representation or how to work in partnership at UQ, visit the Student-Staff Partnerships website.

More about Student-Staff Partnerships