Student voice takes center stage at Have Your Say Day

Student voice takes center stage at Have Your Say Day

Student attendees shared their ideas for the university experience of the future and pitched these to the University’s senior executives.

Student voice was the focal point of RMIT and RUSU’s Have Your Say Day 2022 event hosted by global leadership organisation Common Purpose. 

The annual student-led summit provides students with a platform where their voices are valued and heard as part of the RMIT community and enables RMIT to collect feedback and ideas from students.

RMIT’s Chancellor, Peggy O’Neal opened the event with a keynote address that inspired students to ‘lead across boundaries’ and to push themselves into personal and professional growth.  

Fear of failure is something all of us experience from time to time but, over time, I've come to realise that risking failure is the price of my case, feeling slightly uncomfortable and pushing myself into new situations brings personal and professional growth.

Students participated in a collaborative task – working in groups to devise ideas that will become a catalyst for influencing change and designing the university of the future

Guided by prompts aligned to RMIT’s lifelong learning aspirations, students created proposals for what they consider the biggest priorities for the University to pursue.

Students then presented their ideas to an expert panel that included Adam Steiner – RUSU President as well as RMIT senior leaders Dionne Higgins - Senior Vice-President Strategy & Operations, Professor Sherman Young – Deputy Vice Chancellor Education and Mish Eastman - Deputy Vice Chancellor Vocational Education.  

Sheldon Gait, General Secretary of RUSU, ideating with students at have your say day 2022 Sheldon Gait, General Secretary of RUSU, ideating with students

Read more about the key themes and ideas that emerged during the day:

  • Meaningful, paid internships: Students voiced that more opportunities for paid internships need to be made to facilitate industry connections, support graduate employment and alleviate the stress associated with studying and working while not being paid. 
  • Consistent experience through VE to HE: Students want to see a smoother transition for those moving from an associate degree to a bachelors. It was suggested that integrating classes could help with this and an urge for more opportunities to be shared with VE students. 
  • Decentralisation of education – make it more accessible: Students voiced that they would like to see more scholarship approaches, the opportunity to learn in smaller modules in a ‘self-navigate’ structure and to externalise some learning.
  • Enhancing student life through academic life: Students want to see more community building executed in the classrooms to introduce students to the broader opportunities outside of learning such as clubs and events. 

RMIT student, Hannah Rutherford, said that working together to brainstorm ideas with fellow students was what stood out most to her on the day. 

What stood out to me was the ability to collaborate and share experiences with students across HE and VE. We’re all RMIT students, and we’re all ready to share and learn from each other

Wrapping up the day, we spoke with Professor Sherman Young – Deputy Vice Chancellor Education, to hear what he thought of students' presentations of their ideas. 

“Students are why we’re here. It’s essential to hear directly from them and have a discussion about the future of learning at RMIT.”

“It’s humbling to hear that the things that students are thinking and talking about align with what we’re aspiring to do. It affirms for us the direction we’re going in to enhance the student experience and outcomes.”


More information:

View images from Have Your Say Day via RMIT’s Flickr.

17 August 2022


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