At Westminster we view partnership as a reciprocal process in which we share responsibility for shaping our learning and teaching environments and experiences. We work through a co-creation model of partnership which encourages students and faculty to build collaborative and reciprocal relationships of learning.
Student partnership is an area of development in the Centre for Teaching Innovation and across Westminster. We have a well-established Students as Co-Creators Project and we are currently looking at expanding student representation across the institution and moving co-creation into the curriculum.
University of Westminster Student Partnership Framework
Our framework is an invitation to students and staff to reflect on their relationships, roles, assumptions, power, and identities in higher education. It is an invitation to start thinking about how you can initiate the changes you want to see at Westminster. Most importantly, it is an invitation to work in partnership and to form decolonial and socially just relationships. In this framework, we provide you with our understanding of partnership, hoping it will inspire you to reflect on your own understanding and experiences of it. We also provide a list of questions to reflect on when you are in partnership or considering partnership work with the hope that they will help you engage with challenges that might arise. We offer you our partnership values as an invitation to think about your own values and how these shape your partnership relationships. Finally, to give you insight into how partnership is lived and practiced at the University of Westminster and beyond, we offer some examples of partnership projects and efforts, hoping these will inspire your partnerships.
Westminster Co-Creators Principles
The Westminster Co-Creators Principles have been established in collaboration with previous student and staff partners of the Students as Co-Creators Programme. These principles reflect the contributions, opportunities, values and possible outcomes of partnership between students and staff.
The Student Partnership Team
The student partnership team oversee the Students as Co-Creators programme and actively provide other opportunities and resources for collaboration between students and staff at the University of Westminster. We believe that the process of partnership and co-creation can transform the learning and teaching experience. Together, we established the Westminster Co-Creators Principles, to share the contributions, opportunities, values and possible outcomes of partnership between students and staff.
We have a team of Student Partnership Ambassadors who play a key role in supporting the Students as Co-Creators programme by communicating with other students and participating in project selection and development panels:
Fatema-Zahra Somji – School of Media and Communication
Basma Idle, Kiu Sum, Mazarie Saeedi, Nishat Tasnim, and Tahmina Khatun – School of Life Sciences
If you are interested in joining the team as an ambassador or have any questions about student partnership at the university, then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Student Partnership Team (L-R), Basma Idle and Nishat Tasnim – Student Partnership Ambassadors, Jennifer Fraser – University Director of Student Partnership, Moonisah Usman – Student Partnership Programme Coordinator, Geetanjali Kala – Student Partnership Projects Assistant and Adriana-Silvia Vartaci – Student Partnership Ambassador.
Students as Co-Creators
A core part of our partnership work at Westminster is the Student as Co-Creators Programme. This initiative provides opportunities and resources for students and staff to work together on research projects and enhance learning and teaching at the University of Westminster.
The Students as Co-Creators Programme gives students an opportunity to share their perspectives and ideas, shape their learning experiences, build networks and develop skills in team-working, leadership, communication, research, giving presentations, and managing projects and budgets. These experiences support students’ academic careers while also helping them gain important skills to enhance their employability.
The Students as Co-Creators programme has three distinct strands:
- Learning and Teaching Research Collaborations: Student and staff teams propose research to enhance the learning & teaching environment.
- Disciplinary Research Collaborations: Student and staff teams propose research within a specific discipline (or across disciplines).
- Curriculum Design Collaborations: Staff propose to develop an aspect of their course or module in partnership with students.
Westminster student participants have taken advantage of many opportunities to showcase their work on the Students as Co-Creators Programme, both internally and externally. The student partnership blog documents some of these experiences.