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Students as Partners conference at Wilfrid Laurier University

Lauren Nader

As part of my Student Partnership Ambassador position at the University of Westminster, I recently had the amazing opportunity to attend the Students as Partners conference in Canada led by the International Students Overcoming War (ISOW) Scholarship Initiative in partnership with the UNHCR (the United Nations Refugee Agency), that was hosted at Wilfrid Laurier University.

The three-day workshop was full of insightful and engaging talks from academics and industry professionals from a range of disciplines and fields. I was able to learn about the fantastic work that organisations such as the UNHCR, Jusoor and Times Higher Education have completed and are striving towards as well as network with a variety of like-minded people with the goal of supporting the education of refugees. The activities and workshops were extremely productive such as working on action plans regarding sustainable development goals. I chose to focus on addressing goal 5 (gender equality) during this session because it is something that I greatly value and aim to continue to work on through different projects that empower women. Sessions such as this, provided me with the time to self-reflect on how to further my work towards the SDGs as well as converse with like-minded individuals about their ideas. It also inspired me to speak about this at a Diversity Fashion Show at the UoW, in which I led a section on female empowerment shortly after my return to the UK.

The role of Student Partner within higher education, is something which has been more than just a role for me, it has also provided me with an enormous amount of knowledge in the theoretical and practical sense. To be able to attend weekly meetings with lecturers and other students, reflected the true meaning of student-staff partnership by collaboratively sharing ideas and working together on a wider goal of social justice. Often, students and staff do not get the chance to connect with one another outside of the classroom so it was really interesting to see how this relationship could be brought together. I would highly encourage other students and staff members to get involved in student-staff partnerships within universities!

I am truly grateful to Dr Fatima Maatwk for inviting me to this fantastic trip and for the continuous support from herself and the rest of the Student Partnership and Pedagogies for Social Justice team (Dr Jennifer Fraser and Kyra Araneta). I would also like to thank my fellow peers and colleagues Melissa Charifo and Shivangi Shah for an incredible time during the trip.

I will always remember this trip and cherish the memories made!

By | 2023-05-09T12:14:57+00:00 May 9th, 2023|Categories: Announcements, News, partnership blog|0 Comments

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