Equity and students as partners: The importance of inclusive relationships

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    Higher education (HE) institutions invite and encourage students from a diversity of backgrounds to participate in further learning, yet expect individuals to both fund this endeavour and conform to institutional expectations of the successful learner (O’Shea & Delahunty, 2018). This presents an uncomfortable contradiction about inclusion in HE. Universities are accepting an increasingly diverse student population (Marginson, 2016), but, simultaneously, an increasingly neoliberal agenda shaping HE is driving competition and rewarding individualism with social inclusion practices within university often being diminished (for more on neoliberalism in relation to students-as-partners see Matthews, Dwyer, Hine, & Turner, 2018).
    In this opinion piece, I argue that a student partnership approach creates trust filled partnerships between staff and equity-seeking students. Forging these genuine and collaborative partnerships within the equity and outreach space offers potential to both envision and create a university for all, rather than for just some. I draw on my own experiences, practices, and research while contributing to the ongoing discourse in the emerging students-as-partners community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-20
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal for Students as Partners
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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