These are just some of the achievements from the Curtin Student Guild.
Tuition Free Week Campaign
The Guild consulted with students about the impact of changes to the Academic Calendar, in which two tuition-free weeks were phased out from 2021. Many students felt that they had less time to complete assignments, there were increased stress and mental health impacts, less opportunity to plan or attend events on campus, and staff reported that they struggled to provide feedback to students prior to exams. The Guild hosted workshops and panel discussions and the university agreed to work with the Guild to introduce structural changes at a course level to compensate for the loss of the tuitionfree weeks.
Learning for Tomorrow
Changes to the Learning for Tomorrow (formally Blended Learning) teaching model were made because of Guild advocacy. The model proposed to phase out lectures, replacing them with short videos, and increased online learning. The Guild raised concerns about the quality of online content, diminished student experience and the investment required for staff training and technology for online learning to be successful. More than 80% of students who participated in a Guild survey said they did not want to pay the same course fees if there was too much online learning. Thanks to Guild’s efforts, the strategy was simplified with a set of guiding principles in line with student feedback. Each faculty is now responsible for the implementation of the guiding principles, using students as partners in co-designing learning.
Secured $20,000 Clubs Grant
The Guild secured a $20,000 grant from Curtin to bolster club sign-ups and support clubs to coordinate campus events in the first month of semester. Improvements were made to the Room Bookings system and clubs were able to fundraise in Curtin venues.
COVID-19 Impacts to Education
The Guild successfully negotiated with the University about changes to teaching and courses as a result of COVID. Wins included:
- Assessment Extension Self Determination
- Significant reduction of late assessment penalties
- A two week extension on the semester one census date
- Additional tuition free week
- Implementation of an ‘Ungraded Pass’ in semesters one and two to protect student CWAs
- Replacement of examinations (which were not required for accreditation) with other assessment items
- Consultation through undergrad and postgrad feedback surveys
- Free parking on campus until the end of semester one
Food Aid Program
A food aid program was established to assist students who were struggling as a result of the COVID restrictions and lockdown. From March to December more than 2,000 food aid packages were distributed to 1200 mainly international students.
New to Curtin Handbook
The Guild developed a New to Curtin handbook with practical information about navigating the campus, OASIS and Blackboard.
Respectful Relationships Module
A led Guild response to the national Respect Now Always campaign culminated in a collaboration with Curtin to introduce an educational consent module which is compulsory for new students.
The Guild established a First-Year Committee with represenatives from each faculty to provide a feedback platform for new Curtin students. Their first project was to develop a First-Year Handbook which became available in Semester 2.
Unit Outline Review
The Guild’s Faculty Representatives reviewed unit outlines across their faculties to ensure the outlines adhered to the new assessment policies and that no students would be unfairly disadvantaged by any prohibited requirements.