The Power of Partnership: CUC, UniSQ, Advancing Student Success

18 Oct 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, the value of strong, reciprocal partnerships has never been clearer. When universities and Regional Universities Centres (RUCs) come together, the potential for student growth and success multiplies. Our recent collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) serves as a testament to this synergy.

CUC Central and UniSQ co-facilitated a two day face-to-face professional development opportunity for the CUC network and independent RUCs in the Queensland area. This gathering was envisioned as an opportunity to:

  • Strengthen relationships between universities and RUCs, emphasising the importance of working hand-in-hand for the greater good of the student community.
  • Share knowledge of the intricacies of student services, highlighting best practices, discussing challenges, and proposing innovative solutions to address them.
  • Enhance student services through a platform for continuous learning, where attendees could benefit from the shared expertise of professionals and industry leaders.
  • Understand student engagement in decision-making and recognise its pivotal role in shaping a student’s academic journey across the student life cycle.
Day one

Day one was characterised by the richness of face-to-face interactions, emphasising the value of direct communication in building and solidifying relationships. The day was dedicated to widening participation capacity building, with attendees sharing their insights and experiences, leading to a productive exchange of ideas.

Day Two

Day two was illuminated by a presentation by Professor Karen Nelson. We were privileged to hear her insightful and evidence-based approach to student engagement. Professor Nelson’s expertise accentuated the pivotal role of collaborative student services and the benefits of cohesive efforts within institutions and across universities and RUCs. The day was further enriched by the participation of UniSQ’s student services staff, who provided in-depth knowledge on their approach to student engagement. Their presence and contributions offered the RUCs an invaluable opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the university’s perspectives. Furthermore, this collaboration enabled RUCs to explain and clarify the pivotal role they play in supporting students across institutions, fostering greater awareness and appreciation.

Virtual Session

Following our two-day collaboration, a virtual session provided another enriching learning experience. The CUC were privileged to have Dr Jasmine Thomas, Associate Director (Academic Integrity and Evaluation) at UniSQ, lead a session for the CUC network on Academic Integrity. Dr Thomas began by exploring the government’s perspective and the active investigations surrounding Academic Integrity. She provided insights into the multifaceted reasons that compel students towards dishonest practices and the evolving impact of Artificial Intelligence. Dr Thomas concluded by emphasising the critical importance of assessment design, student education on academic integrity, and how student services staff facilitate raising awareness of academic misconduct and positively influence student success.

Building on the insights and experiences of our collaboration, it’s evident that opportunities for direct interaction and mutual knowledge exchange not only significantly enhance understanding among institutions but also pave the way for more cohesive and student-centric strategies in the future. As universities and RUCs continue to forge these reciprocal partnerships, the primary beneficiaries are the students, who stand to gain from an enriched, integrated, and supportive learning environment.


The CUC would like to extend our gratitude to UniSQ for providing a platform to connect, the participation of student services staff and Professor Karen Nelson was appreciated. A special mention to Helen Nolan, Executive Director of Strategic Liaison Education Community, for her coordination that set the benchmark for this event’s success. Additionally, kudos to Erin Callaghan and Bethany Ross for their invaluable insights into widening participation strategies, enriching our collective knowledge.

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