The establishment of a national student assembly in the National Forum: Student partnership in action.


  • Eoin Crossen
  • Brian Gormley Technological University Dublin
  • Niall Henry
  • Rhiannon Kavanagh National Forum
  • Laura Kenneally
  • Caitriona McGrattan
  • Michaela Waters


In 2020, the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in Ireland, hereafter referred to as the National Forum, established a student assembly comprised of student associates from every Higher Education Institution (HEI) in Ireland.  The aim of the assembly is to reinforce the importance of student engagement and partnership as core enablers of student success in Irish higher education.  The student assembly mirrored the existing staff associate assembly in the National Forum.  This article outlines the rationale for the establishment of the assembly; the recruitment process and the practical arrangements for establishing a student assembly; engagement activities and topics covered; and finally the lessons learned from the operation of the assembly.

The operation of a national student assembly was made easier by the move to online meetings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The diverse make-up of the assembly, interactive and engaging activities, peer-led activities, and authentic dialogue were key factors in the success of the assembly.