The Student Futures Team helps coursework students in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) build connections and enhance employability through collaborative partnerships. In 2019, we worked in collaboration with 430 industry representatives and alumni, 230 student partners and volunteers, and 400 staff to deliver initiatives that enhanced the university experience of almost 7,000 HASS students.

Built a sense of belonging and community

We strengthened HASS Faculty’s vibrant communities to enhance thousands of students’ connections with their peers, staff, and alumni, including:

  • Enhancing the first year experience: We organised eight faculty-wide welcome sessions and coordinated 38 School-based program sessions for commencing coursework students. There has been strong growth in attendance rates since starting this coordinated approach in 2018. To complement Orientation Week, student partners and volunteers offered a suite of cross-disciplinary events to connect first years with peers, staff, and alumni. These events received consistently high feedback from students.
  • Fostering cohort building within disciplines: We implemented a funding scheme to support academics to organise cohort building activities for students within the many HASS disciplines, majors, and programs. Twenty-six events brought together over 1,200 students from a range of cohorts, including those studying the same course, to those studying across programs. There was also a diverse range of events, including film screenings, networking evenings, welcome functions, and a museum tour.
  • Expanding digital HASS communities: We continued building a vibrant digital community aimed at connecting students with each other and the many social, academic and employability opportunities at UQ. Students led the development of content for a new ‘Student Spotlight’ blog and ‘How2HASS’ youtube channel to provide authentic advice and support from a student’s perspective. We continued to expand Facebook, and launched Instagram and LinkedIn in September. These social media channels attracted over 1,500 new followers this year.

Enhanced student employability

We launched and expanded a range of co-curricular opportunities to enhance the employability of over 800 students, including:

  • Volunteering: We continued to provide a range of volunteer opportunities to students to contribute to the HASS community. Over 100 volunteers contributed to faculty-wide events. This year we started seeing students who had attended our orientation sessions seek out volunteering opportunities to give back to their community.
  • Mentoring: The HASS Connect Mentoring Program provides an avenue for HASS students to access advice from industry professionals in many diverse careers. One hundred students and 83 industry mentors participated this year, with 83% of mentees saying that they had built professional networks with industry, compared to 23% before entering the program.
  • Community leadership: We designed and piloted the HASS Leadership Program for volunteers who generously gave their time to support their peers, with the aim to develop leadership capability and employability. Nineteen student leaders implemented five projects reaching 92 students, with the aim to enhance the HASS student experience. After participating in the leadership program, students who felt “connected to their HASS peers” roughly doubled, and students who felt they “had the opportunity to impact the HASS community” quadrupled.
  • Global experiences: Funded by HASS donors, 27 Globetrotters Grant recipients accessed a range of immersive global experiences, including conferences, leadership programs, debating championships, and internships.
  • Career advice and learning: In 2019, we worked in collaboration with 10 academics to embed 24 career development learning workshops within courses. Over 450 students accessed the workshops. A further 106 students received one-on-one career coaching and advice. Of those surveyed, 96% agreed that the workshops helped them develop capability that they could use to enhance their future career.

Supported work integrated learning (WIL)

We supported academics to embed WIL into HASS courses, majors, and programs, reaching over 1,500 students.

The Student Futures team provided advice, industry connections, funding, and administrative support to create new interdisciplinary opportunities for HASS students, including:

  • The Bachelor of Arts minor, Professional Pathways: Humanity and Society, which aims to enhance students’ interdisciplinary understanding and prepare them for diverse work futures.
  • Approved in April 2019 and co-designed by Student Futures, PHSS2000: Practical Employability Experience allows students to gain credit for valuable employability-focused programs, placements, and projects, both in Australia and overseas.
  • The Embedding WIL in HASS Programs initiative aimed to increase the depth and breadth of WIL opportunities within HASS disciplines. Led by HASS Schools, these projects enabled over 1,400 students to access new or enhanced WIL opportunities.

Engaged in partnership

We fostered collaborative partnerships with 230 students, 400 staff, and 430 industry representatives to enhance the HASS student experience.

Our partnerships with students included:

  • Students as partners: We engaged in reciprocal and respectful partnerships with 33 HASS students to co-create and co-implement all Student Futures initiatives, including leading volunteers to foster a vibrant HASS student community, organising community events, supporting student representatives, developing WIL resources, and much more.
  • Students as representatives: We supported student representatives to advocate for student interests through HASS governance committees. Thirty-four student representatives joined a community of practice to share experiences and represent their constituents. In response to their feedback, HASS student representative recruitment practices were revamped, with Student Futures facilitating recruitment and a welcome event for 25 new representatives.
  • Students as club leaders: Our support for HASS related student clubs and societies, through assistance with networks, logistics and funding, resulted in clubs undertaking a range of professional networking and employability activities that reached over 820 peers. One hundred percent of club executives surveyed felt that they were supported ‘a great deal’ by HASS Faculty.

We also leveraged powerful alumni and industry network, by directly collaborating with over 150 industry representatives (most of whom were HASS alumni) to co-design initiatives, become mentors, participate in career events, and contribute to discipline-specific panel discussions. The Student Futures team provided support to the Bachelor of Arts Advisory Board, which is comprised of 18 industry partners from government, non-profits and the private sector. The Board engaged in conversations about building industry partnerships for the Bachelor of Arts, and articulating the importance of creative skills to employers.