The Macquarie University Student Representative Association (MUSRA) is the representative body for undergraduate students at Macquarie, providing support and lobbying the university on their behalf in order to provide students with a more enjoyable experience.
MUSRA is structured to represent the diversity of Macquarie’s student body, with five Equality and Diversity Officers representing International, Ethno-Cultural, Gay and Lesbian, Indigenous and Women, as well as students with disabilities and health conditions.
MUSRA’s 2012 representative for international students is Chinese Bachelor of Applied Finance student Xiaohua (John) Jian.
With a good understanding of the needs of international students, John says his goal is to provide advice to the committee and ensure that polices relating to international students are put into good practice.
He says the main concern for international students is the support provided to help them adapt to the western style of education and campus culture, including the English language.
“We can address this by advertising the programs the university already has, like the Buddy and PAL programs, or by thinking about whether we need to establish new programs,” he says.
The introduction of the Student Service Amenities Fee is another issue that MUSRA will be paying close attention to in 2012.
“It will be a challenging year to negotiate an agreement on the fee that both University management and the students will accept,” John notes. “My role in this is to make sure that international students are represented in the negotiation process.”
A sub-committee under the Campus Experience board, MUSRA representatives meet frequently with the University Executive and are often invited to University steering committees to assist with the development of University policies.
“We also have a number of ex-efficios members of MUSRA that are also involved with the University Council and Academic Senate, which increases the voice of MUSRA among the two most senior committees of the University,” John says.