University of Tasmania

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Employing Students as Support Staff in Higher Education: Opportunities, Challenges, and Recommendations from Careers Professionals

Recently, there has been greater emphasis by higher education institutions on graduate employability, recruitment, and retention and the professionalization of students through work experience. Institutions are developing strategies to address these priorities and challenges, with a particular focus on the provision of a holistic student experience that involves opportunities such as volunteering, work experience, and on-campus student employment. This chapter focuses on a strategic approach to employing students as support staff in higher education in ways that meet the needs of the institution from a human resources perspective, as well as the needs of students in terms of their developing graduate employability.

On-campus employment provides benefits to students and institutions, including making links between employment and curricular experiences and embedding the articulation of employability skills into the student experience. The focus of this chapter is on the development of a consistent and quality approach to student employee recruitment and support to ensure on-campus student employment extends beyond a traditional recruitment and training support process to include a specified and holistically supported professional learning process from advertisement through to exiting of student staff in higher education.

Employing a critically reflexive framework to staff experiences and evaluations of a suite of peer programs employing students in on-campus support roles, the authors outline a number of processes and identified challenges and opportunities. A number of lessons are discussed that highlight the ways career development and learning can remain at the heart of on-campus employment.


Publication title

Professional and Support Staff in Higher Education


C Bossu & N Brown




Student Life and Enrichment



Place of publication




Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Management, resources and leadership; Policies and development; Workforce transition and employment