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Student Engagement Committee Terms of Reference

Section 1 -  Introduction


(1) The Student Engagement Committee (SEC) advises the Academic Board and the College community in its strategy, policy and approach to student engagement and student partnership in the College.

Status of the SEC

(2) The SEC is a subcommittee of the Academic Board.

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Section 2 -  Composition and Membership

(3) The composition and membership of the (SEC) Committee is as follows: 

  1. Ex Officio Staff Members 
    1. Head of Student Affairs
    2. Student Support Officer
    3. Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager
  2. Chairperson 
    1. The SEC is co-chaired by a member of staff and a student member
    2. The staff chair rotates annually between the Head of Student Affairs and the Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager 
    3. The student chair is elected by the SEC for a one-year period.
  3. Vice Chairperson 
    1. The role of vice-chair rotates annually between the Head of Student Affairs and the Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager 
  4. Appointed Members 
    1. One external member appointed by the Academic Board 
    2. Two members of Faculty, appointed by the SEC. 
    3. Two members of academic administrative Staff, appointed by the SEC.
    4. One student representative per programme, appointed by SEC Committee.
    5. Alumni Affairs Student Officer, appointed by SEC Committee. 
    6. Any student representative involved in national affairs e.g. student associate member on the National Forum 
  5. Elected Student Members 
    1. Five student officers are elected from among the overall College student population. 
  6. Co-Opted Members 
    1. The Chairpersons may, with the support of the majority of the members of the SEC meeting at an ordinary meeting of the Committee, co-opt a member of the College or an external party to the committee for a period of one year, where such a co-option assists in the discharge of the responsibilities of the SEC. 
    2. Normally, a maximum of two persons may be co-opted to the SEC at any one point in time. 
  7. In Attendance - By Invitation 
    1. The Chairpersons may invite an external party deemed relevant to the business of a meeting to attend.
  8. In Attendance – Secretarial 
    1. A member of administrative Staff is invited by the Chairperson act as secretary to the SEC. 
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Part A - Functions and Responsibilities of the SEC

(4) The SEC: 

  1. Provides a College-level forum for staff-student engagement in matters related to the quality assurance and enhancement of the College’s learning environment. 
  2. Promotes and endeavours to strengthen the student voice in College governance. 
  3. Promotes innovation in student engagement and enhancement in all areas of College life and may focus on areas such as academic affairs, inclusivity and wellbeing. 
  4. Provides guidance and input to external quality assurance activities such as programme review and institutional review. 
  5. Advises the Quality Assurance Office on the enhancement of student engagement and partnership in the review, development and implementation of the HCQF 
  6. Promotes, and identifies areas to enhance, student partnership between institution and the student body. 

Part B - Meetings

Nature of Meetings 

(5) SEC meetings may take place face-to-face, by telephone, video conference or other electronic means.

(6) SEC members are required to fully prepare for each meeting, read the documentation in advance and make every reasonable effort to attend each meeting. 

Frequency of Meetings

(7) SEC meetings are held at least four times per year - normally, once per quarter before a meeting of the Academic Board. 

(8) The SEC determines its meeting schedule annually, in advance, and meet as scheduled. 


(9) The quorum for a committee meeting is 50% of the membership, plus one.

(10) Every reasonable effort should be made to ensure the quorum is at least half the Committee’s student seats. 

(11) Where a loss of quorum is identified, the meeting may be adjourned until a time the Chairperson determines.


(12) Decisions are normally made by consensus but in the absence of consensus, by open vote.

(13) Where there is a tied vote, the Chairperson has the casting vote. 

(14) Decisions may be made at a duly called and constituted meeting or by a resolution in writing to all members which is approved in writing by at least a quorum of members. 

(15) Where any voting member could be perceived to have a conflict of interest in relation to the matter being considered, they will be recused from the decision-making process. 

(16) Any matters for decision considered when the meeting is inquorate must be subsequently ratified at the next Committee meeting before those decisions can be actioned. 

(17) All decisions must be formally recorded. In the absence of a formal record, any apparent decision shall be deemed null and void. 

Part C - Ensuring Effective Practice 

Agenda and Minutes 

(18) Agendas and associated documentation are distributed at least five working days before the meeting.

(19) Members are notified of the location and availability of material.

(20) Only with the Chairperson’s permission are late papers or the tabling of papers accepted.

(21) All papers must be submitted to the secretary by the specified submission deadline. 

(22) SEC records shall be retained by the secretary. 

(23) Minutes are to be prepared of each meeting.

(24) The Chairpersons review the draft minutes and matters arising, after which the Secretary circulates the documents to all SEC members and includes them in the agenda papers for the next meeting. 

Annual Work Plan 

(25) An annual work plan is drawn up and agreed. 

Access to Resources 

(26) All members, both internal and external, are given access to all resources and artifacts needed to fulfill their duties as members. 

Part D - Evaluation and Review 

Review by the Academic Board 

(27) The SEC submits an annual report on its activity to the Academic Board. 

(28) The SEC is reviewed by the Academic Board on its performance against these terms of reference every three years. 

Review of the Terms of Reference 

(29) The Chairpersons review these terms of reference every two years in conjunction with the Academic Board and amends as appropriate.

(30) Any amendments are subject to ratification by the Academic Board.