5.2 Effective communication skills for student representatives

Let’s talk about effective communication and engagement strategies for student support staff! These three topics can give some valuable insights when you’re trying to get your (students) message across:  

1) Diverse platforms for outreach 

As student support staff, understanding the myriad ways student representatives can amplify their voice is essential. Students today resonate with a blend of traditional and digital communication platforms. While bulletin board announcements, classroom presentations, and campus radio spots remain effective, there’s increasing traction with digital methods. Think of student rep blogs, Instagram stories highlighting initiatives, interactive webinars, or even TikTok campaigns. By diversifying communication methods, student reps not only inform but also create buzz and engagement around their efforts, ensuring a wider reach and resonating with a diverse student body. 

2) Nurturing newcomers: enthusiasm meets empowerment 

New students enter with aspirations but often need guidance to navigate this fresh chapter. As support staff, your role in channelling this energy is pivotal. Initiatives like peer mentorship programs, introductory workshops, or ‘meet and greet’ sessions with other engaged students can make all the difference. By offering new students platforms to voice concerns, share aspirations, and actively participate, you’re not just integrating them—you’re empowering them. When they recognize they have a stake in shaping their academic environment, their motivation and commitment soar.  

Specifically interested in good communication strategies for international students? Definitely look at the attached research from Algonquin College.  

3) Engaging Staff: the keystone of a feedback-driven culture 

Effective communication isn’t limited to students. Building bridges with staff—be it faculty or administration—is equally crucial. Open dialogues, routine collaboration meetings, and clear channels for feedback set the stage. But it doesn’t stop there. Linking the dots between student engagement and feedback culture is key. When staff see active student participation as a goldmine of insights, feedback isn’t just heard—it’s sought. And when students see their feedback shaping decisions, it reinforces trust and boosts participation. Understanding and championing this cyclical relationship is a cornerstone for any successful student support role.


We invite you now to dive further into some useful tips and tricks for effective communication: 

Name: 20 Ways to Enhance your Communication Skills 

Type: A PDF about interpersonal communication, organisational communication, presenting information and written communication. 

Link: https://www.kent.edu/yourtrainingpartner/e-book-communication-pdf 


Name: Training Program on Effective Communication  

Type: Reading material about 12 topics related to effective communication 

Link: https://www.manage.gov.in/studymaterial/ec.pdf 


Name: Tips for Successful Communication  with International Students  

Type: A (short) PDF with practical tips. 

Link: https://www.algonquincollege.com/profres/files/2014/01/Tips-for-Communicating-with-International-Students.pdf 


Name: Communication techniques  

Type: Self-study Course for Trainers of Intercultural Mediators  

Link: http://www.mediation-time.eu/images/TIME_O5_Trainer_Course_Module_4.pdf