Student Support Services

  • Henk Huijser
  • Megan Kek
  • Fernando F. Padró
  • Covers the breadth of current discussions and practices about student support services at a global level

  • Delves into ample conceptual depth as it positions student support services in contemporary university environments

  • Offers a comprehensive base for conversations and discussions and suggestions for good student services support practice

Living reference work

Part of the University Development and Administration book series (UDAA)

Table of contents

  1. Naomi F. Dale, Jennifer Loh, Laurie Poretti, Scott Nichols, Scott Pearsall
  2. Liesbet Bonnarens, Ingrid Moons, Patrick De Pelsmacker, Annouk Lievens, Koenraad Keignaert
  3. Anibeth Desierto, Carmela De Maio
  4. Murray Lane, Ramisa Raya, Nick Kelly, Anthea Castellano, Rachel Ward, Elise Lawrence et al.

About this book


This volume Student Support Services: Exploring impact on student engagement, experience and learning, covers a wide and diverse range of higher education contexts to explore the current state and the future of student support services. The central focus for all the chapters is about what, why and how to achieve student success within an intricate and complex web of learning ecologies, often invisible to the naked eye but interconnected within and between each other. This has profound impacts on students, often characterised by an ongoing tension between students as learners and students as consumers. With over 40 chapters, the book is divided into two sections. Part 1 is a conceptual section, which explores a multitude of worldviews about the ways in which student support services have impacted and may impact on student engagement, experience and learning. This includes discussions about the tensions and opportunities that arise from the curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular conceptualisations of students support services. The discussions come from the vantage point of different ecologies within and between universities and student support services’ impacts, both intentional and accidental, on the development of students, their transformation as learners and as contributing members of the workforce. For example, this covers disruptive technologies and online approaches, university mission and purpose, worldviews and paradigms held by student support and services units, motivation, student retention, and sense of belonging. Part 2 is a practice-based section with reflections and case studies, again from a wide variety of different higher education contexts. This section dives into the how – approaches, solutions, processes – deployed by universities to respond to their identified and often contextualised student support and services challenges. This section provides a rich library of possible ideas that readers can reimagine to manage and/or solve their student support and services challenges and problems.

In the context of widening participation agendas and an increasingly demand-driven higher education sector, combined with ever-tighter public funding streams and turbulent socio-political environments, the higher education sector has had to step up its game in attracting students and diversify its approaches and strategies. As part of recruitment strategies and marketing campaigns, it has become common to approach potential students as ‘customers’. Transaction as a form of two-way (beneficial) engagement has given way to transaction as an exchange for a service or a good focused on order, structure and risk aversion. This book explores whether this is a productive way of approaching it. At the same time, the impact of COVID-19 has drawn further attention to the challenges of creating a sense of community, sense of belonging, personal identity and engagement within the university environment, especially for those not habitually and constantly on-campus. The difficulty of commuter students more fully engaging with university curricular and co-curricular programs remains, especially as students have to spend more of their time working to meet direct and indirect costs of partaking in university studies. Thus, student identity, in terms of being (or becoming) an integral member of the university community, and co-and extra-curricular engagement that enhances the learning of online students are increasingly important areas for universities to pay attention to, and this book shows different pathways – both worldviews and practices - in that respect.

In an increasingly complex higher education environment, student support services find themselves in an interesting, yet often contradictory, position of having to provide a ‘customer service’ while also developing students’ throughout their learning journeys within the university, and their future readiness beyond the university, which is increasingly pertinent in a supercomplex world of diversity, contradictions and uncertainties. This volume explores this complexity in a holistic manner, and we are confident that the resulting discussions, implications and suggestions will provide fertile ground for conversations, reflections and explorations of student support services into the future.


Assessment Higher Education Learning Quality of Education Student Services

Editors and affiliations

  • Henk Huijser
    • 1
  • Megan Kek
    • 2
  • Fernando F. Padró
    • 3
  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.University of Southern Queensland Learning, Teaching & QualityToowoombaAustralia
  3. 3.University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

About the editors

Dr Henk Huijser holds a PhD in Screen and Media Studies, and has been an Academic Developer involved in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education since 2005. Between 2010 and 2012 he was responsible for the institution-wide implementation of Problem Based Learning at Bahrain Polytechnic in the Arabian Gulf, followed by a three-year stint at the Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education in Australia’s Northern Territory, where he was Senior Lecturer, Flexible Learning and Innovation. He continues to be an Adjunct Researcher and Postgraduate Supervisor at Batchelor Institute. After two years as an Educational Developer at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, China, Henk has been a Senior Lecturer, Curriculum and Learning Design in the Learning and Teaching Unit at Queensland University of Technology, Australia, since 2017. Henk has published extensively in the field of learning and teaching in higher education, including (with Megan Kek) Problem-based Learning into the Future: Imagining an Agile PBL Ecology for Learning (2017, Springer). He is an Associate Editor of the International Journal for Academic Development, the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, and the Journal of Peer Learning. More information at:

Associate Professor Megan Yih Chyn A. Kek holds a PhD in Education focusing on student development and higher education, an MBA majoring in Marketing, a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and Humanities. She started her early career in the Malaysian banking sector, at the back end as an organisational analyst improving business processes, and at the front-line serving clients as a senior bank officer. Before being attracted to the academia, she applied her keen interest in consumer behaviour while working in the banking sector to researching entrepreneurship and innovation of the SME sector in Singapore. Her interests in how consumers behave and what industries lacked motivated her to enter the academia with the vision to build meaningful interconnected educational environments that develop skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values that students would need to fulfil their capabilities, so that they know who they are and possess the agency to reach their potential and contribute to the well-being of themselves and families, communities, nations and ultimately, the planet. She has published papers in influential and high-ranking journals. In 2017, she co-authored a forward-oriented book (with Henk Huijser), Problem-based Learning into the Future: Imagining an Agile PBL Ecology for Learning, arguing for an interconnected educational environment for student development and learning that can be more humane, agile, and responsive to overcoming complacency, contradictions, and dilemmas. She is most proud of her contribution to educating students for a supercomplex world with the Singapore Prime Minister’s Enterprise Award for Innovation in Education. The award recognised her team which she co-led as the most outstanding team whose work created the highest new value to the public service.

Associate Professor Fernando Padró has a double major PhD in the areas of academic administration and curriculum and instruction. After having served as Associate Professor in the Doctoral Program and Interim Director of Educational Leadership at Cambridge College, he is currently an Associate Professor (Pathways) in USQ College (Pathways) and before that Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). He is also actively involved in academic governance at USQ, serving as Deputy Chair of Academic Board, Chair of the Student Appeals Committee and Deputy Chair of the Academic Programs Committee while also serving similar leadership roles in governance at Monmouth University and the American Association of University Professors. He was on Australia’s Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency’s (TEQSA) Registry of Experts (2013-2018), Chair of the American Society for Quality Education Committee (ASQ – 2013 through 2014) and E.L. Grant Medal Selection Panel (2018-2021), and Faculty Fellow with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA – 2009-2013). He has also been Editor of the e-journal Quality Approaches in Higher Education (ASQ Education Division), a member of the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education’s (INQAAHE) Best Practice QA Review Team, member of the International Standards Organization (ISO) ISO/TC 176 Working Group. He is a member of the Editorial Board of The TQM Journal (Emerald) and an occasional reviewer for the Total Quality Management & Business Excellence Journal (Routledge). Orcid #:

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Student Support Services
  • Editors Henk Huijser
    Megan Kek
    Fernando F. Padró
  • Series Title University Development and Administration
  • Series Abbreviated Title Univ. Develop.,administration
  • DOI
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Springer Reference Education Reference Module Humanities and Social Sciences
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-13-3364-4
  • Series ISSN 2522-5626
  • Series E-ISSN 2522-5634
  • Edition Number 0
  • Number of Pages , 0
  • Number of Illustrations 10 b/w illustrations, 10 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Higher Education
    Administration, Organization and Leadership
    International and Comparative Education