Students working for students
SUPRA is the postgraduate student association at the University of Sydney, and is run by postgrads for postgrads. SUPRA represents all postgraduates at the University of Sydney, and all postgraduates can look to SUPRA for assistance with any issues that may confront them, both academically and personally, during the course of their candidature. SUPRA is governed by a Council of postgrads elected by the postgraduate student body. We also employ a team of professional staff who are here to help students and Council.
Formed in 1970 by Science postgrads, SUPRA was formally acknowledged by the University of Sydney Senate in 1974 after years of debate. Because most postgraduate students at the time were research students, the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) considered them to be junior academics and had thus declined to admit them as members. SUPRA is the only organisation that has ever represented postgraduate students at the University of Sydney.
In 1979 SUPRA became a founding member of the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA), the peak body representing Australian postgraduate students.
Over the years SUPRA has grown from a small volunteer-based organisation to a much bigger one. SUPRA now employs a number of staff to assist elected representatives in the work of representing the interests of postgraduate students at all levels within the University and to support individual postgraduates through the course of their study.
The constituency of SUPRA has changed a lot since 1970. For one, the University of Sydney now has considerably more coursework postgraduate students than research students. While changes in higher education policy since the late 1980s have changed the nature of Australia’s education system and the issues faced by students, SUPRA’s core objectives, as expressed in the Constitution, remain as relevant as ever.
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