How we work

Our value and approaches

In implementing our strategic plan, we will work in the following ways:

  • Informed and influenced by a range of partners.
  • Effective communication.
  • Effective use of funding and resources.
  • Developing our staff.
  • Working with NUS Scotland.

Meanwhile the following values and approaches will underpin the way we carry out our work:

  • Partnership.
  • Responding to the diversity of students.
  • Valuing the student contribution.
  • Challenge, advocacy and innovation.

You can read more about these points from  page 10 of our Strategic Plan 2013-18.

Learning from institutions

Overall, throughout our work we learn a great deal from the staff and students we meet.

By supporting college and universities around the country, we learn about their effective practice in student engagement and can identify examples for our resource library. We can better understand the challenges they face and how they overcome them. We can also identify the common themes and experiences emerging around the sector.

This allows us to put institutions and students' associations across Scotland in touch with each other - to share good ideas and approaches, or to work together in engaging with national initiatives such as HEAR or Student Partnership Agreements.

Annual Support Visits

We carry out Annual Support Visits (ASVs) as a way of better understanding and meeting the needs of the institutions and students' associations that we work with.  As of 2016/17 we have introduced colleges into this process, whereas previously we undertook formal ASVs with universities only, due to engaging regularly with colleges throughout the regionalisation process and more recently through our continued national support around the delivery of the Framework for the Development of Strong and Effective College Students’ Associations in Scotland

The ASVs involve key staff and student officers with an aim to find out more about institutional priorities, challenges and successes over the past year, look to where we can support them in the coming year, highlight our recent work, and identify common themes across the sector.  The focus of the meeting and the agenda are discussed and agreed prior to the visit in order to make them as valuable to the institution as possible.

Key contacts

To support universities and colleges, members of sparqs staff act as key contacts for institutions. Please feel free to contact David Scott if you have any queries.

In the college sector, this was previously done through the Partnerships for Change (PfC) project.  With PfC (a joint project with NUS Scotland) coming to an end in Autumn 2014, we have moved back to a position where all colleges have a sparqs first point of contact, some colleges having had an NUS consultant for the duration of PfC.

 

Student Engagement Framework
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