In 2016, the Scottish Funding Council published its Gender Action Plan (GAP), setting out ambitious targets for tackling the long-standing problem of gender imbalance within colleges and universities. It stipulates that, by 2030, no individual subject at a Scottish college or university shall have a gender imbalance greater than 75:25, and that the gap between overall male and female participation in undergraduate study shall be reduced to 5%.
From 2017, each institution is required to publish an annual GAP, detailing its own plans for meeting these – and interim – targets. Supporting colleges and universities in the effective design and delivery of these GAPs represents an exciting new strand of sparqs’ work to support institutions.
Meaningful and sustained student participation throughout the GAP process will be key to ensuring that colleges and universities are bold and creative in their approaches, and put the needs of their students at the centre of the process. We are supporting Students’ Associations to get involved in the design and delivery of the institutional GAP, by promoting NUS Scotland’s Student Engagement in Gender Action Plans, a checklist packed with helpful advice, case studies and top tips. For additional ideas about meaningful student engagement in GAPs, have a look at the presentation [link to be added] we delivered in partnership with NUS Scotland at our 2017 conference.
sparqs has been invited to sit on the Scottish Funding Council (SFC)'s Gender Governance Group, which has a remit to advise the SFC on implementation of the plan. This means that we can make sure that students are seen as key stakeholders in the GAP process, at the heart of both design and delivery.
We are currently reviewing what additional support we can usefully provide to institutions in the medium- and long-term. If you have any ideas, please get in touch, as we would welcome your input.
For more information, or for support with your GAP, please contact Lindsay Isaacs.