Who’d have imagined back in 2003 that a small fledgling idea, that students should be central to how we assure ensure and enhance quality, would gain such prominence.
As sparqs celebrates its 10th anniversary we reflect with pride on our contribution to changing the face of student engagement in Scotland and creating a raft of world leading practices many of which you can find out more about in our brand new Resource Library. Our celebration reports – one for the college sector and one for the university sector – provide a wealth of evidence of the progression we have made together with the many students and staff in Scotland’s colleges and universities. It is important to take time out to reflect back on just how far we have come. Remember in those early days there was a level of cynicism about having student reviewers - something that is now standard practice, copied around the world and a source of great pride.
When founded in 2003 sparqs was just three members of staff - two training advisors and an administrator, Sarah Davidson (nee King) who is still working with us today. Sarah, along with many of you, has seen sparqs grow and played a very special part in helping support that growth – we owe much to people like Sarah. Our Annual Report 2013 shows the work of a much more mature and established organisation, but one still rooted in the same basic principle – that students, working in partnership with their university or college, can help make education in Scotland better for all. This annual report gives you a taste of an organisation which is constantly pushing the boundaries, rising to new challenges and working to ensure Scotland remains at the forefront of student engagement.
It seems highly appropriate that we use our 10th anniversary to launch our guidance on Student Partnership Agreements. As we move towards the future this guidance helps institutions develop what is special about student engagement in Scotland, partnership, enhancement and focusing on making a real difference to the student experience. We hope the next time we take time out to reflect on our progress these Student Partnership Agreements will be part of the story of future successes.