Happy new year from the sparqs team! We're looking forward to a busy 2019, and look forward to working with all our colleagues across the sector and beyond during the coming year.
We have an exciting year ahead, with the next sparqs' conference taking place on Thursday 28th March in Edinburgh. The theme of the conference is Student Engagement for All and we invite you to join us to explore activity from across the sector on student engagement in relation to widening access, equality and diversity, transitions, representation of non-traditional students, staff development…and more! The conference will provide an opportunity to showcase this work, share expertise and learn from good practice! ....book now to take advantage of the early-bird rates, available until Friday 18th January!
Student Engagement Awards
In a fitting end to the day, the conference will be rounded off with the third sparqs' Student Engagement Awards! Nominations are still open for the four categories inviting Scottish institutional submissions. The deadline for submissions is Friday 11th January 2019, so please get your entries in ASAP. Submissions covering the last couple of years are welcomed.... anything since the last Student Engagement Awards in March 2017.
Nominations for 'Course Rep of the Year' are also now open, until Friday 8th February 2019. Nominations are invited for students who have been reps in either 2017-18 or 2018-19.
See the Awards webpage for all the details.
Additional opportunities for delegates from outside Scotland
In addition to the main conference, we are once again offering some further opportunities for delegates attending from outside of Scotland, including an International Delegates’ Day on Wednesday 27th March, the day before the main conference, and optional site visits during the same week, to universities, a college and a sector agency. The opportunities are primarily aimed at international delegates, but those from the rest of the UK are also most welcome to attend.
The International Delegates' Day will provide an opportunity to learn about the Scottish context of student engagement, including a visit to the University of Dundee and some local sightseeing, rounded off with dinner back in Edinburgh in the evening. Attending this day incurs a cost, and can be booked at the point of registering for the main conference.
The optional site visits will include a mix of college, university and sector agency sessions across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley and Perth, allowing people to hear more about Scotland's student engagement and quality processes, whilst enabling visitors to see a bit more of the country! While there is no cost for the actual visits, delegates will need to arrange and pay for their own travel to/from them.
See the International delegate programme page for all the details, including the agenda and costs for the International Delegates' Day.
Launch of sparqs' new Strategic Plan
At the conference in March, we will be launching our next 3-year Strategic Plan, outlining our vision, mission and strategic priorities for our work going forward. Many thanks to all our sector colleagues who have been involved in helping to shape the plan during the last year. Your input has been hugely valuable in ensuring our work continues to meet the needs of the sector and we look forward to sharing the plan at the conference.
Also open to book...
As well as the conference, we have another event currently open for bookings, so please sign up if you're coming along....
- Academic Representation Co-ordinators' Network Meeting - Wednesday 20th February 2019, hosted at Glasgow Caledonian University Students' Association.
Our first batch of news articles is due out today, advertising the above, and more, so watch this space! If you're not signed up to our mailing list, you can sign up here.
If you contacted us over the festive season we'll get back to you ASAP, if we've not already been in touch.
Best wishes for a good 2019 from the sparqs team!