Latest sparqs Headlines - 2015

CRT Co-ordinators' Network meeting: 17th February 2016 17 Dec 2015

Our most recent network meeting for co-ordinators of Course Rep Training took place on Wednesday 17th February 2016.  Our first event of the academic year took place in November 2015, focused on the ongoing training and development of course reps. Coming after… Read More

Launch of sparqs guidance: Recognition and Accreditation of Academic Reps 01 Dec 2015

We are pleased to launch our guidance on Recognition and Accreditation of Academic Reps, a resource designed to help institutions and students’ associations develop practice in the area of recognition and accreditation of academic reps. The resource maps sector practice, shares case studies of effective practice,… Read More

Interview with Iain Morrison, University of the Highlands and Islands 30 Nov 2015

In this interview we talk to Iain Morrison, the Dean of Students at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Iain has taught in Japan, Greece, England and Scotland and was part of the team that set up the newest… Read More

sparqs CRT 2015-16 still open for bookings 12 Nov 2015

We are still taking bookings for 2015-16 Course Rep Training, so if you've still got sessions to book please get your requests in to us (at least 3 weeks in advance of the date(s) you're planning for). Please read the information on… Read More

Interview with Jasmin Davies-Hodge, Forth Valley College 28 Oct 2015

In this interview we talk to Jasmin Davies-Hodge, Organisational Learning Co-ordinator at Forth Valley College. She manages Moodle/Mahara team and co-ordinates all Learning Technologies with staff and students. 1. You presented recently at a Jisc event about how you worked in… Read More

Learner Transitions Events - November 2015 12 Oct 2015

sparqs and the Higher Education Academy Scotland are delighted to host a series of subject-specific workshops exploring successful learner transitions. The events aim to facilitate dialogue and new links between educators and students from local universities, colleges and schools. Developed in… Read More

Interview with Rebecca Maxwell Stuart, student engagement researcher and practitioner 23 Sep 2015

In this interview we talk to student engagement researcher and practitioner Rebecca Maxwell Stuart, who is a former sabbatical officer, international student and sparqs team member. She has just completed a thesis on transnational student engagement which you can read… Read More

Have you booked your sparqs 2015-16 Course Rep Training? 01 Sep 2015

We are currently taking bookings for 2015-16 Course Rep Training ....for delivery from Autumn 2015 onwards. Please read the information on our products and the guide to booking training before completing the booking form. These are all accessible on our main… Read More

Interview with Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People 28 Aug 2015

In this interview we talk to Tam Baillie, who is Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People. He was one of our speakers at our national conference in May 2015, but very sadly had to withdraw at short notice. We… Read More

Interview with Rob Henthorn, Vice President (Education) at NUS Scotland 27 Jul 2015

In this interview we talk to Rob Henthorn, the newly elected Vice-President (Education) of NUS Scotland. He has just completed his second term as President for Education and Employability at Aberdeen University Students’ Association. He studied History and Philosophy prior… Read More

Student Engagement in Supported Education Event - 19th August 2015 14 Jul 2015

We are running a half-day workshop on Wednesday 19th August 2015 around delivery of Course Rep Training to students in supported education classes. The workshop will take you through the specially designed materials and discuss how best this training can be delivered, and possibly… Read More

That's Quality 2015 Colleges - 13th August 06 Jul 2015

On Thursday 13th August 2015 sparqs held the inaugural That’s Quality Colleges training event for college student officers and students’ association staff. This event was designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to national arrangements and procedures that help colleges ensure… Read More

Interview with Dash Sekhar, EUSA Vice President Academic Affairs (2014-15) 26 Jun 2015

In this interview we talk to Dash Sekhar, who served as sabbatical Vice-President (Academic Affairs) at Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA). Prior to that, he completed a Joint Honours degree in Mathematics and Music, coming here as an international student.… Read More

That's Quality 2015 Universities - 14th & 15th July 2015 18 Jun 2015

Our annual quality induction event for university student officers and those who support them took place on 14th and 15th July 2015 in Edinburgh. The aim of the event was to equip delegates with the knowledge and ability to use the quality enhancement agenda… Read More

Our conference materials and photos are now online..... 10 Jun 2015

Thanks again to everyone who attended and contributed to the sparqs National Conference on Friday 29th May 2015.  We were delighted to have over 180 delegates attend, and initial feedback shows that people found it a valuable day.  All of the materials and a selection… Read More

Publication of the Framework for College Students' Associations 05 Jun 2015

Wednesday 3rd June 2015 saw the launch of the Framework for the Development of Strong and Effective College Students' Associations in Scotland.  The Framework launch was held at Forth Valley College, attended by college and students' association staff, students, key sector agencies and the Cabinet Secretary for Education… Read More

Interview with Shona Struthers, Colleges Scotland 31 May 2015

Shona Struthers is chief executive of Colleges Scotland, the campaigning and policy membership organisation for the college sector. She was appointed in August 2014 after working in other roles at the organisation. Prior to that she ran an education consultancy… Read More

And the winners are..... 31 May 2015

We are delighted to announce the winners of the sparqs Student Engagement Awards 2015!  The awards were presented at the end of the sparqs National Conference on Friday 29th May 2015, as a fitting conclusion to the day, which recognised… Read More

sparqs National Conference: 29th May 2015 - thank you for attending 30 May 2015

Thanks to everyone who attended our conference and contributed to the wide range of workshops and presentations on the programme. Special thanks to all those who delivered keynotes and facilitated workshops and presentations. The conference was an excellent showcase for the… Read More

sparqs Student Engagement Awards shortlists announced! 08 May 2015

We are pleased to announce the shortlists for the sparqs Student Engagement Awards!  Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations, they were of a very high standard and it was a tough decision for panel members to choose between them.   We invited… Read More

Interview with Celeste McLaughlin, Jisc 24 Apr 2015

In this interview we talk to Celeste McLaughlin from Jisc, an organisation which champions the use of digital technology in education. Celeste has worked with the organisation since 2005 in a variety of roles, currently as Subject Specialist for Teaching,… Read More

Interview with Amy Hamilton, Borders College 22 Mar 2015

In this interview we talk to Amy Hamilton, Students’ Association Development Officer at Borders College.  Amy took up her post at the college in 2014, after many years in the retail and hospitality sectors and a stint teaching in primary schools. 1.… Read More

sparqs Conference - call for proposals and SE Awards 25 Feb 2015

The call for conference proposals and submissions for the Student Engagement Awards are now closed and registration for the conference is open! Please contact David Scott if you wish to discuss any proposals you have made - - 07977980867   Call for Proposals The call for proposals for… Read More

Interview with Hannele Keränen, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Finland 24 Feb 2015

In this interview we talk to Hannele Keränen, Quality Manager at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Finland. Hannele has worked since 1995 in the Finnish higher education sector, and has been involved in institutional reviews both in Finland… Read More

Student Engagement Survey Training - 31st March 2015 24 Feb 2015

sparqs held an event on 31st March 2015, aimed at student officers and students’ association staff, especially those in colleges engaged in the Student Satisfaction & Engagement Survey pre-pilot.  The session was also open to other students' associations who want to make better use of existing survey data within their institution. The event… Read More

Course Rep Training Co-ordinators' Network Meeting - 27th April 2015 24 Feb 2015

This event was the first in a new series of three network meetings per year, which will allow practitioners to share good practice, develop ideas for their own training, and inform sparqs’ work in this area. It was aimed at those staff or student officers… Read More

Embedding E&D in the Curriculum – involving students in curriculum design - 15th April 2015 24 Feb 2015

sparqs, HEA Scotland and NUS Scotland co-hosted an event to explore how students can be involved in designing and developing an inclusive curriculum.  The HEA in Scotland’s Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum project supports the development of a curriculum that… Read More

Engaging Apprentices Event - Wednesday 25th March 2015 10 Feb 2015

sparqs and NUS Scotland co-hosted an event on 25th March 2015 to explore how apprentices can be better engaged in college quality and representation systems.  The event was aimed at apprentices, college staff and students associations’ working with apprentices. The nature of… Read More

Focus on… Assessment and Feedback (deadline 26th Feb) 10 Feb 2015

Are you doing any projects to improve assessment and feedback at your university? Has the students’ association been working in partnership with the university on assessment and feedback? Is it part of your Student Partnership Agreement? QAA Scotland is currently undertaking… Read More

Interview with Myra McCabe, Edinburgh College 08 Feb 2015

In this interview we talk to Myra McCabe, Head of Student Services at Edinburgh College. 1. Let’s start with the congratulations! At the recent 2014 College Development Network awards, Edinburgh College won the Changing Colleges Award for its work on developing… Read More

QAA Student Transitions leaflet for students 03 Feb 2015

QAA Scotland have recently worked with sparqs to produce a  leaflet to help students learn more about how to use the new Enhancement Theme to enhance the quality of learning and teaching at their university.  The new theme is Student Transitions, focusing mainly on transitions… Read More

QEF Review Consultation 28 Jan 2015

Please note that the Scottish Funding Council’s consultation on the review of the Quality Enhancement Framework is now closed, as of Friday 6th February 2015.  sparqs and NUS Scotland ran a half-day event on 21st January 2015 to help officers and students' association staff… Read More

sparqs Team News - two welcomes and one farewell! 20 Jan 2015

We are delighted to announce the appointment of two new sparqs Development Advisors.... Phil McGuinness and Simon Jones, both of whom joined the team on Monday 26th January 2015.  We also bid a fond farewell to Mike Williamson as he moves on… Read More

Education Scotland are recruiting student review team members 16 Jan 2015

Still time to apply....closing date 30th January! Education Scotland are currently recruiting a number of new Student Team Members (STMs) to take part in the next cycle of reviews. Applicants must be college learners, either currently or within the last three… Read More

Call for student submissions - deadline 10th February! 09 Jan 2015

Want to be involved in a conference on equality and diversity? Equality Challenge Unit are looking for student-led presentations, workshops, or debates for a conference in Edinburgh in April 2015, being run jointly with HEA Scotland. Submissions are required on the following topics: How… Read More

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