'Talking student engagement' is a series of occasional interviews with student engagement practitioners – both staff and students, and from within Scotland’s university and college sector and beyond. The interviews aim to capture the different perspectives that people have on student engagement in the quality of learning. They are just one of many channels through which people can share their student engagement practice and experiences.
Our interviewees share with us a great richness of knowledge and experience of student engagement, but it should be noted that all views expressed in the interviews are the individuals’ own, and do not necessarily reflect those of sparqs or their organisations.
We usually have a small number of future interviews scheduled, but are keen to hear of others who may have interesting perspectives on student engagement – whether a lecturer, course rep, senior student officer, education researcher, or other practitioner.
To suggest a future subject for interview, please contact us.
Ellie and Jon are CEO and Director of Development respectively, at Grit: Breakthrough Programmes.
Megan is the former President and Vice-President (Learning and Teaching) at City of Glasgow College Students’ Association.
Libby is the Student Partnership Development Officer at Robert Gordon University.
Erica is the Deputy Director for Student Interests, Access and Pathways at the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).
Douglas is the President of ENQA (the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education).
Claire is the Vice Principal (Student Experience) with City of Glasgow College.
Manuel is the Pro-Rector for Student Affairs and Pedagogical Innovation at the University of Minho (UMinho), in Portugal.
Kevin is the Lead Policy Officer (Devolved Nations and Europe) with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).
John is a Senior Learner Engagement Officer at New College Lanarkshire.
Chase is the Academic Representation Coordinator at the University of St Andrews Students’ Association.
Ellie is the NUS Scotland President for 2022-23.
Cassie is a Senior Teaching Associate at the University of Cambridge.
Conor is an Educational Developer at Nottingham Trent University and previous President of its Students' Union.
Kirsten was the NESCol Depute President in 2021-22 and is a newly-recruited sparqs Associate Trainer.
Lianne is the Director of Student Services at Niagara College, in Ontario, Canada.
Jodie is a Development Officer at Glasgow Clyde College Students’ Association (GCCSA).
Anne is the Vice-Principal (Curriculum) at Ayrshire College.
Sofia is the Access and Participation Coordinator at University of Strathclyde Students’ Association.
Charlotte is the Union Development Project Manager at NUS Charity.
Sandra is the Dean for Student Recruitment and Experience at New College Lanarkshire.
Sam is the former National Vice President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA), who recently led a project for New Zealand’s higher education quality body, the Academic Quality Agency (AQA).
Megan is a graduate of the University of Dundee and former Student Voice Support Officer at Dundee University Students’ Association.
Heloisa is the Vice-President (Representation and Volunteers) at Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association for 2020-21.
Charlie is the Director of the Educational Development Unit at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XTJLU) in China and founder of CAPED, the China-based Association for Partnership in Educational Development.
Kevin is the Student Engagement Manager at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Ruth is the Quality Assurance Officer at Hibernia College in Dublin, Ireland.
Luke is the Dean of Teaching and Learning at Abertay University.
Ian is the Clerk to the Board of Management at Perth College UHI.
Matt is the new President of NUS Scotland for 2020-21.
Tim is the Dean for Student Experience at the University of Stirling
Katie is the Vice-President of Scotland’s Rural College Students’ Association (SRUCSA) and James is the Students’ Association Development Officer at SRUC.
Billy is a student of psychology and a Faculty Association Rep at The Open University.
Leila and Toby are S3 pupils and Young Leaders of Learning at Harlaw Academy in Aberdeen.
Rob is the Quality Manager at Forth Valley College.
Maya manages the Quality Assurance/Evaluation process at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Kate is the Project Manager of the Student Voice Australia national project.
Lucy is the Vice President Education at Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union (2017-19).
Norman is the former Chair of the sparqs' Trustee Board.
Sorcha is the Vice-President (Higher Education) of the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA).
Mark is the Academic Development Coordinator at Glasgow School of Art.
Megan is the Academic Engagement Co-ordinator at Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA).
Tom is the manager of the Centre for Student Engagement at the University of Winchester and Secretary for the international RAISE network.
Ignas is a student at Vilnius University in Lithuania.
Lucy is a Research Fellow at The University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Academic Development, on a six month fellowship from Australia.
Stewart is one of sparqs’ new Associate Trainers for 2018-19 and a student at Edinburgh Napier University.
William is a Quality and Enhancement Specialist with QAA Scotland.
Gemma is the newly elected Deputy President of NUS Scotland for 2018-19.
Oisin is Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
Meera is a lecturer and BA Programme Convenor in International Relations at SOAS University of London.
Matt is the Vice-President (Education) at the University of Stirling Students’ Union and Student Theme Lead for the current QAA Enhancement Theme.
Stewart is the Democratic Support & Policy Co-ordinator at Dundee University Students’ Association.
Kerry is the President (Education and Welfare) of Robert Gordon University Students’ Union.
Cathy is a Senior Lecturer in Student Engagement at The University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Academic Development.
Josh is the Regional President of the Students’ Association at North East Scotland College.
Rachael is a Community Skills student at Fife College’s ASPIRE Centre (Additional Support Programmes In Real Environments).
Jim is the Chief Executive of the College Development Network.
Kat is a a Student Engagement Assistant with the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association, the students’ association of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Dale is the former Education Officer and Deputy President for 2016-17 at Trinity College Dublin Students' Union in Ireland.
Raziya is the Development Director at Khazar University in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Jodie is the incoming Vice-President (Education) of NUS Scotland for 2017-18, having been a Vice President at Glasgow Caledonian University for the past two academic years.
Simon is the Director of Student Engagement at The Quality Assurance Commons for Higher and Postsecondary Education based in Oakland, California, which has been established to explore new ideas in quality assurance.
Gohar is the International Officer with the Armenian National Students’ Association (ANSA), and a Masters student in insurance at the Armenian State University of Economics.
Greg is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences (Education) at University of Stirling.
Dougie is a Students’ Association Liaison Officer at City of Glasgow College.
Natalie is a lecturer and project manager for the online Masters in Education at the University of Glasgow, and a former sparqs Associate Trainer.
Sally is a law professor at the University of Technology Sydney UTS), and an Australian Learning and Teaching National Senior Fellow.
Cat is the Co-ordinator of the new pilot National Student Engagement Programme in Ireland.
Chris is the Vice-President for the School of Engineering and Built Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association.
Jane is a programme leader at Queen Margaret University.
Lindsay is the Quality and Learner Engagement Co-ordinator at North Highland College UHI.
Paul is the Director of Student Support and Involvement at the University of Manchester Students’ Union.
Ian is a Business Analyst in the Student Systems Unit at Heriot-Watt University.
Iain and Mary work in the Students’ Office at the University of the West of Scotland.
Ruth is the President of the Open University Students' Association.
Libby is the Associate Head of School at Gray’s School of Art, at The Robert Gordon University.
Iain is the Dean of Students at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Jasmin is Organisational Learning Co-ordinator at Forth Valley College.
Rebecca is a student engagement researcher and practitioner who has recently completed a thesis on transnational student engagement.
Tam is Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Rob is the newly elected Vice President (Education) at NUS Scotland for 2015-16.
Dash served as sabbatical Vice-President (Academic Affairs) at Edinburgh University Students’ Association during 2014-15.
Shona is chief executive of Colleges Scotland, the campaigning and policy membership organisation for the college sector.
Celeste is the Subject Specialist for Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Jisc.
Amy is the Students' Association Development Officer at Borders College.
Hannele is the Quality Manager at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Finland.
Myra is Head of Student Services at Edinburgh College.
Phil is Chief Executive of Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand.
Mark is Director of Academic Strategy and Professor of Teaching and Research in Environmental Biology at Edinburgh Napier University.
Morven is a sparqs Associate Trainer and a fourth-year student at Glasgow School of Art.
An interview with Alice Coleman, Davide Castro and Dan Derricott on the university's approach to student engagement.
Ondrej is Director of Representation at the University of St Andrews Students' Association for academic year 2014-15.
Stewart was deputy head at Anderson High School in Lerwick, and is the founder of The Global Classroom, an international partnership that allows staff and students at secondary schools across the world to share experiences on learning and teaching.