We engage widely with agencies and institutions across Europe, and frequently attend and present at Europe-wide conferences. In addition we have been invited to contribute to a range of events at national levels.
We regularly attend and contribute to the annual conferences of EQAF, the European Quality Assurance Forum, presenting on topics such as the importance of student engagement to Scotland's quality enhancement framework and on the student role in university reviews.
Most recently we presented at EQAF 2022 at West University of Timisoara in Romania. We were involved in delivering two sessions, one on “Same storm, different boats” – A Student-Led Approach to Exploring Equity of the Student Learning Experience in Scotland, as well as a joint session with QAA Scotland on "Student Partnership at the Heart – Quality Assurance and Enhancement in Scotland".
Prior to that, we presented at the online EQAF 2020 on 12th & 13th November, which was moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We presented on “Unintended consequences”, exploring how conducting internal quality reviews online has actually increased student engagement.
We attended EQAF 2019 on 21st-23rd November in Berlin and at at EQAF 2018 on 15th-17th November in Vienna, Austria, we presented a paper on “Engaging diversely: how online students, postgraduates and others can (and should!) be full partners in quality”. Read our news article on our contribution to EQAF18 to find out more and access our paper.
We attended the 2017 EQAF conference in Latvia. The theme of the conference is 'Responsible QA – committing to impact'.
In November 2016 we attended the 2016 EQAF conference in Slovenia, with the theme of "Quality in Context - embedding improvement". We also attended the 2015 EQAF conference which took place in London with the theme of “Taking stock and looking forward”.
At EQAF's 2014 conference in Barcelona in November 2014, sparqs and HEA Scotland presented a workshop about our joint project on engaging students in embedding equality and diversity in curriculum design. The presentations and recordings of both Plenary Sessions, plus the presentations and papers presented during the breakout sessions are all available on the EQAF website.
Other European conferences
In February 2023, we presented at the EUA Europen Learning and Teaching Conference in Bilbao, Spain. The theme of the Forum was “Connecting people, spaces and realities” and our paper explored the development and support of national spaces for student engagement. It drew on the significant recent changes in Scotland where the voice of students has been central to sector policy-making and enhancement activity, both through the pandemic and over the past twenty years of Scotland’s Quality Enhancement Framework.
In February 2020, we travelled to Utrecht University in the Netherlands, to attend the 3rd annual European University Association (EUA) Learning and Teaching Forum, this year presenting on Mental Health and Wellbeing in the curriculum.
Our attendance in 2020 followed on from our contribution in 2019 to the 2nd annual European University Association (EUA) Learning and Teaching Forum. The 2019 conference took place on 14th-15th February in Warsaw, Poland. We delivered a paper on “Facilitating students to be co-creators of their learning and teaching; a Scottish sector insight”, which summarised different tools and mechanisms employed by Scottish institutions to enable student partnership. Read our news article on our contribution to the conference to find out more and to read our paper.
In October 2017 we were invited by NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) to contribute to their Centres of Excellence Seminar in Oslo, following which we were featured in their SFU magazine which shares news from Norway's leading educational communities.
In September 2017 we were invited by the Austrian Quality Management Network to deliver a workshop at a conference in Vienna on ‘The Future of Education and Labor: Students in Focus’.
In November 2016 sparqs were invited by the European Students’ Union (ESU) to deliver a workshop at an HE and SU Governance Seminar in Gdansk, Poland.
We were invited to present a keynote session in Dublin in June 2015 at the Student Led Learning National Symposium: What Works… retention, student engagement and learners transition to Further and Higher Education. The session was around how we can further develop the role of students in enhancing the Student Learning Experience. You can read the twitter feed from the event at #2015SLL
In July 2015 we delivered a workshop on the importance of student feedback at the International Conference on Improving University Teaching (IUT) in Slovenia. The sparqs workshop asked participants to consider the purpose of feedback and its potential value to the quality of the learning and teaching process. You can read the twitter feed from the conference at #IUT2015
In April 2015 we presented a session on 'Building Successful Student Partnerships' at the 25th Annual EURASHE conference in Portugal. All the materials from the conference can be found on the EURASHE conference webpages.