2021 Awards

2020-21 was an extraordinary year, one like no other with the COVID-19 pandemic having a dramatic and traumatic effect on institutions, learning experiences, quality systems, students’ associations, and individual students and staff. Student engagement work, like our sector as a whole, adapted quickly and robustly to ensure that partnership remained at the heart of our sector and continued to be responsive to the diversity of the student population, the changing nature of the student learning experience, and the many growing implications for mental health, digital poverty and other facets of education. Given this rapid and continuing change, student engagement in shaping the quality of the learning experience at all levels was more important than ever!

To highlight the achievements of the sector during the response, we were delighted to hold our 2021 Awards, traditionally held at our biennial conference, which we were unable to hold due to the pandemic. We welcomed nominations for awards from staff and students across Scotland to demonstrate successful and impactful partnership working on the quality of the learning experience.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit their good practice.  You can view the shortlists for each category and see the winners and runners-up are below!  Congratulations to everyone!

The Award winners were announced during a celebratory online event on Tuesday 22nd June, hosted by the Chair of sparqs’ Trustees, Sir Andrew Cubie.  The ceremony also included the launch of a celebration report showcasing many of the Awards submissions, and more - Celebrating Successful Partnerships in 2020-21.


- click on each heading below to view the detailed category webpages . . .

Award 1: A student-led initiative in a college

  • Winner:  Muckers Nation – The Students’ Online Equine Community at SRUC  ~ Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)
  • Runner up:  Thank you forms: bringing Fife College students and academic staff closer  ~ Fife College Students’ Association

Award 2: A student-led initiative in a university

  • Winner:  School of Life Sciences Academic Events and Social Media  ~ University of Dundee
  • Runner-up:  Learner Support for Protected Characteristics Focus Groups  ~ Heriot-Watt University

Award 3: A students’ association-led initiative in a college

  • Winner:  Discovering DASA  ~ Dundee and Angus College Students’ Association
  • Runner-up:  Class Representative Meetings – Restructure  ~ Glasgow Clyde College Students’ Association

Award 4: A students’ association-led initiative in a university

  • Winner:  Recruiting & Supporting Class Reps in a Remote Working Environment workshop  ~ Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association
  • Runner-up:  Collaborative development of ENSA online Programme Rep training  ~ Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association

Award 5: A partnership initiative in a college

  • Winner:  Closing the Gap with 360 approach to feedback  ~ New College Lanarkshire and NCL Students’ Association
  • Runner-up:  Dive in to an impactful way to embed, diversity, inclusion, values and equality  ~ West Lothian College Students’ Association and West Lothian College

Award 6: A partnership initiative in a university

  • Winner:  StrathReps: A Student Rep Success Story  ~ Strathclyde Students’ Union and the University of Strathclyde
  • Runner-up:  The Summer Team Enterprise Programme (STEP)  ~ University of St Andrews, University of St Andrews Students’ Association, and the Playfair Consultancy student society


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