Student Partnership Agreements

In November 2013 sparqs launched the Guidance for the development and implementation of a Student Partnership Agreement in universities.

In May 2015 we launched a version developed for the college sector - Guidance for the development and implementation of a Student Partnership Agreement in colleges.

We have also developed a poster/handout outlining what Student Partnership Agreements are, the benefits of having one and how to go about developing one, including how sparqs can help you!

Student Partnership Agreements were first outlined in the Scottish Government’s paper, Putting Learners at the Centre, which proposed a document setting out how students and their institutions interact.

sparqs saw itself as ideally placed to develop this idea further, and with the agreement of the Scottish Government, set about initiating discussions with the sector about the specifics of the Student Partnership Agreement model. This model adheres to the Scottish contexts of student engagement and quality enhancement.

Student Partnership Agreements are a way in which students’ associations and institutions can promote ways in which students can interact with staff at their institution to improve quality. They’re also an opportunity to agree a set of three to five priority areas upon which the students’ association and institution will work together, in partnership.

The university guidance was developed using the advice of a working group made up of interested staff and students from universities across Scotland.  We then worked on developing a version of the guidance more suited to the college sector. 

A more recent piece of work, designed to further help institutions and their student bodies understand partnership and student engagement, is the development of our Student Engagement Analysis Workshop during 2019-20. This can have a useful impact on the shape and content of SPAs.

In January 2021 we produced a COVID-19 briefing note on SPAs, which can be found in our COVID-19 hub resources page. It helps institutions and students' associations to reflect on partnership during the pandemic, and to identify what the pandemic means for the tools and priorities of partnership.


We offer ongoing support and advice to institutions and students' associations to explore, develop or redevelop SPAs, so if you have any comments or questions, please contact Simon Varwell.

Student Engagement Framework

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