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.


Whatever stage institutions are at around SPAs, from exploring them to reviewing them, it can be helpful to speak with other people going through the same processes and dealing with the same issues. With this in mind, sparqs held two events in October 2015, one tailored for universities (held on 15th October) and one for colleges (held on 22nd October). 

We also offer ongoing support and advice to institutions and students' associations, so if you have any comments or questions on Student Partnership Agreements or the guidance, please contact Stef Black.

Student Engagement Framework

Student Engagement Staff Network meeting

9 Feb 2021

Our Student Engagement Staff Network will have its first meeting of 2021 on Tuesday 9th February,…


National Education Officers’ Network meeting

21 Jan 2021

Join us for the first sparqs’ National Education Officers’ Network (NEON) of 2021. NEON was set…