Student reps, whether course reps, departmental reps or senior student officers in universities and colleges, all have a vital job to do in enhancing quality. It is important, therefore, to support them in their role, provide appropriate compensation for their efforts, and give them something that can somehow quantify their achievements.
Such actions can help make representative roles attractive and feasible to those who might be interested in doing them, and can help post-holders develop and provide evidence of new skills and knowledge that can be of benefit to them in the future.
To help institutions and students’ associations develop practice in this area, in 2015 we developed a resource on Recognition and Accreditation of Academic Reps. The resource maps sector practice, shares case studies of effective practice, and provides practical approaches to challenges in this area.
The resource, published in November 2015 was informed by a survey of all institutions and a small number of site visits to institutions and students’ associations to more deeply discuss practice.
sparqs HEAR guidance
Launched in the UK university sector in 2008, the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) allows for a single but comprehensive way of recording every student's achievement in their university education - including any work they have done as a student representative.
This represented a great opportunity for the role of course rep in universities to be recognised and recorded in a way that will be comparable across the country.
To that end we developed and published guidance on how the role of course reps can be defined by universities to meet the criteria for section 6.1 of HEAR (which relates to extra-curricular activity).
Our HEAR guidance also includes more generally applicable content on how support mechanisms can be put in place to ensure that course reps fulfill their role effectively. It breaks this down into four key elements that can be clearly identified, measured and supported. Additional tools are included to aid development of support systems and processes.
You can download this guidance here.
For more information about all this work please contact Simon Varwell.