28 Feb 2013

Student Engagement in Enhancement Themes

Supporting students’ associations to participate in sector enhancement initiatives, like Enhancement Themes has always been challenging. However, in the last few months we’ve made tremendous progress.

Over the summer, sparqs and QAA Scotland produced a new leaflet for students related to the current Enhancement Theme, Developing and Supporting the Curriculum, and provided students with some basic questions they could ask staff which were connected with the big picture of Enhancement Themes. These leaflets were distributed to all the universities in Scotland for students’ associations to hand out to course reps.

The leaflet can be viewed here: http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/pages/docdetail/docs/publications/developing-and-supporting-the-curriculum-student-leaflet

sparqs has received positive feedback from institutions that are using the leaflet. Some institutions have incorporated the questions from the leaflet into their course rep conference or training and the University of the West of Scotland has gone as far as adding the questions, or aspects of the questions, onto their SSLC meeting agendas.

In addition to this leaflet, students’ associations and institutions have approached sparqs to help them with their work in Enhancement Themes. This can range from inducting a new member on to the institution’s Enhancement Themes steering committee, to doing individual consultancy with particular universities, or supporting students to submit proposals to the Enhancement Themes conference taking place in June 2013.

sparqs, in partnership with QAA Scotland, support the Enhancement Themes Student Network, which is made up of the students who sit on their Enhancement Themes Steering Committee at their own institution. The next Student Network meeting is on 5th March 2013, at the University of Stirling. This network meeting will focus on how the student members are engaging with Enhancement Themes, giving them some practical tools and advice, allow them to contribute to national policy through the student members on the national steering committee, and begin to look at handover and maximising student involvement in Enhancement Themes at their own university.

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