19 Sep 2012

Student Partnership Agreements - update

Student Partnership Agreements (SPAs) can help institutions articulate how students are engaged in quality processes, as required by external quality arrangements. If you’re interested in the new Chapter B5 on Student Engagement in the Quality Code, this might be what you’re looking for. See the QAA website to download the document: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Pages/quality-code-B5.aspx

They will also help Scotland develop its work on supporting student involvement in quality and help explore the impact of that involvement on the student experience.

The first University working group on SPAs met in August 2012 attended by the Universities of Strathclyde, Aberdeen, Abertay Dundee, the Highlands and Islands, The Robert Gordon University and the Open University. The group was extremely positive and agreed upon a model of agreement which will show students how to get involved in improving the learning experience, rather than setting a minimum standard which must be met by each party. We believe this approach will better suit the Scottish sector’s enhancement culture.

Taking into account the challenges of regionalisation, the work will be progressed slightly differently in colleges, hopefully working directly with a couple of interested colleges to help develop agreements and useful case studies.

Developments will be reported through the Head of Post-16 reform at the Scottish Government, with the aim of producing clear guidance on the role of SPAs, how they will be monitored and how they will be supported. sparqs’ aim is to ensure that this important new development will be shaped by the needs of those working in this area in colleges and universities.

As part of this work, it would be useful for us to know what arrangements already exist at institutions across Scotland. Does your institution have a student charter, or a similar document? What are your experiences of using this document and how did you put it together? Are there any plans to update or replace the document? If you don’t have one, why do you think this is? Contact Mike Williamson, sparqs Development Advisor, Mike.Williamson@sparqs.ac.uk

The working groups will be producing guidance and recommendations to help colleges and universities develop their own Student Partnership Agreements, and training to help student officers engage students in the process.

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