5 Mar 2012

College Community of Interest to Develop Practice in Student Representation

The engagement of students in quality and governance has increased considerably in the college sector in recent years, and this presents challenges and opportunities not just for student officers themselves but also for the staff who support them.

Given the wide range of areas student representatives are involved in – from shaping college strategies and engaging with review activities, to engaging in the creation of the learning experience and providing effective representation to college committees – the activities of students’ associations must be effective and well-informed. This requires a continuity and guidance in the form of staff, who in turn require support in their vital roles.

To this end, Scotland’s Colleges, sparqs and NUS Scotland have worked together to create a Community of Interest for Student Engagement – Student Governance and Academic Representation. It aims to create an active network of staff practitioners involved in supporting representation by building their skills and knowledge.

The Community of Interest has been funded for six months in the form of a part-time secondment, a post held by Susan Gall, Student Engagement Officer at Banff and Buchan College. It will be targeted at staff members in colleges with roles relating to learner engagement – such as students’ association managers, learner engagement officers, staff-student liaison officers and similar titles.

It will be launched at an event at Angus College on Monday 19th March 2012 and a small number of subsequent networking and development events will be held thereafter. Further details and online booking information for the event on 19th March 2012 can be found on the Scotland’s Colleges website here: http://events.scotlandscolleges.ac.uk/events/show/4289

Although the Community of Interest will very much be guided by the priorities of the sector’s practitioners, the project will map the role of learner engagement staff across the sector, create and manage a mailbase and web resource to facilitate networking and sharing, and provide briefings and resources for the enhancement of practitioners’ knowledge and skills.

For further information please contact Simon Varwell, sparqs Development Advisor, at simon.varwell@sparqs.ac.uk

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