We are currently partners in two exciting European projects which kicked off in February 2014, both of which are three-year projects funded by the European Commission Tempus programme.
The first is the ESPAQ (Enhancing Student Participation in Quality Assurance in Armenian HE) project, involving thirteen partners, a majority of whom are from Armenia, with ESU (European Students’ Union) as the lead partner. The objective of the project (details of which are on the ESU website) is to strengthen the quality assurance processes and practices in Armenian higher education by ensuring the involvement of all the stakeholders, especially the students – the key beneficiaries.
sparqs’ role will be to train a core group of students who will then act as “experts” and disseminate knowledge and good practice throughout their university. We will also assist in writing a handbook containing tools and guidance about student involvement in quality assurance.
The second project is abbreviated (thankfully) to SIHEKSU which stands for “Support to the Internationalization of Kosova Higher Education System through establishment of the Kosova Students’ Union”. There are twelve partners in this project and the lead partner is Paris-Lodron University, Salzburg.
The objectives of the project are around the establishment of a national students’ union in Kosovo, including developing legal frameworks, processes and guidelines, and facilitating networking and membership of ESU.
sparqs’ role is to support NUS Scotland, who are the official project partner, and who will be working on supporting the legal framework and providing training.
Further details on both projects can be found on our International Engagement webpage, and updates on progress will follow over the course of the projects.
In addition to these European projects, sparqs was invited to New Zealand in April 2014 to contribute to a summit around a national project aimed at promoting institutional-level student engagement in NZ's polytechnic sector. The visit also incorporated a series of meetings with sectoral and governmental organisations to share sparqs’ experience and Scotland’s approaches to student engagement.
Future news articles will feature an update on the key outcomes of our work in New Zealand so watch this space!