2 Sep 2016

Different approaches to self-evaluation for college students' associations

Over the past 18 months, NUS Scotland has been supporting college students’ associations to evaluate themselves next to the Framework for the Development of Strong and Effective College Students’ Associations in Scotland.  Along with the publication of the Framework last year, a self-evaluation tool was also included. From these self-evaluations, associations should be able to put together a development plan around which to structure the development of the students’ association.

NUS Scotland is keen that these self-evaluations happen in a way which is most useful for associations and their partner colleges. The Framework is something which is yours to use, with support from NUS. The self-evaluation tool provided has 72 pages, and whilst some associations have found those in-depth conversations to be very useful for building strong partnerships, others have understandably sought less time-intensive methods.

At SRUC, the association developed a self-evaluation method which asked participants in a workshop to rate the association against each statement of the Framework. Discussions then focused on the areas which required most development. The workshop takes approximately 90 minutes, and SRUCSA have helpfully provided facilitator notes and materials which can be found on the Framework resource hub on the dedicated website for the Framework - www.saframework.co.uk

At North East Scotland College, there were new staff within the association and the college, and they were keen to hear an external perspective, rather than relying on their own reflections based on such a short amount of time working with the association. NUS Scotland conducted a short review of the students’ association and its relationship with the college, consisting of a series of 10 interviews over 2 days as well as a review of relevant documentation. The review focused on a few areas from the Framework which the association had highlighted as potential areas for development. From the interviews we were able to put together a report which made a series of recommendations to the college and the association about its development. This was a fruitful exercise and NUS Scotland would be willing to carry out similar reviews in other associations.

At Fife College, the students’ association and partner college set up a working group to carry out the self-evaluation using the tool provided, but decided to focus on 2 themes of the Framework initially: Value and Impact, and Governance and Democracy.

All of these methods have led to development plans with clear actions to take to make the association stronger and more effective. Any association which is yet to carry out a self-evaluation might consider one of these more light-touch methods.

For further information or support with self-evaluation, please contact Mike, Harriet or Kerry at NUS Scotland:

Mike Williamson Mike.Williamson@nus-scotland.org.uk

Harriet Pugh Harriet.Pugh@nus-scotland.org.uk

Kerry Beavers Kerry.Beavers@nus-scotland.org.uk

News Article Archive:


Click here to subscribe to the sparqs' Mailing list to get news updates and much more.

Student Engagement Framework

National Education Officers’ Network meeting

6 Dec 2023

Join us for our meeting of sparqs’ National Education Officers’ Network (NEON) for academic year 2023-24.…


Student Engagement Staff Network meeting

29 Nov 2023

This meeting of our Student Engagement Staff Network (SESN) for academic year 2023-24 continues our series…