16 Jan 2017

Student Engagement in Gender Action Plans – a checklist from NUS Scotland

Don’t miss the opportunity to involve your students in designing and delivering the college or university’s first Gender Action Plan (GAP)! To support students’ associations with this new piece of work, in December 2016, NUS Scotland published Student Engagement in Gender Action Plans, a checklist packed with helpful advice, case studies and top tips.

The Scottish Funding Council’s Gender Action Plan report, published in August 2016, sets out ambitious targets for tackling the long-standing problem of gender imbalance within colleges and universities. It stipulates that, by 2030, no individual subject at a Scottish college or university shall have a gender imbalance greater than 75:25, and that the gap between overall male and female participation in undergraduate study shall be reduced to 5%.

Each institution is required to publish its own individual GAP detailing plans for meeting these – and interim – targets, with the first tranche of GAPs expected in July 2017. Meaningful and sustained student engagement throughout this process will be key to ensuring that Scotland’s colleges and universities are bold and creative in their approaches, and put the needs of their students at the heart of the process.

Angela Alexander, NUS Scotland Women’s Officer, says, “My vision for student involvement in the Gender Action Plans is that they are key stakeholders in the process, that we are pushing our institutions to be bold and ambitious in their approach to tackling gender imbalance, and that Students’ Associations are adequately funded to be able to participate in these plans”.

To find out more about how your students’ association can get involved in the process, come along to the GAP workshop being delivered by sparqs and NUS Scotland at the sparqs Conference on 23rd March 2017 – registration opens on 30th January and you will be able to select your session choices when registering.

sparqs is currently scoping what ongoing assistance we might provide to students’ associations and institutions in relation to GAPs and would, as ever, welcome any thoughts or ideas from you on what shape this support could usefully take.

For further information on the checklist, or to discuss student engagement in GAPs, please contact Lindsay Isaacs, sparqs Development Consultant (lindsay.isaacs@sparqs.ac.uk) or Jenny Lees, NUS Scotland Campaigns Delivery Officer (jenny.lees@nus-scotland.org.uk).

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