30 Jan 2017

Developments in Institution-led Review for universities

On Thursday 19th January 2017, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Scotland launched a new ‘Focus On’ project on Institution-led Review (ILR), which has presented sparqs with an opportunity to promote our practice guide on engaging students in Institution-Led Review (published in May 2016) and gather new case studies for a forthcoming updated version.

Discussions at the event identified a desire to see a step-change in the nature of student engagement within ILR.

Since the May 2016 launch of the sparqs practice guide, there have been some exciting developments and new areas of work.

The practice guide was originally developed in conjunction with The Robert Gordon University following our involvement in two of its recent internal reviews. One of these was the Institution-led Subject Review (ILSR) of Gray’s School of Art, where we worked closely with management and student researchers to explore how students could contribute in partnership to the preparation for the review.

Since then, the School and university have been building on the wider successes to come out of this work.

At the May 2016 annual Learning and Teaching Conference at The Robert Gordon University, a paper was presented on Gray’s work with sparqs by the School’s Associate Head, Libby Curtis, who won the conference’s award for Best Paper.

Furthermore the university’s work on ILR was positively endorsed by its 2016 Enhancement-led Institution Review (ELIR) report (see paragraphs 11, 35 and 38 specifically).

Libby also presented on the partnership work undertaken in the school at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College International Conference on Learning and Teaching in Malaysia in October 2016, and her paper was selected for publication in the conference journal.

Meanwhile in November 2016 sparqs and Gray’s School of Art jointly presented on the partnership working in the school and the development of the practice guide at the September 2016 RAISE Annual Conference.

We are keen to hear from institutions and students’ associations about their experiences of using the practice guide, and of using our training materials for ILR student panel members, which we are also hoping to update. We are very happy to meet with institutions and students’ associations who would like to talk through the practice guide in more detail and consider how they can apply it in their own ILR activities.

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

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