19 Mar 2018

Students leading on key Enhancement Themes project

sparqs is delighted to be working with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Scotland and students from a range of Scottish universities on a project titled: Responding to the Student Voice: Communicating the Impact.  This project is part of the current Enhancement Theme, Evidence for Enhancement: Improving the Student Experience.


The project aims to explore approaches to informing students about how their feedback has been used for enhancement activities and to improve the learning experience. Given that Scottish Higher Education Institutions have made noticeable efforts in this area, it will provide an overview of current practice in the sector, gather examples of best practice and identify a set of key principles which can be adopted by students’ associations and institutions. In addition, the project aims to produce a national and international scan of practice in this area.

With an ever-increasing emphasis on capturing the ‘student voice’ and working with students in quality assurance and enhancement, it is important for institutions to inform students about how their feedback has influenced their students’ association, institutional enhancement activity and the wider learning experience.

A good example of a simple and effective method of using student feedback to enhance the student experience is illustrated in our 'Spotlight On' article, featuring Strathclyde University’s one minute feedback system.

Next steps

The project is seeking to explore current practice in the area and subsequently, Scottish institutions will be asked to fill in a questionnaire summarising how they respond to student feedback and communicate its impact. We would encourage student officers to get in contact with their staff and student member who sit on the Theme Leaders Group to ensure that responses to this questionnaire include as much rich information as possible.

QAA Scotland are also holding a ‘think-tank’ event on the 26th April 2018 in Glasgow. Institutions will be invited to nominate 3-4 representatives (including a student representative) from relevant faculties to share current practice and thinking on the topic.

This event will provide an opportunity to:

  • Hear about the project and initiatives taking place.
  • Share ideas and learning around approaches to this.
  • Explore the range of evidence that supports student learning and teaching.
  • Consider future needs in this area and plan to get there.

For more information please contact Steph Kirkham, Development Consultant, steph.kirkham@sparqs.ac.uk, or to get involved in this project, please contact project steering group chair Matt Adie (Vice President Education, University of Stirling Students’ Association) on education.union@stirling.ac.uk  or Amanda Park, Information Coordinator, QAA Scotland on a.park@qaa.ac.uk.

Enhancement Themes Conference student places still available

QAA Scotland's 15th Enhancement Themes Conference is taking place on 7th June 2018 at Glasgow Caledonian University. Delegates will be able to attend a range of workshops, papers and lightning talks throughout the day. Places for Scotland-based staff are now full but places for Scotland-based students are still available and we would encourage you to sign up and join us there.

If you have any questions, please contact Steph Kirkham, Development Consultant, steph.kirkham@sparqs.ac.uk

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