8 Jun 2018

‘Student Engagement in your institutional GAP’ - Launch of sparqs’ benchmarking and development tool

sparqs is delighted to launch a new Benchmarking and Development tool to support colleges and universities across Scotland to improve student engagement in the design and delivery of their Gender Action Plans (GAPs).

Student engagement in GAPs puts the student voice at the heart of the process. It recognises the unique experiences and expertise of students and values their contributions. Better and more effective student engagement can lead to better decisions, an improved GAP and more satisfactory outcomes. The Scottish Funding Council recognises the value of student engagement and is keen to see it effectively embedded by institutions within their GAP processes.

Developed in partnership with NUS Scotland, Advance HE (formerly the Equality Challenge Unit) and Equate Scotland, the tool is designed to help you consider your institution’s current level of student engagement in GAP design and delivery, and what actions you and colleagues can take to bring about enhancements.

The tool comprises five sections, each relating to a different element of the GAP ‘life-cycle’. For each element, the tool describes three improving stages of activity to improve student engagement, from ‘First steps’, through ‘Developing’ to ‘Best practice’. Example activities are detailed in relation to each stage, providing you with an accessible method for benchmarking current activity, as well as practical examples for enhancing it.

The Benchmarking and Development Tool was developed as part of our recent joint GAP project with NUS Scotland, in which we worked closely with eight institutions over four months to improve student engagement. Many thanks to the four colleges and four universities which trialled a pilot version of the tool as part of the project, and for their very useful and informative feedback.

The tool is accessible in the sparqs Resource Library.

For more information on the tool or project, please contact Lindsay Isaacs on Lindsay.Isaacs@sparqs.org.uk

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