sparqs' News

Still time to submit to our 2023 Student Engagement Awards! 06 Jun 2023

2023 sees 20 years since sparqs was founded, and we are delighted to be celebrating with a special event… and the return of our Student Engagement Awards! At a time of considerable change in our sector, the voice of students in… Read More

That's Quality! 2023 is still open to book ...don't miss out! 06 Jun 2023

There's still time to register for our annual That's Quality! programme for student officers and students’ association staff, which begins on 6th July....  It's a valuable opportunity and we urge students' associations to get their officers signed up! The 2023 event is… Read More

Thanks and farewell to two of our Trustees 06 Jun 2023

Following over six years of valued support, we recently wished farewell to two of our Trustees, Sabina Strachan and Gillian Plunkett.  Both Sabina and Gillian took up their Trustee roles in early 2017 and were an invaluable source of support and… Read More

Happy buddies! 06 Jun 2023

In January 2023, sparqs launched the Buddy Scheme, aimed at pairing practitioners in student engagement across institutions and students’ associations, to give them the opportunity to discuss and have a sounding board external to their own institution. Luckily, we received… Read More

Launch of our 2023 Student Engagement Awards and 20th birthday celebrations! 03 May 2023

2023 sees 20 years since sparqs was founded, and we are delighted to be celebrating with a special event… and the return of our Student Engagement Awards! At a time of considerable change in our sector, the voice of students in… Read More

Book now for our That's Quality! 2023 event! 03 May 2023

We are pleased to announce that our annual That's Quality! programme for student officers and students’ association staff is now open for bookings! The 2023 event is split into three parts: The first part of That’s Quality! is a half-day, sector-specific online… Read More

Our updated education officer induction resource for colleges and universities 03 May 2023

sparqs’ toolkit for developing an induction for students’ association education officers has been updated and republished to support induction for summer 2023. Aimed at students’ association staff and others who support education officer induction, this year’s update builds on past college-specific iterations of… Read More

Student engagement in college learner outcomes 03 May 2023

Students and staff from across the college sector are working with sparqs to explore partnership initiatives in response to priorities on attainment, retention and other learner outcomes. Drawing on key sector reports, college KPIs, students’ association input and other data, the… Read More

Participation in QAA’s International Enhancement Conference 03 May 2023

Registration is open for QAA Scotland's 5th International Enhancement Conference, and sparqs will be taking part! This hybrid event takes place on 14th and 15th June 2023 at Glasgow Caledonian University with online options, and registration is open now. Students and… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Manuel João Costa 03 May 2023

In this interview, we talk to Manuel João Costa, Pro-Rector for Student Affairs and Pedagogical Innovation at the University of Minho (UMinho), in Portugal. With a background in biochemistry, he has been at the University of Minho since 2004. He… Read More

sparqs is recruiting student Associate Trainers for 2023-24 29 Mar 2023

sparqs 2023-24 Associate Trainer recruitment is open for applications - deadline 9am, Wednesday 3rd May 2023! Calling all student reps! Do you have experience as a course/apprentice or other representative role? Will you be a student or apprentice during 2023-24? ....if so, and you… Read More

Course Rep Training – planning for 2023-24 29 Mar 2023

This article is a prompt for Course Rep Training Organisers (Representation Co-ordinators and those with similar remits in colleges and universities across Scotland) to consider your plans for delivering Course Rep Training (CRT) during 2023-24, if you haven’t already done… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Kevin McStravock 29 Mar 2023

In this interview, we talk to Kevin McStravock, who is Lead Policy Officer (Devolved Nations and Europe) with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). A graduate of Ulster University (UU), he has held various roles in the sector,… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with John O'Hara 27 Feb 2023

In this interview, we talk to John O’Hara, Senior Learner Engagement Officer at New College Lanarkshire (NCL). John’s college life began as a hairdressing student at Coatbridge College, studying HNC Hairdressing and HND Make up Artistry, then completing his studies… Read More

Welcome to our new Trustees! 27 Feb 2023

We are delighted to introduce four new members to the sparqs’ Trustee Board, Beate Treml, Emilia Todorova, Campbell Powrie and Dr Dee Bird. They bring a wide range of expertise and experience to the Board and we look forward to… Read More

Update on the development of Student Learning Experience model 27 Feb 2023

Following on from previous articles about our ongoing work to redevelop the Student Learning Experience, Phase 1 of the project is now complete. From September to January, sparqs worked with students to identify the principles of the Student Learning Experience… Read More

Shaping sparqs’ strategy: a combined meeting of JAG, NEON and SESN 27 Feb 2023

sparqs’ three stakeholder forums will gather in May for an important event to begin steps towards sparqs’ next strategic plan. On Thursday 4th May 2023 sparqs’ Joint Advisory Group (JAG), National Education Officers’ Network (NEON) and Student Engagement Staff Network (SESN) and members of our Trustee… Read More

New induction guide for academic representation co-ordinators 27 Feb 2023

sparqs has published a new resource to support new members of staff in academic representation and student engagement roles. Our induction guide for Academic Representation Co-ordinators is aimed at new colleagues within students’ associations or institutions who have responsibilities relating to… Read More

sparqs’ paper presented at prestigious European conference 27 Feb 2023

sparqs colleagues Megan Brown and Simon Varwell recently presented a paper in Bilbao, Spain, at the European University Association’s Learning and Teaching Forum, an annual conference for staff and students from across Europe to discuss developments in learning and teaching.… Read More

Our next NEON meeting is open to book - 9th March 2023 24 Jan 2023

Our next National Education Officers’ Network (NEON) meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday 9th March 2023 and is now open to book!  It will take place online via Zoom, from 10.00am until 1.00pm.  See the event booking page for further details and to register to… Read More

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Student Engagement Framework

That's Quality!

6 Jul 2023 - 8 Aug 2023

By booking this event, delegates are committing to the following three-part package:  ~ Part 1:  half-day online event…