sparqs' News - 2016

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Sally Varnham 18 Nov 2016

In this interview we talk to Dr Sally Varnham, a law professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and an Australian Learning and Teaching National Senior Fellow. Sally has been leading a national project looking at student engagement in… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Cat O'Driscoll 18 Nov 2016

In this interview we talk to Cat O’Driscoll, Co-ordinator of the new pilot National Student Engagement Programme in Ireland. She has a wide experience of student representation at university, Irish and European levels. We met up with her at our… Read More

sparqs Team News! 18 Nov 2016

We are delighted to announce the appointment of a new sparqs Development Consultant, Lindsay Isaacs, who joined the sparqs team on Monday 14th November 2016. We are equally delighted, that Morven Stewart, who joined us as a temporary Development Consultant… Read More

sparqs Conference 2017 - call for proposals is now open! 18 Nov 2016

We are pleased to announce that the call for proposals is now open for #sparqs17, our conference taking place on Thursday 23rd March 2017.  The title of the conference is Celebrating the impact of the student voice on quality enhancement. We are inviting… Read More

New Apprentice Rep Training available to book! 18 Nov 2016

We are pleased to announce that sparqs have developed new materials for Apprentices, to enable colleges to train Apprentice reps. The materials are now online and you can book sparqs to come out and deliver these sessions. The training session lasts… Read More

QAA Scotland Focus On projects 18 Nov 2016

Over the last two academic years, sparqs has been delighted to be involved in a series of QAA Scotland’s Focus On projects. The aim of these projects is to help institutions shape policy and to enhance partnership between students’ associations,… Read More

sparqs Course Rep Training is open for bookings 02 Sep 2016

Bookings are now open for sparqs Course Rep Training during 2016-17 ....for delivery from the first week in October onwards. All the information you need is on our main CRT webpage.  Please read the booking guide before arranging your sessions and requesting dates. Please note that the process… Read More

Successful That’s Quality events! 02 Sep 2016

Over the summer we held our annual induction events for college and university student officers. The focus of both events was how to use quality to enhance students’ learning and teaching experience. That’s Quality Universities took place on 12th and 13th… Read More

Different approaches to self-evaluation for college students' associations 02 Sep 2016

Over the past 18 months, NUS Scotland has been supporting college students’ associations to evaluate themselves next to the Framework for the Development of Strong and Effective College Students’ Associations in Scotland.  Along with the publication of the Framework last… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Lindsay Henderson 02 Sep 2016

In this interview we talk to Lindsay Henderson, Quality and Learner Engagement Co-ordinator at North Highland College UHI (NHC). Lindsay joined NHC as a secretarial assistant, moving on to work in Quality part-time while studying at NHC towards a Business… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Jane Culpan 02 Sep 2016

In this interview we talk to Jane Culpan, a programme leader at Queen Margaret University. She is going into the second year of a brand new degree, BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing, which she has designed with student… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Chris Daisley 02 Sep 2016

In this interview we talk to Chris Daisley, Vice-President for the School of Engineering and Built Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association. Prior to becoming elected, he studied Computer Networking both as an undergraduate and postgraduate student. One of… Read More

sparqs is recruiting! 02 Sep 2016

We are currently recruiting for 2 posts - a Development Consultant to join the staff team, and a Trustee.  The closing date for both posts is 12 noon on Monday 19th September 2016. For information on each post and application details, please… Read More

Save the date for the sparqs Conference on 23rd March 2017 22 Jun 2016

We are delighted to announce that sparqs will be holding its biennial conference on Thursday 23rd March 2017 at Surgeon’s Hall in Edinburgh. (Please note that the conference is now a day earlier than originally advertised, so please make sure that… Read More

New practice guide on engaging students in Institution-led Review 22 Jun 2016

May 2016 saw the launch of a new practice guide developed by sparqs, in conjunction with The Robert Gordon University, on engaging students in the university quality process of Institution-led Review (ILR). With universities responsible for managing their own mechanisms for… Read More

New projects on ODL and TNE students 22 Jun 2016

sparqs has recently commenced two projects that will contribute to our understanding of how students are and can be engaged across two key aspects of educational diversity. One project will explore student engagement in online and distance learning (ODL) courses,… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON.... West Lothian College sets its sights on Learning and Teaching issues 22 Jun 2016

West Lothian College Students’ Association is working on the biggest college-wide shakeup of representation in years, all geared to giving students a greater voice in solving learning and teaching issues. As of August 2016 each curriculum area will be served by… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Paul Chapman 22 Jun 2016

In this interview we talk to Paul Chapman, Director of Student Support and Involvement at the University of Manchester Students’ Union. Paul currently leads the Students’ Union’s student engagement activity which includes the ‘traditional’ activities such as advice and welfare,… Read More

That's Quality Colleges - 10th August 2016 22 Jun 2016

That’s Quality Colleges took place on Wednesday 10th August 2016 at the College Development Network in Stirling. The event was aimed at college student officers and students association staff. It provided a comprehensive introduction to national arrangements and procedures that help colleges ensure… Read More

That’s Quality 2016: Residential induction event for university education officers - 12th & 13th July 05 May 2016

Our annual 2-day residential induction event for university student officers with an education remit and students’ association staff took place on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th July 2016, at the West Park Conference Centre in Dundee. The event aimed to equip delegates with the… Read More

sparqs' Course Rep Training co-ordinators’ network – past events and future plans 05 May 2016

sparqs recently held the last of this academic year’s three events for Course Rep Training co-ordinators, with the April 2016 meeting focusing on redeveloping Course Rep Training materials for the coming academic year. The day was a chance to explore… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON.... College Development Network's 2016 Emporium: Inspiring Ideas 05 May 2016

This year’s CDN Emporium: Inspiring Ideas - Developing the Workforce, running throughout the first three weeks in June 2016, is open for registration! With an emphasis on Developing the Workforce, the series of events creates opportunities to share inspiring practices… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Ian Glen 05 May 2016

In this interview we talk to Ian Glen, a Business Analyst in the Student Systems Unit at Heriot-Watt University. He completed an MSc and PhD in Applied Social Research at the University of Stirling. His thesis was an ethnographic study… Read More

Developing the Pupil Voice in Schools 23 Mar 2016

We have recently developed our training materials for piloting in schools and colleges, delivering our first training session to thirty pupils at Braeview Academy in Dundee. The session covered developing representation and meeting skills, working with students from a range… Read More

'Student Engagement in Quality' - our newly revised staff workshop 23 Mar 2016

We have recently revised our staff workshop materials on “Student engagement in quality”, intended for staff who are involved in supporting the learning experience, such as teaching, support, quality and management roles. The workshop can be delivered by sparqs or… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON.... City of Glasgow College's use of the Student Engagement Framework 23 Mar 2016

Scotland’s Student Engagement Framework (SEF) is a vital tool for mapping and planning student engagement activity. The framework’s elements and features of student engagement offer an ideal basis for strategic planning of different areas of student engagement, and this is… Read More

sparqs Annual Report 2014-15 23 Mar 2016

We recently published our Annual Report for the academic year 2014-15.    The report highlights the work of the team throughout the last academic year, from our core business to exciting new projects and partnerships and future work in the planning, with students, institutions and sector… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Ruth Tudor 23 Mar 2016

In this interview we talk to Ruth Tudor, President of the Open University Students’ Association. She left school with eight ‘O’ grades and one Higher, and started working as a dental nurse, gaining qualification in that role and then specialist qualifications. She… Read More

sparqs is recruiting for student Associate Trainers! 23 Mar 2016

A fantastic opportunity for students who.... will be studying during 2016-17; have experience as a course rep; and would like to earn while studying. sparqs have recruited and trained students to become Associate Trainers for 10 years. Without Associate Trainers (AT’s) we would not be… Read More

Course Rep Training Co-ordinators' Network 23 Mar 2016

sparqs' support for co-ordinators of Course Rep Training (CRT) has continued and developed this year through its programme of networking events for practitioners. The third in this year’s series, which will focus on materials development, will take place in our… Read More

College SSE Survey Support Event - 24th February 2016 12 Feb 2016

sparqs held a development day on the College Student Satisfaction and Engagement Survey on Wednesday 24th February 2016, aimed at students’ association staff/officers and college staff who work with data or surveys. Additionally we are offering five college students’ associations… Read More

Apprentice Voice in Scotland 12 Feb 2016

Working closely with NSoAS, the National Society of Apprentices Scotland, and the National Union of Students, sparqs is preparing for a series of apprentice voice events across Scotland to coincide with Scottish Apprenticeship Week, running from 29th February to 4th… Read More

Recent successes in Armenia 12 Feb 2016

A recent evaluation by the European Commission of the ESPAQ project in Armenia commended the contribution by sparqs saying: "the contribution of sparqs, your Scottish partner, was highlighted by students as the most productive, motivating and helpful.." The ESPAQ project is funded… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Libby Curtis 12 Feb 2016

In this interview we talk to Libby Curtis, who is currently Associate Head of School at Gray’s School of Art, at The Robert Gordon University, a position directly relating to the enhancement of the student experience and strategic operations of… Read More

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Student Engagement Framework

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