sparqs' News - 2018

Registration is open for the sparqs conference on 28th March 2019! 12 Dec 2018

We are delighted to announce that registration is now open for the sparqs' conference ~ Student Engagement for All ~ taking place on Thursday 28th March 2019 at Surgeons' Hall in Edinburgh.  #sparqs19 The conference is aimed at students, managers and practitioners in colleges, universities and… Read More

The deadline has been extended for nominations for the 2019 sparqs Student Engagement Awards! 12 Dec 2018

A reminder that nominations are still open for the third sparqs Student Engagement Awards!  The deadline for submissions has been extended until Friday 11th January 2019! . The Awards will take place at the end of our conference on Thursday 28th March 2019 in Edinburgh.  We are inviting students’ associations… Read More

Headlines and resources from our HGIOC event on 5th November 2018 12 Dec 2018

On Monday 5th November 2018 we held a HGIOC (How good is our college?) event for student officers and SA staff, with quality staff invited to join from lunch onwards, for the afternoon session. The day was designed to help officers consolidate their… Read More

sparqs' contribution at EQAF 2018 in Vienna 12 Dec 2018

sparqs participated in the recent European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) on 15th-17th November 2018 in Vienna, Austria. EQAF, an annual gathering for quality practitioners from institutions and sectors across Europe and beyond, is a major opportunity to learn and share on… Read More

Opportunity for college officers to attend CDN’s Quality 2019 conference 12 Dec 2018

Don’t miss this important opportunity for college student officers to come along and join discussions around quality, share their experiences and learn from the experiences of colleagues to influence work within institutions for 2018/19. The College Development Network (CDN) Quality… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON…University of Dundee's STEP UP modules to aid transition and articulation 12 Dec 2018

This ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ features the University of Dundee’s STEP UP modules which facilitate articulation for students from the neighbouring Dundee and Angus College. The modules support transition from the college to university and focus on the key academic skills required for… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Ignas Gaižiūnas 12 Dec 2018

In this interview, we talk to Ignas Gaižiūnas, student at Vilnius University (VU) in Lithuania. He is studying an MSc in Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, and has held various representative posts in Vilnius University Students’ representation (VU SA). He also… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Lucy Mercer-Mapstone 12 Dec 2018

In this interview, we talk to Dr Lucy Mercer-Mapstone, a Research Fellow at The University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Academic Development. She is on a six month fellowship from Australia, having worked previously at the University of Queensland. 1.  Could you… Read More

Nominations are still open for the 2019 sparqs Student Engagement Awards! 05 Oct 2018

A reminder that nominations are still open for the third sparqs Student Engagement Awards!  The deadline for submissions has been extended until Friday 11th January 2019! . The Awards will take place at the end of our conference on Thursday 28th March 2019 in Edinburgh.  We are inviting… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Stewart Kirkland 05 Oct 2018

In this interview, we talk to Stewart Kirkland, one of sparqs’ new Associate Trainers for 2018-19. After a 13-year career in the Royal Air Force he went on to hold a variety of positions with the police in Scotland. “Retiring”… Read More

Open for registration – Academic Rep Co-ordinators’ network meeting on Tuesday 27th November 2018 05 Oct 2018

The first of 2018-19’s Academic Representation Co-ordinators' (ARC) Network meetings is now open for registrations! The Academic Representation Co-ordinators’ network is sparqs’ professional forum for staff in roles relating to the support of academic representation and student engagement in quality. Under the banner… Read More

Making HGIOC work for you and your students - sparqs event on 5th November 2018 is open! 05 Oct 2018

We are pleased to announce that bookings are now open for our 'How good is our college?' (HGIOC) event - Making HGIOC work for you and your students, taking place on Monday 5th November 2018 at CDN in Stirling.   Following our That’s Quality! training with college officers… Read More

sparqs Conference 2019 - our call for proposals has been extended for a further week until Friday 12th October! 05 Oct 2018

We are pleased to announce that the call for proposals for our 2019 conference has been extended for a further week, and the deadline for submissions is now Friday 12th October 2018!  #sparqs19 is taking place on Thursday 28th March 2019 at Surgeons' Hall in… Read More

Making HGIOC work for you and your students. - Monday 5th November 2018 07 Sep 2018

Following our That’s Quality! training with college officers in August, we will be running an event on Monday 5th November 2018 at Airthrey Castle in Stirling. The event is designed to help officers consolidate their knowledge and use the quality… Read More

Training for Apprentice Reps 07 Sep 2018

As the new academic year gets underway, we thought it would be a good time to remind everyone about the training package for apprentices that sparqs offers. We have two different sessions available, the first being an introductory session designed… Read More

Nominations are open for the 2019 sparqs Student Engagement Awards! 07 Sep 2018

We are delighted to announce that nominations are now open for the third sparqs Student Engagement Awards! . The Awards will take place at the end of our conference on Thursday 28th March 2019 in Edinburgh.  We are inviting students’ associations and institutions across Scotland to… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with William Hasty 07 Sep 2018

In this interview, we talk to William Hasty, Quality and Enhancement Specialist with QAA Scotland. He started the role in March 2018, prior to which he was Learning Enhancement Officer at the Open University in Scotland. Previously he worked with… Read More

How good is our college? update 07 Sep 2018

With Evaluative Reports and Enhancement Plans (EREPs) for 2017-18 due in October, we want to update you on HGIOC and our work with students this year. Student engagement in the college quality arrangements is a re-emphasised priority, with the supplementary guidance… Read More

That's Quality! 2018 events roundup 07 Sep 2018

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. It was fantastic to meet so many enthusiastic… Read More

sparqs Conference 2019 - call for proposals is now open! 02 Aug 2018

We are pleased to announce that the call for proposals is now open for #sparqs19, our conference taking place on Thursday 28th March 2019 at Surgeons' Hall in Edinburgh. The theme for the conference is ‘Student Engagement for All’, with proposals invited for presentations, workshops… Read More

sparqs 2018-19 Course Rep Training is open for bookings! 02 Aug 2018

Bookings are now open for sparqs Course Rep Training during 2018-19 ....for delivery from week beginning Monday 17th September 2018 onwards.  All the information you need is on our main CRT webpage.  Please read the booking guide before arranging your sessions and requesting dates.  We have a range of Course Rep Training… Read More

Welcome to our 2018-19 Associate Trainers... and other team news! 02 Aug 2018

We are delighted to announce the appointment of an excellent team of student Associate Trainers for the coming academic year. The new team, including four returners from previous years, will begin delivering Course Rep Training from mid-September 2018 onwards (for which bookings are… Read More

Launch of sparqs' new ELIR Cycle 4 Practice Guide 02 Aug 2018

sparqs is delighted to announce the publication of our ELIR Cycle 4 Practice Guide, designed to support students' association representatives and staff to have meaningful student engagement throughout the ELIR (Enhancement-led Institutional Review) process.   The practice guide, launched at our That's Quality! Universities event… Read More

Launch of sparqs’ online distance learning guidance 02 Aug 2018

In June 2018 sparqs launched its new resource on Engaging Students in Online Distance Learning (ODL). It is a culmination of around two years’ work with a number of Scottish universities interested in ODL engagement, plus one institution in Dublin… Read More

Invitation for students to feed into QAA’s defining degree outcomes events in August 02 Aug 2018

An opportunity for students to attend and contribute to a QAA event around their work on defining degree outcomes has arisen and we would encourage interested student officers to sign up! QAA are running two events in August and are keen… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Gemma Jones 02 Aug 2018

In this interview, we talk to Gemma Jones, Deputy President of NUS Scotland for 2018-19, whose job involves leading on quality and education within the NUS Scotland executive. She has just completed a sabbatical year as President of the SRUC… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Oisin Hassan 02 Aug 2018

In this interview, we talk to Oisín Hassan, Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Previously he was Vice-President (Education) at Queen’s University Belfast Student’ Union. He was recently re-elected to serve a second year… Read More

Save the date! The sparqs Conference is on 28th March 2019 08 Jun 2018

. We are delighted to announce that sparqs will be holding its biennial conference on Thursday 28th March 2019, at Surgeons’ Hall in Edinburgh. . Conference Theme The theme for the conference is ‘Student Engagement for All’. It will provide an opportunity to focus… Read More

sparqs events currently open for bookings + future 'save the dates' 08 Jun 2018

Just a reminder that we currently have three events open for bookings, as advertised in our last news articles.  There are still places on all three events, so please sign up now if you're planning to attend.  In addition, please save the dates for our… Read More

‘Student Engagement in your institutional GAP’ - Launch of sparqs’ benchmarking and development tool 08 Jun 2018

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… Read More

Students needed for reading groups: UK Quality Code update 08 Jun 2018

The Expectations and Practices of the new UK Quality Code was published on 27th March 2018 after undergoing a significant redevelopment. The full code, including the Advice and Guidance that underpins the Expectations and Practices is scheduled for publication in… Read More

sparqs' Privacy Policy has been updated 08 Jun 2018

Please note that the sparqs Privacy Policy has been updated in line with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) now in force within Europe, as of 25th May 2018.  We would encourage anyone who uses our services to read this updated policy,… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON…EUSA’s participation in our ‘Monitoring the Diversity of Course Reps’ project 08 Jun 2018

This ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ features Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s (EUSA’s) involvement in our pilot project to support institutions to monitor the diversity of their course reps. Many people working in HE and FE have ‘gut feelings’ about the make-up of course rep… Read More

Opportunity for students to sit on QAA’s Student Advisory Committee 08 Jun 2018

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) are currently recruiting new members for their Student Advisory Committee. This is an opportunity for students and SU staff who want a voice in how the quality of UK HE is ensured. Both Scottish representatives on… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Meera Sabaratnam 08 Jun 2018

In this interview, we talk to Dr Meera Sabaratnam, lecturer and BA Programme Convenor in International Relations at SOAS University of London. She has a strong research interest in colonial and post-colonial relations, statebuilding and development, and has been undertaking… Read More

That's Quality! 2018 - both events are now open for bookings! 08 May 2018

We are pleased to announce that both of our annual That's Quality! induction events are now open for bookings!  The event for universities takes place on 17th & 18th July in Stirling and the event for colleges takes place on 8th & 9th August in Dundee. … Read More

Monitoring the Diversity of Course Reps: Introductory rollout event - 26th June 2018 08 May 2018

sparqs is holding an event on the afternoon of Tuesday 26th June 2018 to roll out our highly successful project on monitoring the diversity of course reps. During the pilot in 2017/18, we worked with four institutions and we are now working in partnership with Advance… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON.... Student Engagement with learning for sustainability at Dumfries and Galloway College 08 May 2018

This ‘Spotlight On’ features work that is underway at Dumfries and Galloway College to address student engagement with learning for sustainability, both within the curriculum, and across the wider college campus. The project was originally presented at the November 2017… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Matt Adie 08 May 2018

In this interview, we talk to Matt Adie, Vice-President (Education) at the University of Stirling Students’ Union and Student Theme Lead for the current QAA Enhancement Theme “Evidence for Enhancement: Improving the Student Experience”. Matt is currently in his final… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Stewart Squire 08 May 2018

In this interview, we talk to Stewart Squire, Democratic Support & Policy Co-ordinator at Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA). Stewart’s role involves a range of support for student engagement, and he previously worked at the Abertay University Students’ Association as… Read More

sparqs 2018-19 Associate Trainer recruitment is open for applications - deadline 12 noon, Tues 8th May! 19 Mar 2018

Calling all course reps and apprentices!  Do you have experience as a course rep and will be a student during 2018-19? Or...... Will you be an apprentice during 2018-19, or are you a recent graduate apprentice wishing to develop your core skills? ....if so, and you would… Read More

sparqs ARC Network - May 2018 meeting is open for bookings! 19 Mar 2018

Registration is now open for our next Academic Representation Co-ordinators’ network meeting, taking place on Wednesday 9th May 2018 at University of Stirling Students' Union.  Our third and final meeting of the 2017-18 academic year has a packed and exciting agenda, with two sessions on course reps… Read More

sparqs PGR project - call for contributors! 19 Mar 2018

We are delighted to announce that, based on sector interest and demand, sparqs is commencing a project to explore and develop practice in the engagement of postgraduate research (PGR) students. Over the coming year we will be looking at various aspects… Read More

Review of the Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges: Gathering the Student Voice 19 Mar 2018

A review of the existing standards for lecturers in Scotland’s colleges is currently being conducted by the College Development Network (CDN) on behalf of the Scottish Government. sparqs has been tasked with ensuring that students have the opportunity to be… Read More

Students leading on key Enhancement Themes project 19 Mar 2018

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… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON.... University of Strathclyde's one minute feedback 19 Mar 2018

This ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ features the University of Strathclyde’s one minute feedback system, which is used to gather attendance at lectures whilst also motivating students to actively feed back at the end of class. Comments are responded to at the beginning… Read More

sparqs Strategic Planning – looking ahead to 2021... 09 Mar 2018

sparqs Trustee Board is pleased to announce that we have started a planning process to develop a strategic plan to guide our work until 2021.  Since the launch of its last plan in 2013 sparqs has made great strides in promoting… Read More

How good is our college? update 09 Mar 2018

HGIOC reports released The first pilot year of HGIOC has been completed with college Evaluation Reports and Enhancement Plans (EREPs) for 2017 published and available on the Education Scotland website. The reports are interesting and provide a wealth of information which will… Read More

QAA Scotland Focus On Feedback from Assessment event: 22nd March 2018 09 Mar 2018

.Registration is still open for QAA Scotland's Focus On: Feedback from Assessment event on Thursday 22nd March 2018 at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow. The event will showcase work undertaken in support of the nation-wide Focus On project and will explore the following topics: Institutional approaches… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Kerry Harrison 09 Mar 2018

In this interview, we talk to Kerry Harrison, President (Education and Welfare) of Robert Gordon University Students’ Union. Previously she studied Management with HR and got involved with the union through the Mental Wellbeing Society. 1. You’re coming to the end… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Cathy Bovill 09 Mar 2018

In this interview, we talk to Cathy Bovill, Senior Lecturer in Student Engagement at The University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Academic Development. Previously she worked at the University of Glasgow for nine years. 1. Can you start off by telling us… Read More

Opportunity to help shape the Professional Standards for lecturers in Scotland's colleges 11 Jan 2018

sparqs is running 2 workshops to enable college student officers and course reps to contribute to CDN’s current review of the existing Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges.  The events are taking place on Tuesday 27th February in Edinburgh and Tuesday 6th March… Read More

Supporting student engagement in Gender Action Plans 11 Jan 2018

In 2016, the Scottish Funding Council published its Gender Action Plan (GAP), setting out ambitious targets for tackling the long-standing problem of gender imbalance within colleges and universities. It stipulates that, by 2030, no individual subject at a Scottish college… Read More

Pledge to take part in the NUS Sustainable Development Goals teach-in! 11 Jan 2018

An article from our colleagues in the NUS Sustainability Department, asking educators across UK universities and colleges to pledge to include the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their teaching, learning, and assessment during the week of 19th to 23rd… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Josh Gall 11 Jan 2018

In this interview, we talk to Josh Gall, Regional President of the Students’ Association at North East Scotland College. He is in his second sabbatical year, having served a year as Depute President. Previously he studied Social Sciences at the… Read More

Opportunity for college officers to contribute to CDN’s 'How Good is Your Quality?' conference on 26th January 2018 11 Jan 2018

sparqs is delighted to be delivering a session on how the Student Engagement Framework could be further embedded into the new college Quality Arrangements at  CDN's How Good is Your Quality? conference on Friday 26th January 2018 in Stirling. Active student engagement in… Read More

Last chance to submit proposals for the QAA Enhancement Themes Conference! 11 Jan 2018

The deadline for submitting proposals for QAA Scotland's annual Enhancement Themes conference in June has been extended until Tuesday 16th January!  The conference is the 15th Enhancement Conference - Evaluation, Evidence and Enhancement: inspiring staff and students.  It is taking place on Thursday 7th June 2018,… Read More

sparqs ARC Network - February meeting is open for bookings 11 Jan 2018

Registration is now open for our next Academic Representation Co-ordinators’ network meeting, taking place on Tuesday 20th February 2018 at Dundee University Students' Association.  The meeting will include substantial sessions on key developments in the two sectors (HGIOC for colleges and ELIR for universities), including involvement of the… Read More

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Student Engagement Framework

That's Quality! Universities 2019

17 Jul 2019 - 18 Jul 2019

The aim of the event is to equip participants with the knowledge and ability to use…

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