sparqs' News - 2020

October's NEON is open to book, plus save the November date! 23 Sep 2020

Bookings are now open for the next meeting of our National Education Officers' Network (NEON) on Wednesday 7th October 2020, from 10.00am until 1.00pm. NEON is designed to be a space for officers to network and work on issues together in a… Read More

SESN on 1st October is still open to book, and save the next date! 23 Sep 2020

The next meeting of our Student Engagement Staff Network (SESN)  is still open to book, on Thursday 1st October 2020, from 3.00pm until 4.30pm. The network usually meets three times each academic year.  However, in the meantime, and throughout the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we… Read More

Do you need support with Course Rep Training? 23 Sep 2020

If you are still working out how to deliver training to your reps this year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if sparqs can be of any help, even if you don’t usually use our training under normal circumstances. Our… Read More

Monitoring the diversity of course reps: 2020 update 23 Sep 2020

We are pleased to offer institutions across Scotland the opportunity to join our project to help monitor the diversity of course reps during the coming academic year. Establishing the diversity of course reps across Scottish universities and colleges is a valuable… Read More

That's Quality! 2020 events roundup! 23 Sep 2020

Over the Summer we held our annual induction events for college and university student officers. The focus of both events was the impact of COVID-19 on the quality landscape for education officers. It was fantastic to have so many enthusiastic… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Matt Crilly 23 Sep 2020

In this interview, we talk to Matt Crilly, the new President of NUS Scotland for 2020-21. A student of History at the University of Strathclyde, Matt went from being a class rep, to a faculty rep and finally to President… Read More

New sparqs' resource: Suggested questions for course reps: COVID-19 edition 26 Aug 2020

We are pleased to launch our new resource, Suggested questions for course reps: COVID-19 edition, designed to help course reps gather crucial student feedback during the ongoing health crisis. As we come to the beginning of a new academic year, partnership-working… Read More

SFC Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability 26 Aug 2020

In June of this year, the Scottish Government called on the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to undertake a review considering how best the SFC and the sector can fulfil its mission in securing coherent provision in post-16 education. The review… Read More

Our online SESN informal catch-up on 1st October is now open to book! 26 Aug 2020

Bookings are now open for the next meeting of our Student Engagement Staff Network (SESN) on Thursday 1st October 2020, from 3.00pm until 4.30pm. The network usually meets three times each academic year.  However, in the meantime, and throughout the ongoing… Read More

Reminder: sparqs' 2020-21 Course Rep Training is open for bookings! 26 Aug 2020

A reminder that bookings are now open for sparqs Course Rep Training during 2020-21 ....for delivery from week beginning Monday 14th September 2020 onwards. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this year's training has been developed in an online… Read More

Meet our Associate Trainer team for 2020-21 17 Aug 2020

We are delighted to introduce our excellent team of student Associate Trainers (ATs) for the coming academic year. The team includes two newly-recruited trainers and five returners from previous years, including one trainer who is returning for her fourth year… Read More

sparqs' 2020-21 Course Rep Training is open for bookings! 17 Aug 2020

Bookings are now open for sparqs Course Rep Training during 2020-21 ....for delivery from week beginning Monday 14th September 2020 onwards. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this year's training has been developed in an online format, and is… Read More

Forthcoming sparqs' events 17 Aug 2020

A reminder about our events coming up, all of which have been refocused in the light of the COVID-19 crisis. Please save the dates and/or sign-up to attend! Last chance to register for this week's NEON catch-up, which takes place on… Read More

A recap of additions to our hub, plus forthcoming resources! 17 Aug 2020

In case you missed them, a quick recap of some recent additions to our COVID-19 information hub (which aren't already the main feature of another article)....  see our sector resources page for the full list.  12 Principles for Preparing for Online Learning and Teaching -… Read More

How are you going to train your course reps for 2020-21? 06 Jul 2020

How to train course reps for the coming year is one of the questions that has occupied the mind of students’ association officers and staff since the COVID-19 lockdown began. At sparqs, we have been working on a set of… Read More

New sparqs' resource: Preparing your course rep systems and recruiting your reps during COVID-19 06 Jul 2020

We are pleased to launch the first in a series of briefing notes designed to support students’ associations and institutions in devising and executing rep systems that can operate in the changing COVID-19 environment, including how they can operate online.… Read More

Forthcoming sparqs' events 06 Jul 2020

A reminder about our events coming up, all of which have been refocused in the light of the COVID-19 crisis. Please save the dates and/or sign-up to attend..... If signing up for That's Quality! Universities, please register ASAP, in order that you… Read More

A quick recap of recent additions to our hub 06 Jul 2020

In case you missed them, a quick recap of some recent additions to our COVID-19 information hub (which aren't already the main feature of another article)..... Sector briefing QAA COVID-19 guidance - Preserving Quality and Standards Through a Time of Rapid Change: UK… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Tim Whalley 06 Jul 2020

Our series of Talking Student Engagement interviews has always been a great way to share practice and talk about the great work going on across the sector to support and develop student engagement. In light of the current situation, we… Read More

Our That's Quality! 2020 online events are open to book! 01 Jun 2020

We are pleased to announce that our That's Quality! summer induction events for new college and university student officers (and staff who support them) are now open for registrations.  Both events will be taking place online, and while they are taking… Read More

NEON and SESN: updates on our officer and staff networks 01 Jun 2020

As part of our continued support to the sector during lockdown, our May network events continued as scheduled – albeit online and with revised content that focused on the challenges for student engagement presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Student Engagement… Read More

sparqs' new work plans 01 Jun 2020

sparqs is concentrating on supporting the sector to put the student voice at the centre of decision making in the months ahead, as everyone responds to the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. We are supporting institutions to put in place measures… Read More

A personal thank you 01 Jun 2020

I have had the pleasure of attending several sparqs’ events over recent weeks, including our National Education Officer Network, Student Engagement Staff Network and our Joint (College and University) Advisory Group. What struck me, is the level of commitment from so… Read More

New resources for inducting education officers 01 Jun 2020

The changes in the learning experience, the homeworking context, and the challenges lying ahead in the new academic year, all mean that incoming education sabbaticals in students’ associations have a difficult but vital job. sparqs has produced two resources that… Read More

A recap of recent additions to our hub 01 Jun 2020

In case you missed them, a quick recap of some recent additions to our COVID-19 information hub (which aren't already featured in other articles)..... Sector briefings On 13th May, we sent out an email to all our contacts in Scotland, signposting some… Read More

A direct comms to current academic reps in Scotland 01 Jun 2020

During week beginning 18th May, we sent out a briefing note FAO Course Reps to students' associations, for distribution to current reps (with an offer to tailor a version for any SAs wishing us to add their own logos and contact details). The… Read More

sparqs' COVID-19 information hub 06 Apr 2020

As we all find ourselves having to rapidly transform our working practices in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, sparqs has developed a COVID-19 information hub as a dedicated space to provide updates about our refocused work plans, our forthcoming online… Read More

Still time to apply to be a sparqs' Associate Trainer for 2020-21 06 Apr 2020

sparqs 2020-21 Associate Trainer recruitment is still open for applications - deadline 12noon, Friday 15th May 2020! .Calling all course reps and apprentice reps! Do you have experience as a course rep or apprentice rep? Will you be a student or apprentice during… Read More

sparqs' Easter shutdown: 6th-17th April 06 Apr 2020

Please note that sparqs is closed from 6th-17th April inclusive, to allow for an Easter leave period for the staff team and to avoid carrying significant amounts of leave into the new academic year, which will inevitably be a challenging… Read More

Our online NEON meeting on 7th May is open to book! 06 Apr 2020

Join us on Thursday 7th May 2020 for the third meeting of sparqs’ National Education Officers’ Network (NEON), which will take place by video-conference.  NEON was set up in response to feedback from student officers who expressed the need for… Read More

Our refocused work plans in the light of COVID-19 06 Apr 2020

On 31st March, we circulated a letter to all of our stakeholders, outlining how sparqs intends to support students and staff to work in partnership to safeguard the student experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the letter is accessible on our… Read More

Book now for our online SESN meeting on 5th May! 06 Apr 2020

The next meeting of our Student Engagement Staff Network, on Tuesday 5th May 2020, will take place by video-conference. Our agenda will focus entirely on the sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with discussions that reflect sparqs’ three short-term priorities: Supporting online representative… Read More

COVID-19 - useful college sector guidance for student officers 06 Apr 2020

We know that college students’ associations are doing great work in supporting students through the crisis and that much of your time has been taken up with keeping students safe and secure and dealing with issues such as funding and… Read More

COVID-19 - useful university sector guidance for student officers 06 Apr 2020

We know officers are being involved in some difficult decisions around how universities can adapt their provision during the current crisis. Universities and officers are balancing keeping students and staff safe with trying to protect the quality of the student… Read More

The role of the SA Academic Co-ordinator during COVID-19 06 Apr 2020

As significant changes to learning, teaching, quality and assessment processes are implemented over the coming weeks and months, student engagement has never been more important. From sabbatical officers to course reps, students’ associations and institutions are being asked to find… Read More

Five top tips for supporting course reps during COVID-19 06 Apr 2020

Exactly what it says in the title.... some top tips for supporting course reps during COVID-19, given the challenging situation we all suddenly find ourselves in.  We've put the tips together in a handy infographic for easy reading.  It covers a range of things… Read More

sparqs is recruiting student Associate Trainers 09 Mar 2020

sparqs 2020-21 Associate Trainer recruitment is open for applications - deadline 12noon, Friday 15th May 2020! .Calling all course reps and apprentice reps! Do you have experience as a course rep or apprentice rep? Will you be a student or apprentice during 2020-21? If… Read More

Introducing sparqs’ Student Engagement Analysis Workshop 09 Mar 2020

We are delighted to introduce a new methodology that can help institutions and students’ associations to reflect on and develop their approaches to student engagement. Our Student Engagement Analysis Workshop was developed for our international consultancy, where we have helped institutions… Read More

Volunteer to join the SAAS Student Representative group! 09 Mar 2020

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) are looking for student volunteers to form a Student Representative group. This group’s purpose will be to allow SAAS to consult with students for feedback before releasing new products. This will allow students to view and… Read More

sparqs' support around attainment and retention 09 Mar 2020

The College Improvement Project (CIP) which ran from 2017-2019 brought together five colleges as part of a pilot project to begin to tackle attainment and retention challenges in Scotland’s colleges. sparqs were involved in supporting student engagement in the project,… Read More

Reflecting on student engagement at #ETConf20 09 Mar 2020

QAA Scotland’s 4th International Enhancement Conference, which takes place on the 3rd and 4th of June 2020 in Glasgow, is open for registration – and sparqs has contributed two sessions to the programme! On day 1 of the conference, Senior Development… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Katie Dubarry and James Bamkin 09 Mar 2020

In this interview, we talk to Katie Dubarry, Vice-President of Scotland’s Rural College Students’ Association (SRUCSA) and James Bamkin, Students’ Association Development Officer at SRUC. Katie is one of SRUCSA’s two sabbatical officers, and previously studied agriculture. James’s role involves… Read More

Happy New Year from the sparqs team! 07 Jan 2020

Happy new year from the sparqs team! We're looking forward to a busy 2020, and look forward to working with all our colleagues across the sector and beyond during the coming year.  We're also looking forward to welcoming a new Development Consultant… Read More

sparqs' Postgraduate Research Student Engagement Project 07 Jan 2020

sparqs is currently undertaking a project on Postgraduate Research student engagement and representation. PGR students form a significant part of the student profile in universities, but due to the nature of postgraduate study there are often distinct challenges and opportunities… Read More

SE Staff Network meeting open to book - 5th February 2020 07 Jan 2020

Bookings are now open for the next meeting of the sparqs' Student Engagement Staff Network (SESN) which is taking place on Wednesday 5th February 2020 at Forth Valley College's Falkirk Campus. SESN (previously ARC) has proved to be a valuable forum for staff… Read More

SPOTLIGHT ON... Edinburgh Napier University's development of the course rep role 07 Jan 2020

This ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ features a new approach to generating school-specific ideas from course reps about the nature of their role in subject contexts, piloted through a workshop in November 2019 in the university’s School of Art and Creative Industries (SACI). The… Read More

Second NEON meeting open to book - 19th February 2020 07 Jan 2020

The second meeting of the new sparqs’ National Education Officers’ Network (NEON) is taking place on Wednesday 19th February 2020, at Fife College's Dunfermline Campus.  The network, launched in November 2019, provides an opportunity for officers with an education remit from colleges and universities… Read More

'Talking Student Engagement' Interview with Billy Docherty 07 Jan 2020

In this interview, we talk to Billy Docherty, a student of psychology at The Open University. Although based in Scotland, he is active at a UK level within the Open University Students’ Association – he is a Faculty Association Representative… Read More

News Article Archive:

Subscribe:

Click here to subscribe to the sparqs' Mailing list to get news updates and much more.

Student Engagement Framework

National Education Officers’ Network meeting

7 Oct 2020

Join us for the first meeting of sparqs’ National Education Officers’ Network (NEON) of the 2020/21…

Read more...

Student Engagement Staff Network informal catch-up

1 Oct 2020

Our Student Engagement Staff Network (SESN) will have a short meeting on Thursday 1st October, by Zoom,…

Read more...