A big part of supporting the sector is the work we do at national meetings, including committees of Scotland's sector agencies. This support takes three forms.
Our work on committees
Firstly, we attend a number of sector committees ourselves, to put forward our perspective as sparqs where this is useful. We sit on a wide range of committees, including SFC's College Quality Partnership Group, committee on Quality Arrangements for Scottish Higher Education (QASHE), Learning Enhancement and Skills Committee, and Gender Governance Group; QAA Scotland's Teaching Quality Forum, Theme Leaders' Group and Scottish HE Enhancement Committee (SHEEC); and CDN's Development Committee and Quality Development Network - plus a range of other specific committees and working groups. We also sit on several Scottish Government committees, including the College Improvement Project External Advisory Group, the Learner Journey Implementation Group, and the Student Mental Health and Well-Being Working Group.
Supporting Student Engagement
Secondly, though, as part of our mission to support student engagement in key decisions, we provide support to national student representatives who also sit on these committees.
This support is provided jointly by both NUS Scotland and sparqs, providing guidance and advice, as appropriate, to those attending committees. We also provide practical central support in terms of comms, appointments and papers, to try to help maximise preparation and engagement.
National Education Officers' Network
Thirdly, we periodically engage student officers in discussions around issues arising from national meetings, via our National Education Officers' Network (NEON) meetings. The process aims to help officers and their students' associations gain a fuller understanding of national policy developments, and enable them to contribute to national discussions as appropriate, using that knowledge to help shape the learning experience.
The network also provides an opportunity for officers to share best practice, and allows for cross-institutional working on initiatives and projects. It usually meets three times each academic year, but will adapt as necessary as circumstances demand, e.g. running additional network opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For examples of the sorts of issues we engage with at the sector level, see our Quality Arrangements page.
For more information, please contact Eve Lewis.