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 several tertiary sector committees while the sector moves towards a tertiary quality framework. Some key meetings we contribute to are the committee on Quality Arrangements for Scottish Higher Education (QASHE); QAA Scotland's Teaching Quality Forum, Theme Leaders' Group and Scottish HE Enhancement Committee (SHEEC); SFC's Gender Governance Group; CDN's Quality Development Network; Advance HE's Anti-Racist Curriculum Working Group; and several SQA committees - plus a range of other specific committees and working groups. We also sit on Scottish Government committees as and when required, e.g. 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 historically met three times each academic year, but as a result of the pandemic it now meets monthly to provide additional network opportunities.
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.