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Sector strands

As a way of managing the Theme, sector work will be taken forward in three strands. 

Optimising the use of existing evidence

This strand will focus on upskilling staff and students to use evidence to improve the student experience. In order to be relevant to the whole sector, it will be important to identify: 

  • what evidence exists
  • what expertise exists concerning this evidence, and how we might best make use of this expertise
  • how the sector might most effectively develop the skills of staff and students.

Student demographics, retention & attainment

Retention is a government priority with institutions and other sector stakeholders. Initial sector activity will be around two areas:

  • the production of a guide to the current data landscape. This will involve members of the Scottish Planners Group
  • a commissioned piece of consultative research. This will explore the use of evidence in the design, development and implementation of effective interventions to improve student retention and progression for students with differing characteristics.

Student engagement 

Students from a range of Scottish institutions are working in partnership with QAA Scotland and sparqs on the project: Responding to the Student Voice: Communicating the Impact. The project aims to explore approaches to informing students about how their feedback has been used to improve the learning experience by: 

  • providing an overview of current practice in the sector 
  • collating examples of good practice
  • identifying a set of key principles to apply 
  • producing a scan of international practice.

To support the project, Scottish institutions are responding to a survey summarising the mechanisms currently in use for communicating the impact of the student voice. This will be disseminated at a ‘think tank’ event being held on 26 April in the Studio, Glasgow. 

International scan of practice

We are inviting you to submit an expression of interest to conduct a national and international scan of current research and institutional practice used to communicate action taken in response to student views. This carries a fee of up to £10,000. Successful individuals/ groups are being asked to:

  • conduct desk-based research in order to produce a written summary of published work on current policy and practice, which has been implemented both nationally and internationally within higher education institutions, with the intention of effectively communicating the action taken by them to their student populations.

  • conduct consultative research in order to produce a written summary of published work on current policy and practice, which has been implemented both nationally and internationally within higher education institutions, with the intention of effectively communicating the action taken by them to their student populations.
  • report on the work to produce a final report which presents the key findings of both the desk-based and consultative research. This report should offer a greater understanding of the approaches and good practice currently adopted by students’ associations and institutions. The report should identify a set of principles that apply to communicating with students. 

The work will need to be completed by July 2018. Submit this short application by Friday 20 April 2018 if you wish to be considered for this project. The application form contains further details about the work. 

More information

For more information or to get involved with the Student Voice project, please contact project steering group chair Matt Adie (Vice President Education, University of Stirling Students’ Association) at education.union@stirling.ac.uk.