At a glance


  • Education

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - Scotland


sparqs was established in 2003 and gained charitable status in December 2015. We are funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and our purpose is to ensure students are partners in shaping the quality of learning, making positive change to their own and others’ experience, however and wherever they learn. It aims to foster a culture of partnership between students and staff which enables the Scottish education sector to respond to challenges and realize its ambitions to provide the best possible experience for each and every student.


•  Supports students to develop the skills, approaches and expertise that enable them to be instrumental in enhancement activity and decision-making.


•  Supports institutions, sector agencies and decision-making bodies to embed effective and innovative practices that enable them to harness this student expertise.


sparqs focuses on supporting all student voices to be heard, and for those voices to have a positive impact on learning, helping ensure all students, whatever their background, can access education, progress and achieve their potential. We identify settings where capturing the student voice will enhance decision-making, particularly where this voice is not currently heard well and where it will help address challenges such as transitions across the learner journey, widening access, inequalities and retention and success.


Our strategic priorities will be realised through the following areas of work

Provides training and support for students and staff

We provide established training programmes for course representatives and student officers, looking to enhance provision and support ongoing activity to diversify methods of delivery. Wel seek to develop training to meet the needs of particular groups of students where gaps are identified, such as postgraduates and apprentices.

We will seek to develop our growing provision of staff training and work with partners to embed staff training in professional development programmes.

Supports institutions and their students’ associations to identify priorities for student engagement and develop appropriate action plans

We develop our approach to institutional support to provide a more structured approach to institutional analysis and enhancement planning, tailoring approaches to suit institutional need.  We feed our knowledge of developments across the sector, data and information from quality review into this work to help institutions address local and national priorities.

Information on the priorities and challenges of institutions and their students’ associations will feed directly into the development of our support projects at a national level.

Provides a range of projects, resources and events to support and facilitate discussion around key student engagement priorities

We provide events and networks, including a biennial conference, to support the sharing of practice, facilitate discussion and address key challenges.

We run national project groups to bring together students and staff sharing key developmental areas and produce national resources and guidance.

Engages with a wide range of sector meetings and policy discussion forums

We work closely with our partners and contribute to appropriate decision-making forums around student engagement issues. 

We maintain an overview of quality developments across the UK and internationally, contributing to discussions to help strengthen the role of students, especially where developments could affect practice in Scotland.

We work closely with National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland to monitor policy developments and provide support for students to influence these.

Fosters effective links and communication channels with our members, practitioners and stakeholders

We establish annual engagements with each of our members to agree work plans supporting their key activities, where appropriate.

We continue to develop our governance structures to ensure our members, practitioners and stakeholders are able to inform and influence our work.

We utilise a wide range of communication methods, including news articles, website and social media.

Contributes to student engagement developments across the UK and internationally

We attend and contribute to events and activities across the UK and internationally.

We seek opportunities to work with international partners on funded projects and investigate ways of offering our activities to an international audience, where appropriate. 

No current opportunities

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