Bid to train student assessors

October 10, 2003

Scotland has set up a training system for student representatives to ensure that they can play a full part in its radical new quality assurance scheme that focuses on students' experience.

Sparqs, the Student Participation in Quality Scotland scheme, will prepare students for their role in internal and external quality checks at universities.

Bill Stevely, principal of Robert Gordon University and convener of Universities Scotland, said the system, which replaces teaching quality assurance and subject reviews, aimed to ensure that students had the best possible support for learning.

Professor Stevely said: "Quality will still be demonstrated but better practice will be developed and disseminated."

A spokesperson for the Scottish funding councils said: "We are committed to improving the quality processes within institutions, and the launch of Sparqs is a significant step towards that."

The Scottish funding councils have initially given the project £266,000.

It is run by the National Union of Students Scotland, in partnership with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, the Scottish Further Education Unit, the Association of Scottish Colleges and Universities Scotland.

Rami Okasha, NUS Scotland president, said: "This service is a European first, and NUS Scotland is very proud to have won the tender to run it."

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