The three sector-level strands are relevant for the whole sector. All Scottish institutions engage with this activity and choose topics that align with their own priorities and interests.

Optimising the use of existing evidence


This strand will focus on up-skilling staff and students so that they can use evidence to improve the student experience. To ensure this work is relevant to the whole sector, it is important to identify:

  • what evidence exists
  • what expertise exists about this evidence, and how might we make the best use of this expertise
  • what might be the most effective way for the sector to develop the skills of staff and students.

Student demographics, retention & attainment


A Scottish government priority is to work with institutions and other sector stakeholders, to improve student retention and attainment. Engagement in this topic will involve sector activity around two areas:

  • the production of a guide to help understand the current data landscape. This will involve working with a range of stakeholders including the Scottish Planners Group
  • a commissioned piece of consultative research. This will explore how we use evidence to design, develop and put in place effective interventions, that might improve student retention and progression for students with differing characteristics.

Student engagement


Responding to the Student Voice: Communicating the Impact


Students from a range of Scottish institutions are working in partnership with QAA Scotland and sparqs on the project. It will explore the ways in which institutions inform students about their feedback, and how they will use it to improve the learning experience.  We will do this 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, institutions responded to a survey, which summarised how they communicate the impact of the student voice.


International scan of practice


An international scan of current practice is already underway, looking at the way institutions communicate actions taken in response to student views.