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Exploring community partnerships for the future of further and higher education

Date: March 14 - 2023

Does your institution or students’ association work in partnership with your local community to deliver activities? Perhaps you are part of a society that runs joint events with a community organisation? Or part of a volunteering group that works with local spaces such as schools or charities? Does your course give students the opportunity to undertake learning, teaching and assessment outside of the institution in the local area? Or are you a student with a favourite place to study or view from a commute that encapsulates how you see your place in your learning community?

We have three great opportunities for staff and students to get involved with the current Enhancement Theme’s year 3 student-led project - ‘Exploring Community Partnerships for the Future of Further and Higher Education'

Capturing current good practice of working with the community

This strand of work gives you the opportunity to submit a case study. The intent is that the case studies will reflect the diversity of the student experience and ways of community working, which could include academic or extra-curricular courses, modules or projects that work towards enhancing the institution’s local communities while simultaneously furthering the skills and development of the learner.

Case studies from both colleges and universities are welcomed and from various perspectives - academic staff, students and community representatives. Whether you want to share your experience of process challenges, failures and successes, we want to hear from you. It is hoped that some or all of the case studies will be presented as short videos in an engaging and semi-interactive format and complemented by a written piece.

The deadline for contributions is Friday 24 March. Please do get in touch with Megan Brown ( at sparqs to submit or share your ideas.

Enabling students to build relationships with their local communities

This opportunity focuses on developing a set of guidelines and ‘top tips’ for how to effectively establish and sustain successful community partnerships. We would love to crowdsource tips from students and staff currently working and volunteering in these spaces – we’re really keen to ensure that the guidelines represent the diverse range of institutions and levels of study in Scotland and they are applicable to different types of community partnership activities.

Please send your ‘top tips’ and suggestions of best practice to Oluwafunmilola Akinoso ( at Robert Gordon University, copying in Megan Brown ( The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 28 March.

Demonstrating to educators the experience of diverse student groups and how students currently enrolled at a Scottish university or college interact with and learn in their communities

This activity will take the form of a photo gallery that will be showcased at QAA’s international Enhancement Themes Conference in June. Please spread the word and encourage your students to submit a photo to Hitanshi Badani ( at University of St Andrews. More information, including some suggestions for photos, is available on the sparqs website. The deadline for submissions is Friday 31 March.

There’s still time for you to contribute and help us co-create resources as part of the student-led project. Do please get in touch and help support the Resilient Learning Communities Enhancement Theme activity.