Welcome to the Sept-Oct Hot Topic: Student Partnership Agreement 2022

Student-led APEX6 high-altitude expedition to the Bolivian Andes. Image credit: Isla Petrie, Medical Student

Welcome to the September-October Hot Topic: Student Partnership Agreement 2022. 

The Student Partnership Agreement is an engaging and enriching experience for students and staff to come together to work in partnership to enhance the student experience. The Agreement itself is an official document outlining the explicit commitment between Edinburgh University Students Association and The University of Edinburgh to work in partnership with students. One way in which the University supports putting the tenets of this Agreement into practice is through Student Partnership Agreement Funding. 

Proposed projects are funded (in the past, this was up to £500, but this has now increased to £1000 for 2022-23), and must involve both students and staff as named collaborators on the application AND in the work of the project. Examples of previous funded projects include:

The Student Partnership Agreement is reviewed annually, and sets out a number of  priority areas, which serve as the focus for the proposed projects. These priorities are agreed in consultation with students and staff. Once the project is completed, the project holders are invited to write a Teaching Matters blog post to disseminate and reflect on their project. This Hot Topic will celebrate the projects were funded to contribute work in the area of the 2021/22 priorities, and will include the following contributions:

1. Monika Zon (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences) –   Widening Participation Philosophy Outreach sessions.

This project aimed to build new, and enhance existing, relationships with schools in Edinburgh and beyond to provide widening participation pupils with access to information about the university/student experience.

2. Nadege Atkins (Usher Institute): Usher Network for Covid-19 Evidence reviews (UNCOVER) Podcasts.

In this project, the project holders created podcasts and blog on how to successfully conduct systematic reviews, which were aimed to make these reviews less challenging, especially for students who would be undertaking systematic reviews as part of their dissertation.

3. Liat Adler (Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences – IMPS): IMPS Summer Sports Day.

The IMPS sports day was an inclusive community building project for all staff and students who work in the Daniel Rutherford Building where IMPS is housed. The sports day was no ordinary sports day; it included games that required technical skills of a scientist such as pipetting accuracy, speed PPE dressing, speed calculation and many more.

4. Emma Farfan de los Godos (Usher Institute): Usher Network for Covid-19 Evidence Reviews (UNCOVER) Online Community Building Project.

This project aimed to establish an online community space for UNCOVER. The online space facilitated a responsive and informed community by providing an asynchronous social and support hub for a team of current and past students and staff who work together mainly online and over many time-zones.

5. Isla Petrie (Clinical Sciences): Altitude Physiology Expeditions 6 (APEX6).

This project involved running an innovative, high-altitude medical research expedition to the Bolivian Andes, and included a specific evaluation of the student experience at the end of the trip to enable lessons to be learned to enhance student experiences of this kind of field trip/research expedition.

2022/23 Student Partnership Agreement Funding

It is also an opportune time to raise awareness of the new call for funding for 2022-23. This coming year includes the following priority areas:

  • Community, wellbeing, and supporting transitions

Supporting staff and students to collaboratively develop and enhance resilient communities across years and across the University. Developing communities that promote a sense of wellbeing, belonging and mattering. Supporting students as they move to the University, from semester to semester, from year to year, as well as beyond the University and preparing for professional working life.

  • Transforming curriculum and engagement with learning and teaching

Recognising the power of learning, teaching, and assessment to transform the student experience. Encouraging meaningful engagement with learning and teaching. University-wide curriculum transformation and making the Edinburgh Student Vision a reality. Developing students who are: disciplinary experts; ready to thrive in a changing world; and highly employable. Experiential learning; international dimensions of curriculum; global and local engagement; student-staff co-creation of assessment, teaching and learning, decolonising the curriculum.

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion

Ensuring we work in partnership to promote a University community where all are welcome, respected and nurtured. Making intentional efforts to meet the needs of our diverse community of students and staff, recognising intersectionality, and that we may need to change the way we practice to ensure some individuals and groups, who have traditionally been systemically excluded, feel welcome and wish to engage.

The deadline is Monday 17th October, midnight. More information is available on the Student Partnership Agreement Funding webpage.

Any students with a great idea but without a staff partner are welcome to contact spa@ed.ac.uk If you let us know which School you belong to, and a brief couple of lines about what your project idea is, and we can try to help you to find an appropriate staff partner.

picture of editor/producerJenny Scoles

Dr Jenny Scoles is the editor of Teaching Matters. She is an Academic Developer (Learning and Teaching Enhancement), and a Senior Fellow HEA, in the Institute for Academic Development, and provides pedagogical support for University course and programme design. Her interests include student engagement, professional learning and sociomaterial methodologies.

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