Welcome to the Sept-Nov Hot Topic: Student Partnership Agreement 2023

Student shaking hands with a teacher
Photo by fauxels, Pexels,↗️CC0

Welcome to the September, October and November Hot Topic: Student Partnership Agreement 2023↗️

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 for up to £1000, and must involve both students and staff as named collaborators on the application AND in the work of the project. 

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 15 projects that were funded in the 22/23 bidding round, and addressed the following priority areas:

  • Community, wellbeing, and supporting transitions
  • Transforming curriculum and engagement with learning and teaching
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion

Contributions will include reflections on the following projects:

    • ‘Edinburgh Medical School Year 1 Engagement and Inclusivity Group’, by Jessica Miller
    • ‘First ever Maths Annual Undergraduate Lecture’, by Anita Rita Pires
    • ‘Textiles Community Dye Garden’, by Nikki Taylor
    • ‘LinkList: a UoE student-sourced resource catalogue’, by Cinzia Pusceddu and Nicolas Daines
    • ‘Understanding the impact and effectiveness of the student support model in Informatics’, by Fiona McNeill.

2023/24 Student Partnership Agreement Funding

It is also an opportune time to raise awareness of the new call for funding for 2023-24. This coming year includes the following priority areas, which are very similar to last years’:

  • Community, wellbeing and supporting transitions
    • Supporting staff and students to collaboratively develop and enhance resilient communities across years, across degree formats, and across the University overall.
    • Developing communities that promote a sense of wellbeing, belonging and mattering through the Student Support Model as well as more broadly.
    • 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.
    • Supporting students through the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Transforming curriculum and engagement with learning and teaching
    • Recognising the power of learning, teaching, and assessment to transform the student experience.
    • Encouraging meaningful student and staff engagement with learning and teaching.
    • University-wide curriculum transformation and making the Edinburgh Student Vision a reality, and effectively communicating this work to students and staff.
    • 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; exploring new technologies; online, in-person, and hybrid experiences of teaching and learning.
  • 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, and acknowledging intersectionality.
    • Recognising we may need to change the way we practice to ensure some individuals and groups, who have traditionally been systemically excluded, feel welcome and are enabled to engage.

The deadline is 5pm Monday, 16th October 2023. More information, and the application form, is available on the Student Partnership Agreement Funding webpage↗️. If you would like to learn more about how to apply for funding, you can attend the  workshop, ‘Practical Strategies for… Applying for Student Partnership Agreement Funding’, on 26 September, 10-11.30 am. You can sign up on the Practical strategies series events page↗️.

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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