SH: Sarah Halpin, QAA
SI: Sarah Ingram, College University
SH: Hello, I am here with Sarah Ingram, staff member at College University and organiser of today's event, which is the Higher Education Academy Wales' Students as Partners in Practice event. Hi, Sarah.
SH: Can you tell us a little bit about what the event today has been about?
SI: Yes, so the event today has been part of an ongoing project called 'Future Directions', which is a Higher Education Academy-organised project. It is split into three work strands: Students as Partners, Learning in Employment and Learning for Employment. The event today is part of the Students as Partners work, which looks to bring students and staff who are already involved in projects together to help them network, share project ideas, and also kind of bounce ideas off each other to develop and improve projects that they are currently engaged with.
SH: Great. And what do you think the benefits are of bringing staff and students together in a forum like this?
SI: Well there are quite a lot of events already about improving student experience in partnership that are either aimed at staff or students; the benefit of today is that this event was given to both sets, to bring them together to discuss within a room about projects. I think it is good in that it has an all-Wales flavour so people that are working with the same kinds of barriers, or the same sorts of resources, are able to come together. But also it is about students - obviously sabbatical officers and those involved in representation - but ordinary students who wouldn't usually get the chance to speak to staff within different institutions coming together and being able to really realise that the higher education sector is interested in what they are doing and thinks that it is important.
SH: What resources are there available for staff and students to work on these types of projects around the theme of Students as Partners?
SI: Within the 'Students as Partners' strand we are putting together a number of resources, some from this event, and so we have set up a Facebook group and there is information on the HEA website about this. Obviously as well, we have the Quality Code by the QAA, which has been introduced to a lot of students today for the first time, where they can see particularly within the student engagement Chapter - but also all Chapters - about how they can use Expectations and actually take them to their institution and help with that kind of evidence-based development, about projects that they want to take forward or improve. There are so many resources out there for students, it is about making them aware of them so that they can be used.
SH: Brilliant - thank you very much, Sarah.