Be Engaged programme honoured at Sparqs Student Engagement Awards

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A programme to encourage students to engage in extra-curricular activities at New College Lanarkshire has scooped a top award.

The Be Engaged programme was honoured at the Sparqs Student Engagement Awards 2017 for enhancing the student experience.

The programme is a partnership between New College Lanarkshire Students’ Association and our Learner Engagement team.

The second Sparqs Awards, which were open to nominations from universities and colleges across Scotland, were presented at Edinburgh’s Surgeons’ Hall during a day-long conference attended by Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science.

Sparqs (Student partnerships in quality Scotland) is a Scottish agency which was founded in 2003 to put students at the heart of decisions affecting their learning experience.

Student President Zorena Shanks said: “The Students’ Association and Learner Engagement team are absolutely over the moon to be announced as winners.

“I am so proud of everyone involved in our fantastic Be Engaged programme.

“We are a strong and effective team and have shown that working together in partnership helps to enhance and improve the student learning experience.”

New College Lanarkshire’s Be Engaged programme earned one of only six awards at the event. Student Stuart Florence was also shortlisted in the ‘College Course Rep of the Year’ category.

By signing up to Be Engaged, students can gain gold, silver or bronze awards to add to their academic achievements across eight themes, including healthy living, environmental awareness and inclusion.

Attracting more than 9,000 student participants since its launch in August 2016, it runs in tandem with course work to create more confident students better prepared for the jobs market.

A spokesperson for Sparqs said: “This is an initiative that was considered ambitious, well-thought-out in terms of content and has had impact on a good number of students across the College.”

Learner Engagement Officer Ross Brand said: “I think the judges recognised the broad spectrum of activities the programme encompasses, which makes it very inclusive and easy to participate in.

“Going forward, we aim to make the programme more effective and more integrated into student life at New College Lanarkshire by increasing the work we do with external partner organisations.”

Ann Baxter, Assistant Principal of Quality Enhancement, said: “The Learner Engagement team and Students’ Association are delighted to have achieved external recognition for the work undertaken to enhance student engagement within the College.

“Be Engaged has provided students of New College Lanarkshire with a fantastic opportunity to develop skills, support important causes and make new friends.”

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