Enhancement themes

The national Enhancement Themes are selected by the Scottish higher education sector and provide a means for institutions, academic staff, support staff and students to work together in enhancing the learning experience.

Each Theme facilitates both sharing and learning from current and innovative national and international practice. In addition, the Themes promote the collective development of new ideas and models for innovation in learning and teaching.

Support for the Enhancement Themes is provided by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Scotland (QAA).

QAA Scotland Logo

Further information on the national Enhancement Themes is available on the dedicated website

Current theme

Resilient Learning Communities, 2020- 2023

Resilient Learning Communities logo

This theme will focus on meeting the changing needs and values of an increasingly diverse student community and a rapidly changing external environment.

The University of Stirling has chosen to focus institutional activity in three priority areas:

  • Support for students
  • Technology Enabled Education
  • Students as Partners in Learning

The University of Stirling institutional lead is Professor Alison Green with Dr Tom Cunningham as theme lead. We are working closely with the Students’ Union on the theme with both the VP Education and Democracy & Representation Officer forming part of our team. Dr Catriona Cunningham is also leading a sector wide collaborative cluster on “Decolonising the curriculum in the time of pandemic”.

To find out more about the Theme, check the QAA website or email t.r.cunningham1 @stir.ac.uk.

Previous themes

Evidence for Enhancement: Improving the Student Experience, 2017 – 2020

The enhancement theme Evidence for Enhancement: Improving the Student Experience, ran from 2017-2020.

The University of Stirling chose to focus institutional activity in three key areas:

  • investigating and developing the use of learning analytics;
  • creation of a new approach to Personal Development Planning and an e-portfolio to support this; and
  • more effective use of evidence and data available for faculty and academic staff to improve student retention.

The University of Stirling institutional lead for the theme was Professor Alison Green and our student representative was Daniel Wright, VP Education at our Student Union. More details on the theme can be found on the QAA website.

Transition 2014-17

The University of Stirling is committed to providing ‘one of the best student experiences in the UK’ with its strategic plan being clear in its commitment to support students throughout their learning journey and in placing students at the heart of learning and teaching. Student transition has therefore been identified as a priority within the university and there is a commitment to ensure that transition is facilitated and fully supported.

The opportunity, therefore, to develop and carry out a programme of work related to the QAA Enhancement Theme, ‘Student Transitions’ in 2014-2017 was timely and fully aligned with institutional priorities and identified student needs. This theme provided a framework to take these aspects of the student experience forward. The following working definition was adopted for the purposes of our work:

‘Transition’ refers to the process or period of adaptation and change, which a student experiences on their journey from the point of application, throughout their time at university and ultimately into employment.

In designing the institutional engagement with the transition theme, the aim was to investigate key points in the student journey with a range of projects focusing on particular cohorts of students.

You can find out more about the outcomes of this work on the Student Transitions project website site.