LTA Connect: Engaging in the student rep system

Sorcha Kirker from HISA, the University's student association, explained the student rep system and outline how staff can fully engage with their reps

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Sorcha Kirker, Vice President HE for HISA outlined recent work that the association has done to map the intricacies of the student rep system and to increase the visibility and effectiveness of student reps, before discussing how staff and student reps can work more closely together to plan and implement enhancements to the student learning experience.

Learning and Teaching Enhancement Values


Sorcha Kirker, HISA Vice-President

Sorcha graduated with an Honours Degree in Archaeology from Orkney College UHI in 2015. She went on to complete a Masters in Archaeological Practice, and is currently undertaking a Masters in Archaeological Studies.

Sorcha has been involved with student representation since 2012, when she began as a Student Rep. In 2015, Sorcha was elected the first Depute President for the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA) at Orkney College, and she held this position for two terms. She was elected as HISA Vice President for Higher Education (VPHE) in March 2017.

As a Student Rep, Sorcha established an Archaeology Society, contributed to course improvements, secured student nights at a local bar, and assisted in establishing Orkney College’s first Freshers Fair. In her role as a HISA Depute, Sorcha worked to improve the Student Rep system and increase Student Rep numbers at Orkney College, engaged with apprentices, increased voter turnout in HISA elections by 300%, and raised the profile of HISA nationally. During her last year as Orkney College Depute, students at the campus voted HISA the best Students’ Association in Scotland.

In 2017 Sorcha was nominated as ‘Student of the Year’ in the NUS Scotland Awards and she was also nominated for ‘Best Engagement with the Student Voice’ in the HISA Awards.

Sorcha is passionate about student representation, social events and activities, and equality and diversity. She will continue to work alongside the university and other student representation organisations to ensure the needs and concerns of all Higher Education students are addressed. She wishes to inspire her peers to get involved with student representation, and to ensure the learning experience for UHI students is as enjoyable and accessible as possible.




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