Created by the SIE, the SISA scheme works alongside universities to design and deliver courses which equips students with a forward-thinking and enterprising mindset.
The award is delivered through current modules as part of the students’ regular degree programmes and has been designed in conjunction with Scotland’s Innovation Centres; DataLab, Digital Health and Care Institute (DHCI) and Centre of Excellence for Sensing, Imaging and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies (CENSIS).
RGU is now the first university to be given SISA self-accreditation powers by SIE, which allows academic staff to identify innovative teaching and skills development practices within their own academic module framework.
Chris Moule, Head of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at RGU, said: “Universities everywhere continue to respond to the ever changing demands of the learner alongside the needs of industry and the economy. RGU prides itself on its professionally focused and relevant curriculum which is responsive to the changing employment landscapes, evolving skills needs and the shifting educational environment.
“Building on our sustained track record with one of the highest graduate employability rates in the UK, the university continues to prepare students for the changing world of work. Embedding innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the university is therefore a matter of strategic importance and this collaboration with the SIE on the SISA programme enhances the student ability to think innovatively and produce graduates who will stand out and make positive contributions to the workplace and society.”
Fiona Godsman, Chief Executive of SIE, said: “RGU has been a strong supporter of our SISA programme from the very beginning and we're absolutely delighted that the university has reached this important milestone which recognises the excellent work that staff at RGU are doing to develop innovative competencies in their students."
RGU was the first university to introduce the scheme in 2018. The university’s School of Creative and Cultural Business was the first to receive SISA accreditation and students could complete Level 1 ‘Future Thinker’ while studying. Since then RGU have gone on to provide students across a number of academic schools with the opportunity to gain the award at one of three levels. Students taking part in the SISA scheme complete three levels which consist of future thinker (Level 1), innovation catalyst (Level 2) and innovation champion (Level 3). To date 478 RGU students have attained a SISA award with 21 continuing to Level 3.
Irina Cristina Bogdan, who is studying Fashion Management at RGU, has completed all three levels to achieve an SIE SISA Innovation Champion award.
She said: “I enjoy challenges that help me progress in my career, which is why I have recently entered the Scottish Innovative Student Award Programme, achieving levels 1, 2 and 3.This allowed me to work in multidisciplinary and multiculturally teams, as well as individually, coming up with ideas and developing solutions for the future.
“I learned how to identify drivers of change, draw signals, think about customers' needs and expectations. I developed an innovative project that would contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring public satisfaction, environment protection, as well as economic growth.
“As the nature of work is very dynamic in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, I believe being agile, adaptable, resilient, a team player, ready to think outside the box and solving problems creatively is what could differentiate you in a competitive recruitment market. I highly recommend joining the SISA Programme because that is where you will develop these skills and many others.”
Those students that have attained the Level 3 award, including 16 RGU students, will be recognised at a virtual SISA Award ceremony on Thursday, June 4.