20 Tavistock Square
This one-day conference will give delegates a full understanding of the policy landscape surrounding retention, as well as the knowledge you need to approach the challenge of student retention in your own institution.
Delegates with strategic responsibility for student retention will hear from policy makers, experts in retention, and a range of best practice case studies.
The focus on student retention has been sharpened in recent months by the changes to the higher education landscape.
The removal of student number caps, the discussion around the metrics that will feed into the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the changes to the architecture of the sector have brought student retention to the top of institutions' agendas.
This conference will be a unique opportunity to come together with colleagues and experts, receive the most up to date policy information, and discuss best practice for student retention in your institution.
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK
Professor Patricia Broadfoot, Chair, What Works? Advisory Group, Paul Hamlyn Foundation
The What works? Student retention and success programme was initiated in 2008 to identify and implement whole institution approaches to improving student retention. During phase 1, seven projects - involving 22 institutions - identified, evaluated and disseminated best practice. Phase 2 looks at improving the strategic approach, enhancing specific interventions, and the priorities, challenges and impact of changes at both strategic and programme levels. Professor Broadfoot will use this session to explore the work and findings of the programme and discuss how you can use this information to inform your own student retention and success strategies.
Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor, University of Chester
In recent years, both student participation and student expectations have changed. This has meant that a more proactive approach to student retention is needed – but what are the institutional culture changes that may be needed to embed an effective, proactive approach to student retention and success?
Based on his experience of the University of Chester’s work to build a strategic, cohesive and integrated approach, Professor Wheeler will explore the necessary culture changes, and how they can be achieved across the whole institution.
Dr Joan O' Mahony, Academic Lead Student Retention and Success, Higher Education Academy (HEA)
Joan O’Mahony will explore current and best practice around student retention, looking at recent programmes of work (for example the Academy’s retention programme in Wales), highlighting innovative national and international practice in research and case-studies published by the HEA over the past year, and finally looking briefly at what HEA surveys can tell us about student engagement and retention.
Chris Shelley, Director of Student Services, and Amy Kellehar, Associate Director, Events and Engagement, King's College London
The session will outline the objectives and outcomes of the King's Community Ambassador Project, a peer-to-peer support scheme developed in collaboration with the Behavioural Insights Team. The pilot, now in its second year, supports first year students in settling in to university through a series of calls at key times of year. Delivered by a trained group of student ambassadors, the calls encourage students to reflect on their experience so far, to make connections beyond the classroom and to access services. The conversations are designed to “nudge” students towards planning for upcoming events and make proactive choices about their time at university. These interventions play a key part in increasing engagement and supporting student success.
Dr Melanie Thorley, AccessAbility Project Co-ordinator, University of Greenwich
The *AccessAbility Team, within the University of Greenwich Education Support Unit, has developed a new model of widening access for prospective and current disabled students. This In&Outreach model combines preparing prospective disabled students (outreach) and supporting current disabled students (inreach). The support is primarily facilitating peer support with the added benefit of workshops potentially relevant to disabled students. We are also intending to develop webinars to enable the dispersed population (including international perspectives) to participate in the workshops. We also utilise social media to ensure nobody is excluded because of their geography. STAART also provides bespoke induction days for students who have accepted a place at the University of Greenwich. This enables them to orientate themselves, meet other new students on their campus and register early before their peers.
Whilst STAART has been developed especially for disabled students, this model could be used for other non-traditional students.
Luke Millard, Head of Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Jack Hogan, final year BSc (Hons) Media and Communication student, Birmingham City University
This session will explore how the university has built upon its involvement with the What Works initiative to bring the first year experience to the forefront of institutional thinking. Through pre-transition programmes and targeted staffing, initiatives and successes have become embedded and shared across the university. The latest example of such work sees an extra-curricular, personal development framework (Graduate+) being implemented that harnesses belonging and employability drivers to engage with over 5000 students in its first year of operation. The institutional and student perspectives of this and the pre-transition work will be shared and explored through this session with participants.
Adam Frank, Head of Customer Insights and Esther Berry, CRM Consultant, Squiz
'Students as consumers' is a concept that has dominated higher education in the digital era. They expect the same digital experience at university as they do in other aspects of their lives, and universities are embracing this as a key factor in their student experience strategies. However it's becoming evident that they're more than consumers; they're the beating heart of a university and its greatest ambassador, much like an employee. A student who drops out is not simply a dissatisfied customer but a disenfranchised team member.
There's no 'one size fits all' answer to why students drop out of university, so there's certainly no 'one size fits all' solution. Retention-focused tools and strategies can potentially provide a quick-fix, but universities who are striving beyond quick wins are taking a more holistic approach to student retention success. Through industry case studies, research and discussion, Adam and Esther's session will explore the relationship between retention and the entire student experience.
You'll have the chance to discuss how a 'win - serve - keep' strategy can be applied to your institution, taking tips from successful organisations beyond the Higher Education sector. This session will also address how to open up the discussion of an all-encompassing digital strategy in place of short term quick wins, and explore the different solutions that can shape a successful student experience.
David Woolley, Head of Schools, Colleges & Community Outreach, Nottingham Trent University
NTU has the components which transform the lives of thousands of students: a large intake, strong course identity, excellent extra-curricular programmes and expertise in student data analytics. To further improve student retention and also student engagement and ‘success’, the Collaborative Engagement and Retention Team (CERT) will combine these components into a University-wide peer support scheme. Launching in September 2017 for all 7000 new students, this scheme will be a step change in how the Academy, the Student’s Union and Professional Services collaborate to improve student retention and engagement at scale. This session will explain the scheme and cover the practical, cultural and ethical challenges faced.
Janet Peters, Director of University Libraries and University Librarian, Cardiff University
Recruitment to (taught) post-graduate study is under threat across the sector for many reasons including student debt and lack of flexible post-graduate study options. As a consequence, an increasing number of those that may have moved directly from undergraduate (UG) to postgraduate taught (PGT) study in the past are delaying and seeking to return to PGT study much later, often as part of professional development following employment. This is changing the nature of the PGT community and the academic study support needs they have. The HEA Transition, Retention and Attainment Strategic Enhancement Project enabled Cardiff University to undertake a piece of work to identify the particular study skills needs of PGT students and to develop appropriate online resources. We shall consider our evaluation of the approach and discuss the barriers faced in mainstreaming this kind of provision.
Yaz El Hakim, Education Strategy & Communications Director, Kortext and Val Yates, Director of Access and Inclusion, University of Worcester
This session will delve into initial retention data from the REACH Scheme, which transformed the experience of students by embedding technologies throughout the curricula and pedagogies of three programmes. The data sets will be discussed, acknowledging inclusivity and future potentials.
Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University
Benjamin Stein, Director Student Success, Hobsons
Retention seems hard and the challenges institutions face in moving the needle seem insurmountable. In reality, small, un-glamorous changes can make a huge difference. This session will explore key challenges and show case studies of how institutions have solved them including academic buy in and action, tracking and measuring student progress and providing students with access and more real-time feedback.
Dr David Grey, Educational Developer, York St John University and Technology Coordinator, UK Advising and Tutoring
Dave Lochtie, Student Opportunities Manager, University of Derby Students Union and Executive Committee Member, UK Advising and Tutoring
Personal tutoring has long been part of the higher education landscape and makes a demonstrable difference to student outcomes. It is receiving renewed attention because of its potential impact on retention, the student experience and Teaching Excellence Framework metrics.
Drawing on experiences from the UK and US, this session explores the relationship between personal tutoring and retention, identifying different approaches to personal tutoring in a data-rich and metrics-driven environment. The key challenges are identified and recommendations given for gaining maximum benefit from personal tutoring by making it a valued and integral part of a seamless student support system.
Susannah Hume, Principal Advisor and Head of Skills, The Behavioural Insights Team
Kat Stark, Chief Executive, University of West London Students’ Union (INVITED)
Michael Larsen, Chief Executive Officer, YourTutor
There is no question that everyone within a university is responsible for ensuring students complete their course successfully, but how can colleagues across the institution work together most effectively to support student success? Panellists will bring their expertise to this discussion, and examine the various ways in which universities can collaborate across departments and with students.
Our Chief Executive, Nicola Dandridge, is responsible for the leadership and management of Universities UK with members of the senior management team reporting to her.
The chief executive is appointed by the UUK Board and reports to the president.
Nicola has been in post since September 2009. She was previously Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, a higher education agency that works with the sector to promote equality for staff and students.
Before joining the Equality Challenge Unit, Nicola was a lawyer, qualified in both England and Scotland and working in private practice.
Patricia Broadfoot CBE is Professor Emerita in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol and was formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire and a Board member of UUK. As an Educationist, she has been involved both nationally and internationally in education policy-making.
As Pro Vice Chancellor with responsibility for Education and Widening Participation at the University of Bristol, she was closely involved in promoting student access and success. From 2008 to 2017 Patricia was the Chair of the Advisory Group for the “What Works” project on Student Retention and Success funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation as well as being involved in a number of other Widening Participation research projects. She currently works with several charities including being on the Board of two universities.
Professor Broadfoot is an Academician of the Academy of Social Science and was awarded the CBE for services to Social Science in 2006.
Chris Shelley is the Director of Student Services at King’s College London, where he has been since January 2013. Chris leads welfare and academic services from Counselling to Timetabling, from Advice to Graduations, from Sport to Exams. Prior to working at King’s he spent over six years at the National Union of Students in a range of roles covering students’ union development and their roles as charities. Chris is also a member of the AMOSSHE Executive Committee, Deputy Chair of the Trustee Board at the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and an alumnus of Liverpool Hope University.
Amy Kellehar is the Associate Director of Events and Engagement at King’s College London, where she leads on a portfolio of student experience projects designed to improve engagement with Student Services and support the continuity of a world-class student experience from arrival through to graduation. Amy’s focus is on enhancing the student experience through improved engagement with services, helping students to achieve their potential and take advantage of all that King’s as a global London university has to offer them. She has 10 years’ experience within the Higher Education sector both in the UK and abroad, having worked in Spain for a two of Europe’s top international Business Schools before joining King’s in 2011.
David Woolley is the Head of Schools, Colleges and Community Outreach at Nottingham Trent University. This position involves devising the strategic agenda and overseeing the delivery of the University’s widening participation, central student engagement and community outreach programmes across the student life cycle. His previous roles include Deputy Head of Widening Participation at the University of Nottingham and a teaching career before that, both abroad and in UK Further Education.
David’s approach to widening participation and outreach is heavily influenced by this career; in particular, the behaviours and characteristics of his more ‘successful’ students, the challenges facing the communities ‘WP’ students come from and institutional expectations of traditional widening participation activity. His current work focuses on the importance of participation, engagement and personal responsibility in the broader learning process.
Melanie has two major passions in her work life – widening access and inclusive education. Being the *AccessAbility Team Coordinator at the University of Greenwich combines both of these passions. The *AccessAbility Team was created in September 2007 and continues to grow and diversify. The *AccessAbility Ambassadors, who all have a disability and/or specific learning difficulty themselves, are our greatest achievement. The In&Outreach model of widening access for disabled students (prospective and current) is currently unique in the UK. Away from work, Melanie is interested in travel, wildlife and Dr. Martens.
Luke Millard is Head of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Birmingham City University. He is a Principal Fellow of the HEA which saw his application focus on students as partners and improving the learning experience. More recently Luke has spoken nationally on the University’s work on retention as he was the institutional lead for the University’s HEA’s What Works: student retention and success programme. He has designed and led masters level modules on student transition and the first year experience and is now the university lead for its HEFCE funded project looking at improving BME student attainment across the West Midland region. He is a Governor at an FE College and will host the European First Year Experience conference from 28-30 June 2017. His current area of research looks at student employment on campus and its impact on student learning habits and attitudes toward the university.
Adam has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry, and 8 years working with both cloud and on-premise CRM implementations - across a variety of industries: government, higher education, financial services, retail and telecommunications.
As a consultant who started as a developer, Adam specialises in finding that perfect blend of strategy, technology and user experience to empower large-scale organisations to deliver excellent customer experiences.
Esther Berry is a digital business consultant with a fixation with data and a passion for helping organisations on their road to digital transformation. Her approach to client partnership is centered around solving problems while using the right font, and not settling for ‘meh’. She has found success in taking the questions of one industry and finding answers in others - drawing out commonalities across manufacturing, higher education, telecommunications and retail. Currently, she can be found either helping companies digitise a wide range of relationships and processes through the successful adoption of CRM or touring every stately home the National Trust has on offer.
Janet Peters has been the Director of Libraries and University Librarian at Cardiff University since October 2005. Her previous post was as Director of Information and Library Services, University of Wales, Newport, where she worked for 15 years. She also held senior roles at the University of Glamorgan and University of the West of England. As Director of Libraries and University Librarian she manages the 14 University libraries, has a quality assurance role for the 22 libraries in NHS hospitals throughout Wales and plays a strategic role within the University in supporting the Student Experience and Research. She is particularly engaged with promoting Open Access to researchers and has been instrumental in setting up a new Cardiff University Press.
She has been an active member of WHELF (Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum) since 1990 and chaired the Steering Group which oversaw the implementation of a shared Library Management System across all Welsh universities in 2015/16.
Having worked in Higher Education for over 15 years, mostly at the University of Winchester, Yaz has developed a deep passion for learning. Yaz started out as an hourly paid lecturer in Sport Psychology and became the Director of Learning and Teaching and Student Engagement. Yaz is also the Co-Chair of the professional body, the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA). When Yaz is not working he can be found with his family on the incredible National New Forest, enjoying food and friends.
Pamela Gillies is a Professor of Public Health and has been Vice-Chancellor of GCU since 2006. SA former he was a Trustee of the British Council, she is a Founding Director of the Board of the Grameen Scotland Foundation, the Board of the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing, Dhaka and the Global Advisory Council for the African Leadership University.
Previously a Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Nottingham, Pamela has worked with WHO’s global programme on AIDS; at Harvard as a Visiting Professor and Scholar and as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth Fund of New York. She is a founding patron of the school for the children of sex workers in Domjur, Kolkata and has written widely on HIV/AIDS health development and inequalities in health.
She is a Fellow of: the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians of London;, the Academy for Social Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Pamela was awarded a CBE for services to education and public health in December 2012.
Ben Stein is the Director of Student Success for Hobsons. He joined Starfish in 2013 to lead the Campus Relations account management team before relocating to London in August 2015 to help grow Starfish in the UK. He has spent the bulk of his career in higher education technology working to help clients to successful outcomes.
David Grey has over 24 years’ experience as an academic and personal tutor, with a leadership focus on learning and teaching, the student experience and personal tutoring. He has recently taken up a role as an Educational Developer, with a responsibility for leading academic projects relating to personal tutoring and retention. In his previous institution, he led the implementation of an institution-wide improved personal tutoring programme.
He is a member of the UKAT Executive Committee and Chair of the UKAT Research Committee, through which he has a remit to foster research into the impact of personal tutoring on student support.
Dave Lochtie is the Student Opportunities Manager at the University of Derby Students Union and has 16 years experience working in education as a teacher, administrator, student advisor and manager. He served as an elected director for Bournemouth University Students Union and the University of Roehampton. The focus of his research has included Leadership and Management in Education as well as International Comparative Education, having visited educational institutions across the globe. As part of this he spent a year working on Student Success initiatives at the University of New Orleans.
He is a member of the UKAT Executive Committee and Chair of the UKAT Professional Development Committee, whose remit is to support the professional development of student advisors and personal tutors.
As Chief Executive Officer of YourTutor, Mike balances a global growth strategy with the demands of delivering a quality online, on-demand student support service. Regularly researching feedback from student users, education institutions and their evolving learning and teaching needs alike, he has been with the company since 2014.
Prior to his current role, Mike has spent over 15 years in management, including five years in the technology sector based in Boston, Massachusetts where he was a Senior Director.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia and completed an MBA at the University of New South Wales, where he won the AC Nielsen Prize for Strategic Marketing. He was selected for the international exchange program to the prestigious Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and now resides in Sydney with his family.
Susannah is a Principal Advisor, and Head of Skills, at the Behavioural Insights Team. She runs the team’s programmes on education-to-work transitions and post-16 skills, including higher education access and retention. In her time at BIT, Susannah has been involved in running over 25 randomised-controlled trials, including several in higher education, and was the lead author of BIT’s report on young people’s career decision-making: “Moments of Choice”.