20 Tavistock Square
Join us at this national one-day conference organised in partnership with Action on Access, where we will examine the key institutional and operational issues surrounding access, participation and success in UK universities, and explore the implications of recent and upcoming changes. You will walk away with the insight and tactical information you need to successfully plan and manage your institutional strategy.
As part of this year's conference we will look at the Office for Students' work as it seeks faster progress from the sector towards real equality of opportunity across access, participation, attainment, the student experience, and student outcomes.
The conference will give you the opportunity to receive up-to-date briefing on the current issues surrounding access, participation and student success, and to discuss the implications and how to successfully navigate the numerous sector changes still to come.
Throughout the day we will examine a range of themes, including but not limited to:
The programme will include keynote lectures, panel discussions and breakout sessions, giving delegates the opportunity to listen to, learn from and engage with speakers and colleagues.
This conference is essential for staff who have responsibility for or play a part in improving attainment, retention and student success. Relevant job titles include
John Storan, Principal, Action on Access and Director of Continuum, University
of East London
Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students
Professor Stephanie Marshall, Vice-Principal, Interim (Education), Queen Mary, University of London
Ross Renton, Pro Vice Chancellor Students, University of Worcester
Universities are experiencing a rise in students seeking support for their mental health and with 50% of mental health problems being established by age 14, rising to 75% by age 24, quite simply this is an issue universities cannot address easily on their own. This session explores the need for collaboration within the sector and partnership with schools, colleges, employers and the NHS. Ross will explore the innovative model adopted by the University of Worcester to support mental wellbeing and the prevention of suicide, which has been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education Awards 2018 for Outstanding Student Support.
Christopher Stacey, Co-director, Unlock
Rachel Tynan, Policy and Practice lead, Unlock
Philippa Budgen, Scholarship Manager, Longfurd Trust
More than 11 million people in England and Wales have a criminal record, yet shame, stigma and discrimination can result in lifelong barriers to many aspects of life, including higher education.
Access to university for people with convictions is a widening participation issue: people with convictions are predominantly from the same demographic as those least likely to access higher education.
In this session, Unlock talk about their pilot project with three universities to support them to develop fairer admissions policies. The session look at how universities can develop fairer admissions policies that benefit students, the university and the community.
Sahar Erfani, Head of Access, Birkbeck University of London and Naureen Abubacker, Outreach and Access Senior Officer (Refugees and Asylum Seekers), Birkbeck University of London
Winners of this year's Guardian Awards for Widening access and outreach
Conversations around post-18 education are back on the agenda, and there has been a call for a collective responsibility for the sector to engage, empower and improve access to mature learners. But where do we start? Engagement with mature learners often requires a different approach to traditional widening participation activity, but their needs can be much the same as their younger counterparts. In this interactive workshop, WP practitioners from Birkbeck, University of London will facilitate conversations on how to reach out, engage and support this particular student group, with attendees leaving with a better understanding of:
How current outreach provision can be tailored to support mature learners
Getting buy in and support, from the right people, within your university
Reporting and measuring impact of outreach work
Professor Liz Thomas, Higher Education Researcher and Consultant, Liz Thomas Associates
Holly Staynor, Policy Officer, National Union of Students
Johnny Rich, Chief Executive, Push
Access is not just about letting students in. It's about making them fully engaged in realising their opportunities, in benefiting from their student experience and in being a part of the academic community. This interactive session will hear about three aspects of engagement from three experts in the field. Johnny Rich, Chief Executive of Push, will talk about outreach that genuinely reaches out to those at the back of the class and changes their expectations and aspirations. NUS's Holly Staynor will explore their Learner Voice Framework and show how it can be used to put students at the heart of widening participation work. Prof Liz Thomas will consider how commuter students can be better engaged and will also lead a discussion on evaluating engagement.
Rebecca Cordina, *AccessAbility Ambassador, University of
Bradley R Cory, *AccessAbility Ambassador, University of Greenwich
Caroline Butterwick, Writer and Workshop Facilitator
Professor Steven Spier, Vice-Chancellor, Kingston University
Philip Dent, Head of Community Engagement, Social Justice and Impact, University of Winchester and Director, SCiP Alliance Director
Professor Louise Morley, CHEER Director, University of Sussex
This breakout session will be a two part session exploring different types of hard to reach students and is chaired by Mike Hill, Head of Retention and Success, GSM London (chair)
Thinking Differently about the Roma in Higher Education: Beyond Sex, Slums and Special Schools, and Towards Epistemic Inclusion!
The presentation draws on research and scholarship from the Higher Education Internationalisation and Mobility (HEIM) Project that was funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement number: 643739. This involved three European universities (Seville, Spain, Sussex, UK, and Umea, Sweden) working with the Roma Education Fund, Budapest, to investigate the issue of the Roma in higher education and to provide new knowledge and resources (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/education/cheer/researchprojects/rise).
A central finding in the HEIM project was that international and national policies on Roma inclusion often overlooked higher education, and the policies that were specifically designed to widen participation in higher education of under-represented groups frequently overlooked Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. When these groups are included, they are often subjected to a form of representation based on abjection, hyperbole and sensationalism about material, economic, social and affective disadvantage and deprivation. Can we move the debate from evangelical zeal and philanthropy to an agenda for social and epistemic inclusion?
Karina Berzins, Research Fellow, University of East London (lead for the London Schools' Data
Charlie Brown, Lead Data Scientist – Contextual Data Service, UCAS
The use of learner data at all points in the student lifecycle has exploded over recent years, with no signs of slowing. From the collection of demographic and achievement data at primary and secondary school via the school census and assessments we create data points for learners in all kinds of ways. Then, the use of contextual data for university - school outreach projects and access, to learner analytics once in higher education, and survey-based data with graduates, education in the UK establishes some of the most comprehensive longitudinal data sets as standard practice.
This presentation will cover much of the data that is used in the student lifecycle – concentrating on outreach data, POLAR4, and FSM data, providing a critical analysis of the processes behind the data collection, as well as its use, and usefulness.
Differences in the chances of progression into higher education (HE) exist according to sex, socio-economic background, ethnic group, income, and other measures of equality.
Participants will learn about the recent trends in equality across the higher education sector from the 2018 cycles, and the development of measures and services used to both assess and start to address the issue of equality, including the multiple equality measure (MEM), and the Modernised contextual data service (MCDS).
Susie Wigham, National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme, The Brilliant Club
Bailey, Student Recruitment and Widening Participation Manager, The University of Manchester
Dr Gurnam Singh, Principal Lecturer in Social Work, Coventry University
Amy Kellehar, Associate Director for Student Success, King's College London
Mike Hill, Head of Retention and Success, GSM London
Professor John Storan, Principal, Action on Access and Director of Continuum, University of East London
John is Director of Continuum, the Centre for Widening Participation Policy Studies at the University of East London and Visiting Professor at Malmo University in Sweden.
He is also Director of Action on Access which is the national co-ordination team for widening participation originally funded by HEFCE. As founding and current Chair of the Forum for Access and Continuing Education (FACE) he represents communities of practitioners involved in HE Access and Lifelong Learning from across the UK and beyond.
John has been a highly influential regional, national and international figure on Lifelong Learning and Widening Participation in HE. Over recent years he has been advising and supporting funding agencies, government bodies and also stakeholder groups concerned with access and participation in HE both in the UK and internationally. In addition to his extensive UK experience he also has enormous international experience as result of his keynotes and conference inputs and involvement in a large number of research and development projects. In 2014, John was appointed the UK representative on the Bologna working group for the Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning and in 2016 he was invited to become a member of the Social Mobility Advisory Group (SMAG) which reports directly to the Minister for Universities and Science.
Chris Millward is the first Director for Fair Access and Participation in the Office for Students (OfS). Chris joined OfS from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). As a Director of Policy, he has led HEFCE's work on access and student success, learning, teaching, and higher-level skills. This included delivery of the Teaching Excellence Framework, the National Student Survey and the National Collaborative Outreach Partnerships. He has also part taken in programmes which remove barriers to student success, to improve postgraduate progression and to develop degree apprenticeships.
Chris worked at the universities of Warwick, Edinburgh and Durham before joining the Arts and Humanities Research Council as Head of Research Programmes in 2002 and HEFCE in 2006.
Professor Marshall was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) from 2013 to 2018, positioning the HEA as a global leader in teaching excellence. At the HEA, she led its transformation from a government-funded organisation to become a highly successful, sustainable organisation with extensive global reach and membership spanning 45 countries worldwide. This includes growth in the number of HEA Fellowships from 3,500 in 2012 to 100,000.
Stephanie is the author of "A Handbook for Leaders in Higher Education; Transforming Teaching and Learning" and is currently working on the 5th edition of "A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic Practice". Her most recent book "Leading Strategic Change in Higher Education" will be published at the beginning of 2019.
Stephanie has a global reputation for developing and promoting innovation in teaching and learning. She is passionate about higher education enabling an inclusive society which supports an absolute commitment to equality, diversity and the public good.
Ross Renton is the Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Worcester. Ross has a wide range of responsibilities, including leading the strategy for delivering an outstanding student experience, widening participation and student success, community partnerships and graduate employability.
Ross's research interests are in education policy and he has delivered papers on this work nationally and internationally. Ross is regularly invited to speak at conferences to share his knowledge on widening participation to HE, student engagement, HE policy and the 'Suicide Safer Project'. Ross is a Widening Participation expert for Subject Level TEF.
Christopher is Co-director of Unlock, an independent award-winning charity that provides a voice and support for people with convictions who are facing stigma and obstacles because of their criminal record. He oversees the charity's activities, projects, communications and work to influence policy. He is one of the country's foremost experts on criminal record disclosure and the long-term barriers of criminal convictions.
Rachel leads Unlock's work in increasing the employment of people with criminal records by supporting and challenging employers to change their recruitment policies and practices, working to prevent unlawful criminal record checks, influencing government policy and working on other policy and practice issues including access to higher education.
Rachel joined Unlock in July 2018 having previously worked in the civil service and higher education, most recently with Open Book at Goldsmiths on their prison/university partnership projects. Rachel has recently completed her PhD and continues to publish academically.
Sahar is the Head of Access at Birkbeck, University of London. She oversees the impact, growth and development of the strands of outreach at the College; Further Education colleges, Trade unions, Family & Community learning and Mature learner attainment raising. She leads the strategic underpinning of the outreach in line with the Office for Students Access and Participation plan, in addition to ensuring operational excellence and consistency. Prior to joining Birkbeck, Sahar was a Mathematics teacher and Head of Learning at a secondary school in North London.
Naureen is the Senior Outreach and Access Officer at Birkbeck, University of London. She manages the Compass Project, an award-winning outreach programme focused on improving access to higher education for mature forced migrants, acting as the main point of contact for this community and across Birkbeck. Over the last four years, Naureen has worked to improve access to university for non-traditional learners, previously supporting learners within schools across London and now in Birkbeck, where she is raising awareness of educational.
Johnny has a number of roles including Chief Executive of outreach organisation Push, Chief Executive of the Engineering Professors' Council, and a consultant in higher education and employability. His recent clients include the European Commission, HEFCE, CIPA, and a host of recruiters, education bodies and media organisations.
Since founding Push in 1992, Johnny has built it into an influential award-winning social enterprise providing information, advice and research about universities, careers and employability. Push runs an award-winning programme of outreach and training events that visits nearly 400 schools and colleges each year.
The Engineering Professors' Council is the voice of engineering in UK higher education. Under Johnny's stewardship since 2016, its membership has grown to include over 8,000 academics in over 80 universities and the EPC has become an influential force in national policy in HE, skills and industrial strategy.
Johnny is widely regarded as an expert on student choice and information, and on employability. As a contributor to various think tanks and strategy bodies, Johnny contributes widely to policy debates on education, careers, wider participation and social mobility. He recently spearheaded projects on school-leaver recruitment and on work-related learning. He is a regular keynote speaker and a frequent commentator on student issues in the media.
With degrees from the Universities of Durham and East Anglia, his background also includes journalism, publishing, media relations, television and the web. He is author of the highly acclaimed novel The Human Script.
Caroline Butterwick is a disabled writer who specialises in disability and accessibility. Caroline is studying an MA in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing at Staffordshire University. She has worked in Higher Education in two disability support teams, and now works at the University of Wolverhampton in a Widening Participation role.
Professor Liz Thomas is an independent researcher and consultant and Professor of Higher Education at Edge Hill University. She has approximately twenty years' experience of undertaking and managing research about widening participation, student retention and success and institutional approaches to improving the student experience and outcomes. She is committed to using research to inform national and institutional policy, practice and evaluation, and has developed and led change programmes to facilitate this. She directed the two What works?
Student retention and success programmes (2008-2017) and has undertaken research on commuter student engagement for The Student Engagement Partnership. Liz was an expert member of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2 panel in 2017, and is currently involved in the TEF subject pilots, recognising her expertise in widening participation, student retention and success and learning and teaching. Liz is the author and editor of over ten books, and many journal articles, reports, briefings and practice guides. She regularly delivers keynote addresses and staff development workshops and programmes at higher education institutions in the UK and abroad.
Holly is a Policy Officer at the National Union of Students, specialising in widening participation and liberation policy. She is also a part time postgraduate student at Goldsmiths University of London.
Professor Steven Spier has served as Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University since May 2017, having previously been Acting Vice-Chancellor. Prior to this Professor Spier was the Dean of the university's Kingston School of Arts for four years as well as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Culture and Civic Engagement). His early career saw him based in a number of European cities including Berlin, Zurich - at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zürich - and later in Hamburg as founding principal of the HafenCity University, a university of the built environment and metropolitan development. He has also been head of the School of Architecture and Design in Belfast and head of the School of Architecture at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.
Philip has led the SCiP Alliance from its inception and its subsequent growth throughout the UK. He began his career in the manufacturing industry before training as a secondary school teacher. He has led research, change, innovation and more in schools, universities and regional and national multi-stakeholder education partnerships for over ten years.
Philip has led research, policy and practitioner development in widening participation in universities, colleges and schools throughout England and in Australia. He was an adviser to the Office for Fair Access, focusing on the development of their strategic plan and research strategy, and was Chief Executive of The Progression Trust before joining the University of Winchester in 2015 where he is now Head of Community Engagement, Social Justice and Impact.
Louise Morley FAcSS is a Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/education/cheer/) at the University of Sussex, UK. Louise has an international profile in the field of the sociology of higher education. Her current research interests focus on internationalisation and equity, the affective implications of the neoliberal university, and higher education as a public good. She has recently completed a Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie funded project Higher Education Internationalisation and Mobility: Inclusions, Equalities and Innovations (HEIM) (www.sussex.ac.uk/education/cheer/heim). Louise is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a Fellow of the Society for Research into Higher Education.
Michael has over 35 years' experience of working in the adult, further and higher education sectors.
His areas of interest include widening access, student retention and success, student engagement and institutional research.
He works as an educational developer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and GSMLondon.
He works as a consultant for Action on Access and is an Associate of Continuum, the centre for widening participation policy studies, University of East London.
He is the Secretary of the Forum for Access and Continuing Education (FACE) and Co-Chair of the US based National Association for Developmental Education (NADE).
He has recently completed work on the Paul Hamlyn funded project What Works? Part Two Student Success and Retention.
He is a Vice Chair of the Governing body at Kingston Adult Education.
Karina Berzins is a Research Fellow with Continuum: the Centre for Widening Participation Policy Studies, based at the University of East London where she previously taught on the Masters of Research. Recent work includes a number of projects funded under the HEFCE's NNCO SPoC programme, which involved mapping the level of outreach activity across London and into the East. These projects established a baseline of outreach activity between secondary schools and universities, and the resulting reports, maps and toolkit have been used for HEIs, FECs, and schools alike.
Previous work includes: evaluation of institutional programmes and access courses; work for JISC examining the impact of bursary delivery in HEIs; work around student entrepreneurship, research in Barking and Dagenham around young people's educational choices in the borough. As an academic and data analyst her specialisms include: widening participation in education, the use of contextual data, outreach evaluation, school level and school census data, learner data and data wrangling. She is also trained in the SROI (Social Return on Investment) evaluation model, and is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.
Charlie joined UCAS in September 2015 as part of the Analysis and Insights Data Science internship program.
During his time at UCAS he has primarily worked in the analysis of equality, and has been involved in the publication of the UCAS End of Cycle report and the UCAS Undergraduate reports by sex, area background, and ethnic group. He has also overseen the development of the multiple equality measure (MEM).
Away from work, Charlie is an avid cinema fan, and is currently enjoying watching Manchester City dominate the English Premier League.
Gurnam Singh is currently Principal Lecturer in Social Work at Coventry University and Visiting Professor of Social Work at the University of Chester. Prior to entering academia in 1993, he worked as a professional social worker and community activist.
He completed his PhD from the University of Warwick in 2004 on anti-racist social work. In 2009 in recognition of his contribution to Higher Education he was awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship from the UK Higher Education Academy. Over the past 20 years he has secured research projects in excess of £500,000 and has presented over 100 papers at national and international conferences, many as an invited keynote speaker.
In addition to his academic work, Gurnam has an extensive media profile and over the past 6 years has regularly presented discussions and debates on minority TV channels, including Sikh Channel and Akaal Channel and well as BBC Radio networks.
Amy leads on a portfolio of student engagement initiatives designed to improve social belonging, mobility, retention and attainment for all students at King's. In her role as a strategic leader she focuses on underpinning and supporting the continuity of a world-class student experience from arrival through to graduation. Amy has over 10 years' experience within the Higher Education sector having worked for leading institutions both in the UK and abroad.
Before joining King's in 2011 Amy studied for a BA in English & Spanish at the University of Leeds and spent 4 years living in Spain, where she worked for two of Europe's top Business Schools.