Universities are under intense financial constraints. Under these circumstances, how can we ensure that access and student success remains on the agenda, and make the most of existing networks and resources? This conference will give you the opportunity to receive up-to-date briefings on the current issues and regulation surrounding widening participation and student success, as well as an opportunity to discuss with experts and colleagues on how best to drive student access and success. Our headline speakers include:
Topics we will cover include:
This conference will be held online over the course of two days. Alongside eight hours of informative, timely content from the most pertinent speakers on the topic, we will also be providing a wide range of opportunities to network, discuss, and make connections with colleagues within the sector.
You will also be able to access the recordings of all sessions after the event, including breakout sessions which you were unable to attend.
This conference is essential for staff who have responsibility for or play a part in improving attainment, retention and student success. Anyone with an interest in the topic is welcome to attend, however particularly relevant job titles include:
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Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire and Vice-President for England and Northern Ireland, Universities UK
Michelle Donelan MP, Universities Minister – Invited
Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, University of Bath
John Cope, Director of Strategy, Policy, & Public Affairs, UCAS
Tracey Lancaster, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Corporate Communications), Leeds Beckett University
The admissions cycle for 2020/21 intake has been one of the biggest challenges that the UK Higher Education sector has faced. In the aftermath of the handling of this year’s A-Level results, we hear from various perspectives on how this has impacted institutions and the most disadvantaged students.
Kate Lister, Lecturer in Inclusive Education, The Open University
Professor Roger Dickinson PFHEA, Dean of Flexible Teaching and Learning, University of Leicester
Dr Esther Jubb, Head of Academic Services, Pearson
For many higher education providers, being propelled into a virtual world of distance learning and subsequently blended learning was not even remotely business-as-usual. This session will hear from institutions with extensive experience of providing distance learning with a focus on best practices and top tips on how to successfully deliver online teaching and blended learning which is accessible for all students, regardless of background and borders.
Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire and Vice-President for England and Northern Ireland, Universities UK
Choose one session to attend. Small group discussions to follow each session.
Dr Andrew Ross, Head of Widening Access and Participation, University of Bath
Rebecca Bowen, Senior Student Recruitment Officer, University of South Wales, and Wales Chair, HELOA
Andrew Cooper, Account Manager, Liverpool John Moores University
Chair: Amy Dicks, Policy Researcher, Universities UK
Higher education providers will have been working hard to achieve outreach activities without physical interventions. When we get back to ‘normal’ and can start delivering on-campus activities, it will be too late for some school pupils who may have never even thought about going to University. Our panelists will answer the question ‘Is digital outreach possible?’ and share their experiences of how Universities and Schools have worked in partnership with each other to ensure success in future recruitment cycles.
Dr Catherine Hack, Principal Adviser Learning and Teaching, AdvanceHE
Amy Low, Service Delivery Director, Ability Net
Osayuki Igbinoba, Pharmacy Student, Kingston University
Chair: Professor Sarah Greer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, University of Worcester, Disabled Students' Commissioner, Office for Students
Higher education providers are experienced in adapting their campuses to be physically accessible; they will also have support services in place to ensure that regardless of the disability or learning difficulty, students have the support they need to academically succeed. However, what happens when we are thrown into a world of virtual learning, social distancing, and the unique challenges that a global pandemic presents? How are we supporting disabled students at this time and what can we learn from the challenges of the pandemic to better support students with disabilities in the future?
Stephen Evans, CEO, Learning and Work Institute
Lindsey Fraser, Deputy Director in the Lifelong Learning Centre, University of Leeds
Chair: Professor David Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor, London South Bank University
Creating more opportunities for adults to participate in education and lifelong learning poses many benefits. With an increasingly aging population, technology rapidly moving on and an accelerated virtual working environment; how can adults from unrepresented groups be supported and realise their potential.
Paul Wakeling, Head of Department for Education, University of York
Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive, Institute of Student Employers
Sarah Dauncey, Head of Policy, The Bridge Group
Chair: Harry Anderson, Policy Manager, Universities UK
Ensuring that the future for the UK’s most vulnerable graduates and postgraduates still looks positive in the aftermath of Covid-19 might be a challenge. Higher education providers need to grow their understanding of the current labour market so that they are providing the right careers advice, resources and support to current students and alumni; including options for postgraduate study. Employers need to adjust their practices to the post Covid-19 world without further disadvantaging widening participation graduates.
Katharine Sacks-Jones, Chief Executive, Become
Susan Mueller, Project Director, Stand Alone
Amie Waterman, PhD student, Durham University
What have we learnt from the needs of students without any traditional family support throughout this crisis? After a period of detachment, have we seen a spike in dropouts from care experienced students and students who are estranged from their families? Key organisations who have been at the forefront of supporting these students share their findings on how best to support these students now, and what we can learn to inform the future.
Jess Woodsford, Director of SEER (Specialist Evidence, Evaluation & Research), Applied Inspiration
Ross Renton, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Worcester and Chair of the Widening Participation Network, GuildHE
More speakers to be announced.
This session will look at the research into small and specialist colleges with regards to their responses to Covid-19 and the impact on students particularly in respect of Access and Participation Plans and under-represented groups. This session will demonstrate what lessons can be learnt in the wider higher education context and how this can be applied to all institutions.
Kellie McAlonan, UWS Student Funding Team Leader, University of the West of Scotland and Chair, National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA)
Emma-Jane Quirke, Student Adviser, Leeds Trinity University and England Policy lead, NASMA
Judith McMeekin, Student Money Co-ordinator, Ulster University and Northern Ireland Policy lead, NASMA
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, Vice President for Higher Education, NUS
With the state of the national economy in disarray, this session will explore how this impact of the current economic climate has a direct effect on students. There is a risk that with more students experiencing financial hardship, that there is a greater need for support for a larger number of students.
Dr Gurnam Singh, Associate Professor of Attainment, Coventry University
Dr Omar Khan, Director, TASO
Franklin Jacob Babu, former Black Students Officer, NUS Scotland
Our panelists explore how Covid-19 has impacted BAME students and endangered the progress that has been made to close the BAME student attainment gap. With so much disruption in the sector and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests that have taken place across the world, what should institutions be learning and how should they be adapting to ensure an inclusive student experience?
Professor Gavin Brown, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool
Megan Ball, President, Winchester Student Union
Simon Lee, Deputy Director (Resilience, Sport and Wellbeing), Teeside University and Executive Member, AMOSSHE
Emily McIntosh Vice-Chair (Research), UK Advisory and Tutoring (UKAT) and Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience at Middlesex University
When Covid-19 hit the UK, higher education providers made decisions with astonishing speed and for the most part success to adapt their support for current students. As institutions navigate this new world of living through a global pandemic, are the various approaches working equally for all students? What are we learning about student support needs and how are higher education providers evolving to meet these needs, especially to support those from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds?
Please note that this page is being continuously updated.
Mike joined the University of Bath in October 2014, having previously worked as Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at the University of Oxford (2006-2014) and Head of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Recruitment at the University of Essex (1998-2006).
Mike heads the team responsible for managing undergraduate student admissions, student recruitment (UK and international), funding guidance, widening access and participation, learning partnerships, and student immigration.
He is currently a Trustee of the Council of International Schools and the AQA Exam Board (where he also sits on their Research Committee), and is a member of the Universities UK Fair Admissions Advisory Group established in October 2019 to review the need for reform of the undergraduate student recruitment and admissions process in the UK. He is also on the UUK Group established to advise the Universities’ Minister on the sector response to COVID-19. He co-Chaired the Social Mobility Practitioners’ Group established by Universities UK to advise the UK Minister for Higher Education on supporting progression from under-represented groups in society in 2016. In 2018 he joined the Evaluation Group for the Welsh Government’s Seren Gifted and Talented Programme. He was UK Chair of the Higher Education Liaison Officers’ Association from 2014-2017 and served as a member of the UCAS Council until January 2017. He represented English universities on the Welsh Qualifications Reform stakeholder group, and was involved in the SPA National Expert Think Tank on UK Qualifications Reform in 2015.
Kate Lister manages accessibility and inclusive practice for disabled students at the Open University, UK, and is an associate at Advance HE. Her role involves driving and coordinating inclusive practice in the Open University, supporting staff to be accessible and inclusive by design, and championing disabled student needs at different echelons of the University. Mental health and wellbeing in the curriculum are core research interests for her; she leads on the OU project to embed mental wellbeing in distance learning and she co-leads on the Advance HE collaborative project 'Embedding mental wellbeing in the curriculum.’ Her background is in educational technology, language learning and accessible and inclusive pedagogies in international contexts; she worked in Germany, Spain and China before moving to the UK to take up her current role.
Esther leads the team responsible for learning design and academic delivery support. With more than 20 years’ experience working within the higher education sector, she has held academic and professional roles for a number of universities (including the Universities of Durham, Liverpool John Moores, Sheffield, Derby and Cumbria) and has undertaken consultancy both in the UK and internationally.
Esther's particular specialisms are curriculum design and development, online programme design and delivery, academic development and technology enhanced learning. She has developed pedagogical frameworks and delivery approaches for fully online and blended programmes and has designed, validated and developed postgraduate, undergraduate and degree apprenticeship programmes for fully online delivery in a range of disciplines.
Esther holds a PhD from Durham University, and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Amy Low is Service Delivery Director at AbilityNet, a technology and digital accessibility charity that supports disabled people to achieve their objectives at home, at work and in education. AbilityNet provide a range of services for individuals and organisations including 1-1 support services, online resources, consultancy and training. Having spent 15 years working in a variety of roles within serviced property and IT services, Amy joined AbilityNet in 2016, drawn by the opportunity to leverage technology to remove barriers to participation for disabled people and create a better digital experience for everyone. Amy is also a trustee of CITA, the Charity IT Association, CITA has a team of highly skilled IT volunteers that provide low cost IT support and advice to the charity sector to enable them to use technology to increase their reach and impact.
Professor David Phoenix, is the Vice Chancellor of London South Bank University and obtained Ministerial approval for a HE-FE national pilot in 2018. As part of this initiative he developed and became Principle Accounting Officer for a group structure or a ‘learning family’ which includes LSBU, South Bank Colleges, South Bank Academies and South Bank Enterprises. This structure is creating employer-focused educational pathways across all levels of education to support social mobility and skills. He is Vice-Chair of the Science Museum Group, a Director of the National Centre for Universities and Business, and has served as Chair of MillionPlus and a member of the Minister for Universities and Science Brexit advisory group. In 2019 he became an independent member of Labour’s Lifelong Learning Commission. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians for his contribution to medical research and education and with over 300 publications was awarded an OBE for services to Science and Higher Education in 2010.
Cary L. Cooper is the 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. He is a founding President of the British Academy of Management, President of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), former President of RELATE and President of the Institute of Welfare. He was the Founding Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior, former Editor of the scholarly journal Stress and Health and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Management, now in its’ 3rd Edition.
He has been an advisor to the World Health Organisation, ILO, and EU in the field of occupational health and wellbeing, was Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Chronic Disease of the World Economic Forum (2009-2010) (then served for 5 years on the Global Agenda Council for mental health of the WEF) and was Chair of the Academy of Social Sciences 2009-2015. Professor Cooper is the Chair of the National Forum for Health & Wellbeing at Work (comprised of 40 global companies eg BP, Microsoft, NHS Executive, UK government, Rolls Royce, John Lewis Partnership, etc>). Professor Cooper is the author/editor of over 250 books in the field of occupational health psychology, workplace wellbeing, women at work and occupational stress. He was awarded the CBE by the Queen in for his contributions to occupational health; and in 2014 he was awarded a Knighthood for his contribution to the social sciences.
Dr Gurnam Singh is currently Associate Professor of Equity of Attainment at Coventry University. Also, he is Hon Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick and Visiting Fellow in Race and Education at the University of Arts, London. Prior to entering academia he had a background in community activism and professional social work. He is acknowledged as a leading thinker on the issue of race and racism in Higher Education and Social Work and he has published widely on these topics.
Gavin is an enthusiast for technology-enhanced learning and has led on a number of IT initiatives that support the student experience. He is also keen on promoting social and geographic mobility in the student body, and is a keen advocate of study abroad programmes, having established numerous partnerships with universities around the world.
Gavin’s research interests focus on the role of matrix molecules in a variety of disease processes including the development of osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, corneal eye disease and the metastatic spread of cancer.
Susan Mueller joined Stand Alone in autumn 2015 to develop the higher education strand of the charity which includes the Stand Alone Pledge which was launched in October 2016. In this role Susan draws on her experience of managing the Buttle UK Quality Mark for Care Leavers from 2011-2015 as well as her previous experience in widening participation as Partnership Manager for Aimhigher London East.