20 Tavistock Square
Our third annual conference on enhancing the student experience is for those with strategic responsibility for student experience in institutions and the wider sector. This conference will examine institutional approaches to improving the student experience, in the context of the current policy landscape, increased demand for services, and greater expectations from students and parents.
The impending bill and the implications of the vote to leave the European Union herald a huge shift in the landscape and architecture of higher education. The need to develop robust strategies and effective partnership working to enhance the student experience is more important than ever. Understanding the policy changes and the impact they will have is crucial for university leaders with strategic responsibility for student experience.
We have a range of sponsorship opportunities available at this event. Please contact Rachael Firth, Head of Events and Conferences for information. tel: 020 7419 5402; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Universities UK's report 'Student experience: measuring expectations and outcomes' here
Professor Liz Barnes, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Staffordshire University
Shirley Atkinson, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Sunderland
Sarbani Banerjee, Head of Learning and Teaching, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
Sorana Vieru, Vice President (Higher Education), National Union of Students (NUS)
This session will analyse the current policy and political focuses, and consider the impact they may have on students. Questions to be explored include:
What are the current policy and political focuses that will have the biggest impact on the student experience?
What effect will these have on students?
What should institutions be doing to mitigate any threats or make the most of opportunities to enhance the student experience?
Jo Caulfield, Head of Student Engagement, and Danielle Barnard, Student Voice Manager, Bangor University
In 2012, Bangor University and Bangor Students' Union jointly created an institutional strategy for partnership. Since then, we have been working together to increase students' role in the development of their education - from the departmental level, to strategic decision making. Since the launch of our partnership, we have seen a dramatic shift in National Student Survey results, rising from 68th in the UK to top 15. We take this as one sign that our approach is working. Our ethos has underpinned a wide range of projects, all created with the purpose of enabling students to create change within the university, and grounded in the democratic representation of our Students' Union. This joint Students' Union/University presentation will give details of our approach, our projects, and discuss the key lessons for real partnership.
Facilitated by Glyn Williams, Senior Wellbeing Practitioner, UWE Bristol
This session will be an opportunity for delegates to consider how demand and expectation for student support - particularly one-to-one support - has changed in recent years, what the causes for this may be, and how to balance changes against resource. The group discussion format will allow delegates to learn from each other and to direct and focus the conversation on the key issues.
Dr Amanda Callaghan, Teaching and Learning Dean (special projects) and Dr Cesare
Aloisi, Learning Gain Project Officer University
At this session we will present an
overview of the University of Reading Learning Gain project. This is a
three-year longitudinal project to test and evaluate a range of available
methodologies and to draw conclusions on what might be the right combination of
instruments for the measurement of learning gain. We aim to account for
(respectively) student attainment, student engagement, student satisfaction,
student wellbeing and critical thinking skills.
Following an introduction on the main features of the project, participants
will be asked to consider the best measures of learning and their interplay in
small groups. We will present our choice and discuss how this aligns or differs
from the measures chosen by the workshop participants. We will follow up by
asking the workshop participants how they would measure critical thinking
skills in particular. Finally, we will discuss with the audience some practical
issues with engaging students in research projects that are of no perceived
benefit to them, with a view to agree on guidance for future work.
Ellie Russell, Student Engagement & Partnership Manager, The Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP)
This session looks at TSEP's large scale research project into the experiences of 'commuter students', run in conjunction with Professor Liz Thomas in 2016. The study recognised that 'commuter students', who live away from the university or college and travel to attend, may experience challenges in relation to their engagement both in and beyond the classroom. It sought to explore how these issues are experienced by students and institutions, and what can be done to improve engagement and student outcomes. In this participatory workshop we will share interim findings from our research, which was conducted through working with nine institutions and student peer researchers across England, and present case studies of successful approaches and tools.
Facilitated by Jayne Aldridge, Director - Services for Students, Kingston University, and Executive Member AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation
This session will be an opportunity for delegates to consider how best to measure the impact of certain interventions on the student experience, and the best ways of demonstrating their success or otherwise. The group discussion format will allow delegates to learn from each other and to direct and focus the conversation on the key issues.
Colin Charlton, Higher Education Lead, Pythagoras (host)
Paul Colbran, Director of ICT, Southampton Solent University
David Mutti, Head of Programme Management Office, University of Greenwich
Nick Cole, Associate Director of IT, Leeds Beckett University
Join leading industry experts from Universities across the UK discussing the student experience from their personal and professional perspective, answering questions on topics such as where the journey actually begins for a student and University, how to leverage the social generation with smart communications and ensure Universities are seen at the forefront of digitalisation.
Branwen Jeffreys, Education Editor, BBC News
Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor & Rector, Liverpool Hope University
Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Buckingham
In conversation with two Vice-Chancellors from institutions recognised for their great student experience, delegates will discuss how to achieve a great, institution-wide student experience.
Ceri Downes, Franchise Relationship Manager, and Glenn Clark, Franchise Relationship Manager, Unitemps
This session will be an opportunity for delegates to consider how demand and expectation for high quality student experience has impacted the way universities tackle student employability. Join Unitemps, the University of Warwick’s temporary staffing solution, as they discuss how their unique franchise model can enhance student experience from the beginning of university to beyond.
Naa Acquah, General Secretary, Students' Union, University of Manchester
Samuel Chivers, Vice President, Education, Winchester Student Union
Tara Alade, President, Bedfordshire Student Union
Katie Ascott, MSc Psychology student, University of Lincoln
This session will offer delegates the opportunity to pose their questions to a panel of current students – to ask them about their own experience and to hear what they value and what they don't.
Shirley has responsibility for the executive management and oversight of the University including delivery of its Strategic Plan, its financial sustainability, and the quality and success of its programmes and graduates.
Shirley is currently a board member of the City of Sunderland College, a founding trustee and Director of the South West Durham University Technical College, a member of Universities UK international policy advisory group, and innovation and growth policy network, a Director of the Sunderland Business Group, a member of the City of Sunderland Economic Leadership Board and Chair of the Education Leadership Board, a Director of five university trading companies including the London Campus operation and companies in Malaysia and Hong Kong. She is also an Executive Board member of Million Plus and a member of the Social Mobility Working Group (led by Universities UK) which has been set up by the Minister of State for Universities and Science, to support the sector in improving access and outcomes for under-represented groups.
Before joining the University sector in 2008, Shirley worked in public, commercial and not for profit organisations at Board and Executive level. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (qualifying with honours in 1989) for whom she has delivered over 200 lectures, chaired a number of conferences, and previously held a position on their examinations board. She also holds an MSc in Finance, is an alumnus of Harvard Business Schools' Global Leaders Programme and is a Fellow of the RSA.
Sarbani Banerjee is Head of the Learning and Teaching Team at HEFCE with responsibility for information for students, teaching funding policy and learning and teaching development. Sarbani has worked at HEFCE since 2002 and has previously had responsibilities for employability and skills policy. Prior to HEFCE, Sarbani worked for the Learning and Skills Council, the Further Education Funding Council and the University of Chester. She is a graduate of the universities of Bristol and Cambridge.
Sorana Vieru is the Vice President (Higher Education) of NUS. She was previously the Postgraduate Education sabbatical Officer at the University of Bristol Students’ Union.
She is halfway through a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Bristol where she also graduated from an MA in Philosophy & History of Science and also holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Birmingham.
Jo Caulfield is Head of Student Engagement at Bangor University, where she leads the institution’s approach to developing partnership working between staff and students. With a background in the student movement, Jo is a strong advocate for democratic student representation through the students’ union as the cornerstone of any partnership work. Jo leads the University’s Student Engagement Unit, and works closely with academic colleagues and the Students’ Union to develop new and innovative ways for students to lead the development of their own educational experience.
Danielle Barnard is the Student Voice Manager at Bangor University’s Students’ Union. Having worked in the student movement since 2010, Danielle is a keen advocate of developing students as partners and leaders in their education. She has a passion for curriculum development and is currently working with Bangor University to design and deliver the first Student-led Teaching and Learning Strategy. Danielle also has a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Bangor University.
Glyn is an experienced Wellbeing Practitioner who provides Psychotherapy and Mental Health support to Students at the University of the West of England, where he has been the project coordinator for the “Mental Wealth through Emotional Resilience” Project which is in its second year. He studied at the University of Bristol as a post graduate to master's level. As a practitioner he has gained from areas including private practice, GP surgeries and employee assistance programmes. He is ex-military, which has provided him with experience in Battlefield Trauma and supporting those injured in battle. He served in Afghanistan and also supported the seriously injured and their families at the QE hospital in Birmingham.
Cesare is a former secondary teacher of French, Italian and English as a foreign language. He holds an MA in Educational Assessment from the Institute of Education, UCL, and a PhD from the University of Durham on the relationship between international assessments and national education policies. His publications include the Sutton Trust report ‘What makes great teaching?’. He currently manages the day-to-day operations of the Learning Gain project at the University of Reading. This includes data definition, collection and analysis; result interpretation and reporting; and the evaluation of the instruments for measuring learning outcomes.
Ellie is the Student Engagement & Partnership Manager for The Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP), which supports, develops and promotes student engagement knowledge and practice in the higher education sector in England. Ellie joined NUS in 2011 after graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in Politics and Parliamentary Studies. During her studies Ellie completed placements in MP’s offices in Westminster and the Canadian Parliament and was a trustee of Leeds University Union from 2007- 2011. Prior to starting university, she held the elected position of Vice President (Further Education) of NUS from 2005- 2007.
Tobin is a Student Engagement Consultant for TSEP and has previously worked on TSEP’s project looking at student engagement in the context of college based higher education students, as well as working with Liz Thomas Associates on projects looking at Independent Learning, Commuter Students and developing an evaluation framework for student engagement. Tobin studied at the University of Bristol where he also served as President of the Union before being elected to the NUS National Executive. In the intervening period Tobin has worked at the National Assembly for Wales and managing projects within the charity sector.
Jayne is Director of Services for Students at Kingston University. As an innovative leader with 25 years experience within the UK higher education sector, she is experienced in student experience leadership and management across different universities and has a proven track record in formulating national policy.
Jayne is committed to working with a diverse range of people in the creation and delivery of professional service provision to improve quality and underpin student and academic success within large multifaceted organisations.
Branwen Jeffreys has spent much of her working life as a journalist looking at our experience of using public services and how they work. She became Education Editor for BBC News in 2015, with responsibility for leading reporting on the flagship news programmes such as Today on Radio 4 and the Ten o’clock news on BBC One. For much of her career Branwen has written and broadcast on various aspects of social policy. She is interested in what people expect from public services, and how to reconcile their individual accounts with the insights provided by research and data. During the last 25 years Branwen has also presented radio news programmes, made documentaries and reported for the BBC extensively from around the world.
Professor Gerald Pillay is the Vice-Chancellor & Rector at Liverpool Hope University. A citizen of New Zealand and UK, he was born in the former British colony of Natal in South Africa. He is widely published and has a distinguished academic career. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Doctor of Theology degree. Prior to his present role in the UK he taught in South Africa, New Zealand, and the USA. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2013 by Hope College, Michigan, USA.
In 2005 he was elected a Life Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) and in 2009 was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside.
Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Buckingham since 2015, is a leading contemporary historian, educationalist, commentator and political author.
He was head of Brighton College and of Wellington College, two of Britain's leading independent schools. He is author of over 40 books on contemporary history, including the inside book on the last four Prime Ministers, politics and education, was the co-founder and first director of the Centre for Contemporary British History, is co-founder of Action for Happiness, honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street, chair of the National Comment Awards, a member of the Government’s First World War Culture Committee, and a governor of The Royal Shakespeare Company.
As Director of jobs.ac.uk, Nick is responsible for driving the global growth of the service, working closely with internal teams and clients alike in achieving talent acquisition objectives of all kinds and scales.
Before joining the team in 2014, Nick spent his working life leading one of the world’s largest recruitment advertising businesses, helping organisations such as Microsoft, Sony, JP Morgan and IBM attract graduate and professional talent.
Alongside Unitemps, Jobs.ac.uk is part of Warwick Employment Group, an integrated family of specialist recruitment and people orientated services that have been supporting the education sector for over 20 years.
Tara Alade is the first black female President of the University of Bedfordshire Students’ Union (Beds SU), elected into post for the 2016/2017 academic year. The Union represents over 12000 students across nine campuses. As a student, Tara was elected as Student Council Chair which inspired her to run and be elected for Vice President Education 2015/2016
Enhancing the student experience for the membership that she represents has always been at the forefront of her time in office. Tara has been the lead student representative for large scale projects such as: a state of the art, seven-story library open 24/7 three-hundred and sixty-five days a year; the lead student representative on the Universities new STEM building, to be completed in 2019 and piloting an initiative to amalgamate assignment feedback and grades, which has received such a positive response from students that the institution will be rolling this out across all faculties.
Samuel Chivers is the Vice-President of Education at Winchester Student Union and is the officer with responsibility for representing students as learners and ensuring academic quality and consistency. He sees over the Student Academic Representatives (fondly known as StARs) at Winchester University and also works closely with other areas of the university such as the Student Fellows Scheme.
Born to Ghanaian parents and brought up in Camberwell in South East London, Naa came to The University of Manchester to read The Study of Religion and Theology in 2011. After undertaking a semester abroad at the National University of Singapore in 2012, Naa joined several societies at the Students’ Union and started working in the café and venues as a student staff member. She has held several positions in various societies including President of the Manchester Model United Nations society and Head of News at Fuse FM radio station.
She ran to be elected as the General Secretary of the Students’ Union in 2015 and was re-elected in 2016 and represents around 40,000 students at the University. Naa is the first Black Woman to hold this role and is also the first ever General Secretary to hold the role for two years. Since being re-elected, Naa has been working on how best to prepare for the Mayoral Election by creating contacts around the city to put students on the agenda prior to Devolution. She has also been sitting on the post-Brexit Group to look at the ramification of the Referendum Vote and how best to ensure that your campus remains an open inclusive environment.