London WC1H 9HQ
This one-day conference hosted by Universities UK will bring together sector leaders to look at how the sector can enhance the student experience in a drastically fast-moving world. The conference is an opportunity for delegates to hear from and engage with experts as well as network with colleagues and speakers. Chaired by Professor Robert Allison, Vice-Chancellor, Loughborough University, confirmed speakers include:
During the day delegates will have the chance to hear from experts from institutions across the United Kingdom. We will be looking into how to build on the experience of students, and explore new opportunities to ensure that your student experience strategy is ever evolving to meet the needs of a changing generation of students.
This conference is open to all with an interest in this topic, however will be particularly useful for staff who have responsibility for or play a part in any aspect of the student experience. Relevant job titles include:
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We have a range of sponsorship opportunities available at this event. Please contact Esther Dudley, Head of Events and Engagement for information, tel: 020 7419 5412; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Robert Allison, Vice-Chancellor, Loughborough University
Professor Rachel Thomson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Loughborough University
Iain Patton, CEO, EAUC - The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education
Chris Hale, Director of Policy, Universities UK
Manveer Singh Gill, Student, University of Warwick
In this session we will explore the work of the newly formed Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education Leaders, and look at best practice initiatives from the sector.
Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President, Newcastle University
Tracy Lumb, Senior Project Manager - Alcohol Impact, Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS)
Andrew Brown, Senior Programme Manager, Alcohol Team, Public Health England
This session will focus on work recently undertaken by UUK with Newcastle University, as well as a broader look at risky behaviours and alcohol/drug usage.
Jason Michael Thomas, Lecturer in Psychology and Programme Director (Psychology BSc), Aston University
Sandwich years/years abroad provide students with an excellent opportunity to learn and develop different skills and abilities, however, maintaining student engagement during the year, and on return to University life, can sometimes be a challenge. In this session, we will explore practical ways to ensure that students derive maximal benefit from sandwich years/years abroad, without a drop in engagement or momentum when they return to University.
Dr Leonie Shanks, Policy Researcher, Universities UK
In this session, delegates will be introduced to some simple principles, tools and models to prompt them to start thinking about how and why to engage students through co-design. Delegates will hear about and discuss ways in which co-design might empower students to become equal partners in research, policy making, education, services and other aspects of university life.
Naomi Wilkinson, Senior Commissioning Editor, Oxford University Press
Epigeum, part of Oxford University Press, creates outstanding higher education courseware, devised by leading experts in collaboration with universities from across the world.
In this interactive session, we will demonstrate how to design online content to maximise student engagement and support a diverse student population, with examples from our Being Well, Living Well toolkit. We will also present case studies from our Support and Wellbeing programmes, followed by a discussion on how online courses can be effectively implemented and used as part of a blended approach to provide students with practical skills and build a supportive higher education community.
Luke Merchant, Widening Participation Officer, Cardiff University
Melissa Blees, ASC Project Officer, Cardiff University
Learners with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) can sometimes face barriers when trying to access higher education. This session gives an overview of how Cardiff University is supporting learners to overcome some of these barriers to access their studies. We will consider the student life cycle and how we support people with ASC before and throughout their time at university. This will be followed by a discussion to consider how to improve accessibility and the learning experience for students with ASC in higher education.
Julie Allen, Director of Policy and Services, UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)
Mental health of PhD students and supervisors, effectiveness of buddy programmes and supporting direct entry Chinese students: these are just some of the most recent projects and research topics which have been supported by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Grants Scheme to support innovation in international student support. Since 2015, UKCISA has provided funding for almost 60 pilot projects and research. Director of Policy and Services at UKCISA, Julie Allen will talk about the outcomes of the projects and research which highlight effective practice to support the international student experience and share recommendations for applying the learning at your institution.
Dr Michele Milner, Director of Learning and Wellbeing, Royal Veterinary College, in conjunction with Pearson
Moving to more proactive models of student self-management and away from reactive student support models (which often focus on students in crisis) requires support services to be accessible wherever and whenever students need to use them. This session looks at how the Royal Veterinary College is creating flexible opportunities for students to engage with various types of online support offerings. This whole university approach to developing inclusive wellness learning environments includes the use of third-party platforms such as Smarthinking and an in-house online extended induction.
Tom Simpson, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Oxford
Professor Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics, Birkbeck, University of London
Professor Alison Scott-Baumann, Professor of Society and Belief and Associate Director Research (Impact and Engagement), SOAS
Dr Maryyum Mehmood, Postdoctoral Researcher (Corridors of Power project),
Róisín McCallion, VP Welfare and Equal Opportunities, Oxford SU
Freedom of speech and academic freedom continue to feature prominently in public and political discourse with the new government making a manifesto commitment to strengthen academic freedom and free speech in universities.
This session will explore views on the state of free speech in universities, and how free speech can and should impact the student experience. We will hear from the authors of the recent Policy Exchange report into academic freedom which showed that students are divided over whether emotional safety or academic freedom are higher priorities, and what their data suggests universities should do in regards to freedom of speech in order to improve teaching and research, and the student experience. We will also hear about the impact of the Prevent agenda, and academic research into ways this may curtail free speech on campus. Finally we will hear the perspectives from a student union, the challenges that they have encountered when trying to make decisions affecting students with very different viewpoints, lessons they have learnt, and what other universities can learn from this.
Kaushika Patel, Interim PVC for Equality Diversity and Inclusion and Project Director: Decolonising DMU, De Montfort University
Decolonising DMU: Student Advisor, De Montfort University
The Decolonising DMU team invite participants to critique the reality of the anti-racist University. The team will disseminate how DMU moved beyond a project for closing the BAME attainment gap and the core tenets of the Race Equality Charter to focus upon decolonising the university. The team will share the challenges of developing and implementing a working definition for Decolonising the university. Finally, we will discuss the themes and the institutional approaches utilised in the process of decolonising, elevating Decolonising DMU from our existing Race Equality Charter action plan to one of fundamental culture and behavioural change.
This page is being continuously updated.
Former posts include Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research at Sussex University, Dean of Social Sciences of Health and Head of Geography at Durham University.
He was awarded a PhD in Geography from King's College London and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
His contribution to organisations includes the Natural Environment Research Council, Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
He sits on the Board of Midlands Innovation, a partnership between the Universities of Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick.
Honours and awards for research and teaching include:
· Cuthbert Peek Award, Royal Geographical Society
· Charles Lyell Award, British Association for the Advancement of Science
· Jan De Ploey Prize, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Rachel read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University followed by a PhD in Materials Engineering. She joined Loughborough in 1995 where she has been Head of Materials, then Dean of Engineering, before becoming Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching) in 2016. Rachel's research combines materials modelling and advanced experimental characterisation, working with industry to improve the efficiency, lifetime and environmental performance of metallic components used in power generation. Rachel has initiated many transformational projects, including leading the development of STEMLab, a £17M investment in shared science and engineering teaching laboratories, Loughborough's Digital Strategy, and a skills development programme for students. In 2018 she was selected as East Midlands Inspirational Female Leader of the Year and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
As Director of Policy, Chris Hale is responsible for the development and management of Universities UK's policy work, produced by a largely in-house team of programme managers, economists and analysts.
Before being appointed Director in 2015, Chris was Assistant Director of Policy at Universities UK and led on a number of areas of work including efficiency and effectiveness and the regulation of higher education. Chris has significant expertise in research policy, working as a policy adviser on this issue for Universities UK for a number of years.
Prior to working at Universities UK, Chris worked at the General Medical Council and holds a degree from the University of Sussex and MSc from University College London.
Manveer Gill is a 4th year Mathematics student at the University of Warwick, having recently spent a year studying in Italy, at the University of Padua. As a student Commissioner on the Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education, Manveer is working alongside fellow commissioners to plan and catalyse a sector-wide response to the climate emergency.
Part-time, he interns at CDP, with the Investor Initiatives team. CDP provides a global disclosure platform for companies, cities, states and regions to measure, disclosure, manage and share information on their environmental performance. Manveer works on a pilot project requesting environmental disclosures from unlisted, private companies, on behalf of their lenders or private equity owners.
Manveer is aspiring towards a career that will position him to be able to support the world's efforts to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts.
Professor Chris Day took up the role of Vice-Chancellor and President at Newcastle University on 1 January 2017. A Consultant Hepatologist with an international reputation in medical research, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has served on the Council of the Medical Research Council and the Executive of the Medical Schools Council. Professor Day was Chair of the Clinical Medicine Sub-Panel for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) Exercise.
Professor Day is currently Chair of the Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR), a member of the Universities UK Board and, for REF 2021, is Chair of the institutional environment pilot panel, dealing with the assessment of the research environment at institution level. Professor Day is a Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear.
Tracy Lumb is the Senior Alcohol Impact Manager for SOS, working alongside NUS (National Union of Students). Alcohol Impact is our whole-university programme designed to foster responsible drinking cultures for students. It is a strategic framework for partnership working between students' unions and institutions. The programme adopts social change theory; aiming to reduce harm and improve welfare, well-being and academic achievement – whilst creating more inclusive spaces and enhancing the student experience.
Before working for SOS, Tracy worked for 6 years in community drug and alcohol services coordinating the care for adults affected by drugs or alcohol.
Andrew is a Senior Programme Manager at Public Health England (PHE) and is responsible for the management of the organisation's work to support place based efforts to reduce the harms that individuals and communities experience from alcohol.
Prior to working for PHE Andrew worked with the Making Every Adult Matter coalition, which advocates for better policy and practice for adults with multiple disadvantage. He was the Director of Policy at DrugScope, and before that Director of Programmes with a drug and alcohol prevention charity.
He spent 9 years as a councillor in South East London, and has extensive experience in a range of voluntary positions in his local community.
Dr Jason Thomas is an Experimental Psychologist and Programme Director for Undergraduate Psychology at Aston University. Jason's work involves enhancing student engagement, particularly during sandwich years/years abroad. Jason firmly believes in following and developing pedagogical evidence to guide this process and is a keen adopter of digital technologies as a tool to enhance and sustain student engagement. He is also committed to identifying practical ways of breaking down barriers to make academia more accessible and inclusive for all students.
Leonie is a policy researcher for Universities UK, working across the research and innovation and skills teams. She currently focuses on projects relating to research integrity and open access, and is also conducting research into the future of degree apprenticeships.
Prior to joining Universities UK, Leonie worked as Project Lead at the Innovation Unit, a social enterprise specialising in radical social innovation and service design, where she led and developed the organisation's qualitative research methodologies across health, education and local government projects.
Leonie holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of London.
Naomi Wilkinson is Senior Commissioning Editor at Epigeum, part of Oxford University Press.
Collaborating with institutions around the world, Naomi is responsible for the strategic development of a portfolio of courses aimed at students in higher education, and is currently working on the Being Well, Living Well toolkit, to be published in May 2020. Naomi also oversees projects through their development process, including creating and testing potential course outlines and pedagogical approaches.
Luke Merchant is a Widening Participation Officer at Cardiff University, running programmes and events for young people from backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented in higher education. Part of his role involves running the Discovery Project, a programme for young people with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) between the ages of 14 and 19, which aims to give an insight into higher education and help equip participants with the skills needed to thrive at university; this is done through a combination of workshops, academic taster sessions and social events. The project includes fortnightly sessions between October and March, a bespoke open day and a residential summer school, all for young people with ASC.
Melissa is the ASC Project Officer within Cardiff University's Disability and Dyslexia Service. As part of Cardiff's Autism project, Melissa provides 1:1 support and has reviewed how the university supports students with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), including introducing the university to the assistive technology app Brain in Hand, development of a transition event and collaboration with other teams such as Careers, Discovery Project and the Students' Union with the aim of making higher education more accessible.
Melissa's previous roles include University Mentor for the National Autistic Society. ABA Therapist working with children through natural environment teaching and Barnardo's community support.
Michele W. Milner, Ph.D., PFHEA, is the Director of Learning
and Wellbeing at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, where she
leads a department providing academic enhancement and student support service
that aims to create
opportunities, spaces and learning experiences that are inclusive and
accessible. The department
seeks to develop teaching approaches that promote intellectual and emotional flexibility,
and to help students develop self-management skills in order to thrive during
their studies. Prior to joining RVC, Michele established the Centre for
Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the University of East London and led on
strategic projects on competency-based learning and one-device Mobile Learning.
Dr Maryyum Mehmood completed an ESRC-funded PhD studentship in the Department of War Studies, King's College London. Her thesis explores Antisemitism and Islamophobia through the target's lens. Prior to her PhD study, Maryyum received an MA in South Asia & Global Security (King's College London). Currently, she contributes to a range of research subjects in academic journals as well as international media outlets. Maryyum is also an advocate and youth mentor for interfaith.
She tweets @marymood.
Having completed an undergraduate degree in French and German, Róisín McCallion is the current Vice President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities at Oxford SU. She is an avid mental health campaigner, having frequently written and spoken on the topic of eating disorders, and also involved in LGBTQ+ and disabilities activism. A firm believer that lived experience should inform policy, Róisín wishes to continue her career fighting for social justice, taking particular interest in access to treatment for mental ill health.
Kaushika is the Interim Pro Vice Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at De Montfort University (DMU), and has been in academia since 2007.
Kaushika also formally mentors and coaches BME staff at DMU. As an academic Kaushika is keen to support BME staff to have a voice within their university – and the wider HE sector – and to have the opportunity to present their thoughts, ideas and solutions to effect change to make HE a more welcoming and inclusive environment to work in, where your identity is welcomed, valued and supported.
Kudakwashe Charmaine Marufu is a 3rd year student studying Education and Psychology. Her role within Decolonising DMU is to engage students across the University to share their thoughts and insights into the needs of BAME students and consider how we can ensure that BAME students can identify themselves in their curriculum and the environment within which they learn. These views are then relayed to lecturers and wider University staff to support changes in learning, teaching and assessment and to make the learning environment more welcoming for all students. Kudakwashe leads on student events which encourage students to bring conversations about race onto campus. They give students the opportunity to share their experiences, concerns and ideas on how to make DMU an anti-racist university.