20 Tavistock Square
Annette Cast, Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience; Dean of the College of Professional Services, University of East London
Professor Liz Barnes, Vice Chancellor, Staffordshire University
Professor Hanifa Shah, Executive Dean, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Build Environment, Birmingham City University
Professor Nick Morton, Associate Dean (Student Experience), Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Build Environment, Birmingham City University
Professor Robert Pritchard, CEO and Co-founder, Tandem Labs Limited
Anna Deacon, Student Widening Participation Advisor, York St John University
Runner up for the Guardian Award 2018 for Student experience
Like other institutions, York St John has seen an increase in trans students seeking visibility and support. In 2016/17 we set out on a journey to develop a trans-inclusive framework designed to ensure our community is as trans-inclusive as possible. Two years on we will reflect on the process, its outcomes, and how close we are to our goal of being a truly trans-inclusive university.
Participants can join us for this interactive session, wherever they are on their own journey to trans-inclusion, even if they haven't set out yet. We will discuss pitfalls and opportunities, quick-wins and practical tips to enable participants to develop a shared understanding of what becoming a trans-inclusive institution involves.
Natalie Cosgrove, Head of Student Life, University of Southampton
This session will look at the work Southampton University have been conducting around their 24 hour access to the student life team based within student accommodation and the positive outcomes they have had.
Dr Catherine Hack, Principal Adviser, Advance HE
Student retention is still a very prominent issue for all universities, especially when it comes to retaining those from widening access groups. This session will explore innovative ways of engaging and connecting with students to help improve chances of retention.
Yvonne Hawkins, Director of Teaching Excellence and Student Experience, Office for Students
Professor Liz Thomas, Liz Thomas Associates Ltd
This keynote address will consider how students feel when they are undertaking independent study outside of the classroom, especially when they are alone. Qualitative research[i] identified a range of negative emotions that result in procrastination, and when they are undertaking the study they often feel overwhelmed and anxious. These findings are further explored and confirmed through national research evidence from Australia[ii], and a similar study is being undertaken in the UK which will be reported here. Studiosity offers 24/7 academic support online, and offers one way of providing immediate support when students need it, and also develops students' capacity as independent learners to enable them to have skills and confidence to tackle future assignments. UK students who have used Studiosity will be available to answer questions about their experiences.
[i] Thomas, L., Hockings, C., Ottoway, J. and Jones, R. (2015) Independent learning: student perspectives and experiences, York: Higher Education Academy.
[ii] Studiosity (2018) 2018 National Student Survey. Wellbeing and study responses from Australian students. Sydney: Studiosity
Pippa Richards, Emotional Resilience Coordinator, University of the West of England (UWE)
On the UWE website resilience is defined as 'the ability to bounce back and positively manage challenges and adversity that you encounter throughout your life.'
During this session we will learn about the UWE initiative to embed resilience into the curriculum as a means of supporting mental health and wellbeing of students.
Tom Longbottom, President, Bart's and The London Students' Association (BLSA)
Lilian Jones, President, Sheffield Students' Union – invited
Mark Crawley, Dean of Students, University of the Arts, London –invited
Many student groups have university experiences which greatly differ from 'the norm'. These groups include those with high contact hours, or those who are required to work independently or off-campus for a large proportion of their course. This session will provide an opportunity to discuss different students experiences, and explore how to adapt your own strategies to build on your current student engagement.
This breakout session will look at the benefits that spending time abroad can have for students and how universities can better encourage a more diverse range of students to take up the opportunity. This session is particularly topical with potential changes to the UK's involvement in Erasmus following Brexit.
Dr Ben Calvert (Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Experience), University of South Wales
Matthew Fell, UK Policy Director, CBI – invited
Additional speakers to be confirmed
This panel will discuss the importance of adopting a flexible approach to learning and the positive outcomes it can have on improving the less traditional student experience.
Following the success of last year's event, Universities UK will bring together sector leaders to look at how to continue to enhance the student experience, especially in the current climate.
The conference is an opportunity for delegates to hear from and engage with experts as well as network with colleagues and speakers. You will walk away from the event with practical examples and policy updates to help you continue to improve your strategy.
This event is a must-attend for anyone with a responsibility for or interest in improving the student experience. Using a combination of keynote talks, panel discussions and breakout sessions delegates will have the opportunity to really engage with the important and pertinent issues currently facing the student experience.
Key topics will include:
This conference will be useful for staff who have responsibility for or play a part in any aspect of the student experience. Relevant job titles include:
Ann leads on a variety of projects to support students who are under-represented in the university population, or who may need additional support to succeed while they are at university. This includes care leavers, estranged students, asylum seekers, trans students, student carers and students who are in the first generation of their family to attend university.
In 2016-17 she worked with the University's Equality and Diversity Advisor to develop their Trans-inclusive Framework, designed to support staff and students to ensure our community is as trans-inclusive as possible.
Anna is the named contact in Student Services for all trans students, or students with a trans history.
Dr Catherine Hack is the Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching) with Advance HE with specialist expertise in the STEM disciplines.
Catherine has worked with a diverse range of UK and international Higher Education providers on key themes which aim to improve the student experience and outcomes.
Catherine is qualified to design and facilitate workshops using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) methodology. She has successfully facilitated interactive workshops using LSP and game-based learning, with a range of groups, from students to Vice-Chancellors.
Yvonne Hawkins, director of teaching excellence and student experience,
is responsible for the OfS’s work on teaching and learning (including the
Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework), student welfare and
safeguarding, and student protection and provider market exit strategies. She
also leads on value for money and student engagement.
Professor Liz Thomas is an independent researcher and consultant for higher education and Professor of Higher Education at Edge Hill University, UK. She has about twenty years' experience of undertaking and managing research about widening participation, student engagement, belonging, retention and success, and institutional approaches to improving the student experience and student outcomes. Liz is committed to using research evidence to improve student equity, experiences and outcomes. For example, Liz is working with the Equality Challenge Unit / AdvanceHE and 35 higher education institutions to improve access to higher education for students with protected equality characteristics. She directed the What works? Student retention and success programme (2008-2017) undertaking research with 22 universities and colleges, and using the learning to improve retention and success in 13 universities. Liz was a member of the research team examining higher education drop-out and completion in Europe looking at comparative conceptualisations of and policy interventions to improve study success in 36 European countries. Other research includes examining staff and student views of independent learning, and commuter students' engagement in higher education. Liz was a member of the Social Mobility Academic Reference Group convened by Universities UK to provide advice to the Minister of Higher Education on policy development, and since its inception, Liz has been an expert member of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) panel, recognising her expertise in student retention and success and learning and teaching; this year she contributed to the subject pilots. Liz is author and editor of ten books on widening participation and enhancing the student experience, and many journal articles and practitioner guides.
With a degree in Psychology and Postgraduate certificate in Counselling, Pippa is currently working with University of the West of England to develop a more Resilient university experience for students and staff as well as creating, delivering and managing workshops for current students to give them the tools to further build their Resilience. Pippa has adapted the standard seven skills of Resilience into three steps, which are; Self-Empowerment; Support; and Learning from Past Experiences.