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 Built Environment, Birmingham City University
Professor Nick Morton, Associate Dean (Student Experience), Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment, Birmingham City University
Professor Robert Pritchard, CEO and Co-founder, Tandem Labs Limited
Every student deserves to succeed, and every student journey is different. We will share how Birmingham City University and Tandem Labs have worked together to engage and support every student, on their terms - on the go, and on their smartphones.
We will show how a mobile app is being used to increase satisfaction during orientation, how fact based analytics are being used to nudge student behaviour throughout their academic journey, and how digital communication channels are enabling students to "say the unsayable" and ask for help at times of need
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
Martin Hand, Student Life Manager, University of Southampton
A brief overview of how the University of Southampton provide wellbeing support for students.
The session will discuss a risk-based approach to provision of services including:
• lower-level prevention activities aimed at developing a sense of community, increasing resilience and engagement, and improved education of common student issues
• mid-level targeted support, advice, and guidance for students facing specific difficulties
• specific interventions for high-risk students in crisis or requiring urgent support
The session will include insight into the development of the University of Southampton's support services over the past few years, including the triage process used to determine the most appropriate support for students, using a Solution-Focused approach to reduce waiting times, and the development of a 24/7 wellbeing service.
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)
all have Resilience skills that we develop over our life time, but quite
often we need extra support to keep building it and feel more
Self-Empowered and in control of your own life. During this session
we will learn about the UWE initiative to embed resilience into the curriculum,
why and how we improve student and staff Resilience, as a means of supporting
mental health and wellbeing of students. Since 2015 we have been working to
create a Resilient university four years later, we look back at the whole
Catriona Hanks, Outward Student Mobility Lead, Universities UK International
Katherine Allinson, Policy Researcher, Universities UK International
Research shows that graduates who go abroad during their studies get better degrees and better jobs. Studying, working or volunteering abroad while at university enables students to develop essential skills and broadens perspectives. In this interactive session, the UUKi Go International: Stand Out team will present research and case studies from across UK sector showing the multiple benefits for students going abroad and highlighting what works when delivering these activities.
Dr Ben Calvert (Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Experience), University of South Wales
Tom Longbottom, Vice-President, Barts and The London Students' Association
Dr Ben Calvert (Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Experience), University of South Wales
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:
Hanifa studied Computer Science as an undergraduate, has a PhD from Aston and a Masters from Cambridge. She has held lectureship, readership, professorship and executive leadership positions in Computing and Engineering departments at Aston, Staffordshire and BCU, and a Visiting Professorship at Manchester University. She also has several years' experience in industry including BT, Cadbury Schweppes and Britvic. Her wide-ranging experience of higher education spans teaching, research, enterprise and industry engagement combined with leading academic strategy development and organisational change. She has launched and driven a number of innovative initiatives over her career. Her work has helped to shape national and international thinking on work-based learning and university qualifications for IT Professionals through her work on transformational development programmes for large corporations and public sector organizations. Her commitment to the success of students and staff has led to her developing a cohesive approach to research, industry partnership, and teaching increasingly underpinned by a digital strategy. This provides a strong basis for an exciting student experience and employability alongside opportunities for staff to remain at the 'cutting-edge' of developments in fast-changing technical subjects.
Professor Nick Morton is an academic leader and educator based at Birmingham City University, currently Associate Dean with responsibility for academic quality and student outcomes across a large and diverse faculty, and formerly Head of BCU's Built Environment school. He is a National Teaching Fellow, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. As Associate Dean, Nick has oversight over all aspects of academic performance and learning experience throughout the student journey, from pre-arrival and induction, through retention and progression, and onto completion and graduate destinations, and has recently overseen a major curriculum transformation project. His current interests include projects designed to enhance student engagement and success; especially through the application of mobile technologies and development of peer-led reassessment strategies.
Rob is a Technologist and Visiting Professor. He has worked in the Consumer, Consulting and Higher Education sectors for over 25 years. During this time, he has been a technologist, a consultant, and a senior leader.
He has worked with numerous blue-chip companies and has developed deep expertise in the Consumer Business and Higher Education sectors. He has led major change programmes and strategic planning for large organisations across Europe, Asia and North America. He has worked with a number of UK universities to develop work-based learning programmes, provide senior leadership coaching, envision new strategies and design digital-first approaches.
In 2017, Rob co-founded Tandem Labs, a start-up that believes passionately that all students deserve to succeed, and that every student's journey is different. Tandem Labs launched the University Assistant platform in 2018 to help universities engage, support, and retain students on their terms – always on the go, and always on their smartphones.
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.
Natalie has an degree in Psychology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion and has worked at the University of Southampton for 8 years. Currently, Natalie manages the First Support and Counselling Service within Enabling Services and is also part of the management team for Student Life – the University's 24/7 wellbeing service.
Throughout her career, Natalie has worked with students in 1:1 and group settings, providing support for those in crisis or facing significant difficulties, as well as students with physical and mental health difficulties. Natalie also leads the University's work on tackling sexual violence
Martin has worked within Student Services at the University of Southampton for 6 years. This began as a night Residences Support Advisor, providing support for students in crisis and struggling to adapt to University life. Martin has since moved in to a managerial role and was integral in leading the launch of the University of Southampton's 24/7 wellbeing service, the Student Life team
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.
As Outward Student Mobility Lead at Universities UK International, Catriona Hanks has overview for the work UUKi does to aid and improve outward student mobility in the UK, leading on the UK's first outward student mobility campaign, Go International: Stand Out and managing a programme of research, capacity-building and advocacy. This campaign works in partnership with UK universities, employers, government and international partners to double the percentage of UK domicile students undertaking a period abroad during their undergraduate degree.
Prior to working for Universities UK International, Catriona studied and worked abroad across Europe and the US. She holds a Master's degree in International Economics and European Studies from the Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree in Music from the University of Oxford.
Dr Calvert began his academic life as a social scientist, gaining a first class honours at the University of Worcester. He completed his PhD in 2000, researching the popular financial press in Britain during the 1980s. He took his first teaching role at Birmingham City University in 1996, delivering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Media and Cultural Studies. He later moved to the University College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth, as Senior Lecturer in Media.
In 2002 he took up a position at the University of Gloucestershire, progressing from being a Course Leader to a Dean of Faculty; a post that he held for six years. As a Dean, Dr Calvert managed across a broad discipline base including Schools of Media, Humanities, Art and Design and Computing and Technology. Dr Calvert led a significant development of the curriculum leading to growth in student numbers, significant estates redevelopment, and was part of a team that secured Skillset Academy accreditation for the School of Media. Recently, he led an institutional approach improving student satisfaction in the Faculty and University, with positive results.
At the University of South Wales Dr Calvert has a brief to develop excellence in learning and teaching across the academic portfolio and to improve the experience of students. A critical part of that role is to develop a transformative approach to partnership with students that leads to real institutional change and builds their skills and capabilities. Dr Calvert is keen to develop relationships with key external partners who can work with University to build a reputation for the excellence and employability of our graduates.