AUA Annual Conference 2022
Programme and timings

Thursday, 7 July


10:30 to 11:50

Opening plenary

James Newby, CEO, NMITE

Fifteen years ago, a group of entrepreneurs, citizens and politicians asked themselves the question, ‘Now what?’.

Herefordshire was one of two counties without a higher education institution and as a result, there was an exodus of young people; the county’s age demographic was one of the highest in the country; and attracting talent was near to impossible.

Together they set up to ‘Shape the Future’ of their community, the country, and possibly, of the HEI sector. They would create the first green field ‘university’ in the UK in decades.

With a blank piece of paper, twenty-five million pounds of grant funding from government and a vision and mandate to disrupt higher education, the NMITE journey began early in 2018.

Fast forward to 2022, the question to answer is, was creating a new HEI from scratch the way forward? What are the lessons learnt from this journey? And as this nascent organisation moves forward, should it be asking itself ‘now what’ and be already ‘reshaping its future’?

About James
Prior to joining NMITE, James worked for the University of Surrey in a range of role involving the leadership of teams responsible for most non-academic aspects of the University’s activities including Estates, IT, Commercial Services, Community relations, Fundraising and Institutional Governance. In his final year at Surrey, he led an organisational change team to reshape the University to prepare it to meet the many challenges facing the Higher Education sector.

In addition to his role at Surrey, James has worked with other Higher Education institutions as an advisor on organisational change and as a trustee of their Students’ Unions. This combined his HE and governance experience with his desire to work closely with students to improve the universities they attended.

James specialises in organisational development and business change having worked with a number of organisations on restructuring projects. He is also a data compliance specialist so spent considerable time working on projects across the HE sector to prepare universities for the changes resulting from the introduction of the GDPR regulations in 2018.

Prior to joining the University sector, James worked in High Street retailing, splitting his time between working in operations for companies such as WH Smith Limited and running his own businesses.

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12:00 to 13:00

Working session one

Choose from one of ten sessions

Have you recently become a member of the AUA? Join us in this session to meet other new members, find out about how you can use the AUA to support your development, opportunities available and how get the most out of your membership.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Have met and networked with colleagues
– Know more about how to get the most out of their AUA membership

Speakers
Tbc

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration

The Department of Environment and Geography adopted a collaborative approach to leadership in 2019 – with clear accountabilities for both academic and professional services leaders and a team approach to problem solving. This has been hugely effective for rapid response to issues (for example, responding to the beginning of the Covid crisis) and for long term strategic planning (implementing a new vision and strategy, recruiting superstar staff, and persuading the University to develop a new £1m environmental sustainability academy). Drawing on the Department as a case study, we will discuss approaches to truly collaborative departmental leadership with academic colleagues and discuss techniques for making leadership team meetings a really valuable use of your time.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Understand the benefits of using a collaborative leadership approach alongside academic colleagues in Departments
– Define their accountabilities as professional services leaders within departments and their expectations of academic leaders
– Implement highly productive departmental leadership meetings using the IDS method

Speakers:
Sam Bayley, Head of Faculty Operations, University of York
Lucy Orange, Department Administration Coordinator, University of York

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Work cultures
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Legal | Student services | Governance | Quality | Equality and diversity | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

In society generally there is now a sharper focus on how we behave towards each other, particularly relating to sexual conduct, mutual respect, and understanding of differences whether they be cultural or in terms of opinions. This session aims to provide a constructive discussion of how policy, which can seem like a rather dry procedural matter, is an important statement of an HEI’s approach to the teaching and learning environment.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Understand the development of certain behaviour-related policy areas in HEIs and the reasons for this
– Learn from relevant examples and real-world cases in the sector, and apply that learning in their own workplaces
– Review and reappraise their understanding/application of policy and its effectiveness

Speakers
Simon Feegrade, Independent Consultant, Simon Feegrade Higher Education Consultancy

Session Format:
Group discussion

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Wellbeing
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Legal | Student services | Governance | Quality | Equality and diversity | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

In this session the team from Nottingham Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Doctoral Training Programme will explain how they developed, then launched their wellbeing service, events and training to Doctoral Training Programme students during the pandemic. The team will discuss how they worked together using their events and welfare experience to deliver a successful programme of training and support. This received high levels of engagement and excellent feedback from students.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Deliver events and training to support a cohort successfully online, with consideration for EDI
– Deliver high quality welfare support in an online format
– Consider how to develop new working practices in a hybrid world

Speakers
Mandy Gill, Project Officer, University of Nottingham
Sandra Rose, EDI & Welfare Officer, University of Nottingham
Alice Haslam, EDI & Welfare Officer, University of Nottingham

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Wellbeing

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | Events | Equality and diversity

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management

COVID-19 is bound to have a significant impact on conventional modes of internationalisation. Using the early conclusions of the AUA’s Virtual Study Tour to investigate UK/Greece transnational education, this session will consider how TNE and online interaction will change the practice of internationalisation of UK universities.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Describe and explain to colleagues the most significant features of HE internationalisation and how these are changing as COVID has an impact on international travel and dialogue
– Describe and explain to colleagues the key features of interaction between UK universities and Greek counterparts
– Understand key structural issues and components in Greek HE – the relationship between the public and private sectors

Speakers
David Law, Academic Director: Global Partnerships, Keele University

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Professional development

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | Governance | Quality | Planning | Marketing | International | General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | Mid-level management

In this session we will reflect on some of the key principles for ‘post-Covid’ ways of working based on research carried out with a number of universities across the UK, and findings from beyond the HE sector.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Reflect on different approaches to post-Covid ways of working and consider elements that would work for their institutions taking into account their existing culture and practice
– Describe a number of core principles to ensure successful ways of working to meet service requirements post-Covid
– Put their experience into context and consider what needs to change

Speakers
Fola Ikpehai, Principal Consultant, SUMS Consulting

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Quality | Equality and diversity | Teaching and learning | General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

Kelli Wolfe and Hugh Jones share the inside track on their mentoring relationship, to enable participants to understand more about the benefits of mentoring, and to give them the confidence to explore whether mentoring – either as a mentee or a mentor – is the right thing for them.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Understand more about mentoring and how it can benefit their professional practice and development
– Understand how mentoring works from the perspective of the person being mentored (the mentee)
– Understand how mentoring works from the perspective of the mentor

Speakers
Kelli Wolfe, Registry Manager, Roehampton University
Hugh Jones, Senior Consultant, Hugh Jones Consulting

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Professional development

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Student services | Governance | Events | Quality | Research | Planning | Marketing | Equality and diversity | International | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration | Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

This workshop offers a hands-on opportunity for delegates to develop together a quality student forum prototype. Bring your experience, ideas, professional expertise, knowledge of local and international practices and eagerness for peer dialogue and quality enhancement. In turn, you will take home not only words and ideas, but also an innovative practical tool for quality enhancement in HEIs. Importantly, you will gain a professional peer network with whom to continue supporting one another and work together towards the implementation of this initiative in your HEI. If this interactive workshop interests you, come along, no matter whether you are a quality assurance/quality enhancement professional, a general administrator or mid-management staff member and regardless of your seniority level.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Use the collectively identified key features of an effective and inclusive student quality forum as a foundation for setting up this initiative within their institution
– Continue the dialogue and collaboration established during this dialogical session and support each other in the phases of implementation and review of the student quality forum at their respective institutions
– Produce clear and collectively-articulated statements concerning key aspects of quality and student engagement in HE institutions in their daily practices

Speakers
Silvia Brandi, Quality Enhancement Advisor, University College Cork
Marie O’Regan, Senior Executive Assistant, Quality Enhancement Unit, University College Cork

Session Format:
Group discussion

Conference stream(s):
Working practices

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Quality

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management

*Session description subject to slight change*
This session will explore the roles and responsibilities of being a Director of Quality or similar role in UK Higher Education. It will look at how the role interacts at a senior level and the conflicting demands on the post holder.

Through looking at two personal experiences it will explore the potential routes to becoming a Director of Quality. Through that lens it will also consider career and professional development in general and participants will be encouraged to consider what their next steps might be to developing their career further.

The style of the session is discursive, with some information sharing and group discussion as well as considering some case studies and CVs.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
-Consider what their next steps might be in developing their career towards becoming a Director of Quality
– Explain techniques for evaluating ones own skills and experiences against a potential future role
– Explain the role of a Director of Quality and its place in an institution

Speakers
Pearl Slater, Head of Academic Governance and Policy, Bath Spa University
Sarah Plumeridge, University of Brighton

With dramatic demographic, technological, and consumer behaviour shifts under way, how much higher education respond? This thought-provoking session considers how far and how fast higher education might evolve – and how to rethink institutional strategy and planning in response. We will rely on the concept of ‘future visioning’ as a way to avoid the trap of incremental thinking, profiling distinct visions for the future of HE using evidence-based examples.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Identify ‘signals of the future’ happening around them and how they might influence their own institutions
– Gather signals of the future into forecasts and scenarios of plausible futures to spark discussion and debate
– Proactively avoid the ‘here and now’ fallacy that keeps organisations focused on the present when planning for the future

Speakers
Gary Guadagnolo, Director of Research, EAB

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | Planning | Teaching and learning | General administration

This session is aimed at:
General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

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13:00 to 14:00

Lunch, networking and exhibition



14:00 to 14:45

Panel session

What now? Shaping our future.
Has the environmental sustainability of our institutions been forgotten during the pandemic?

Panel chair:
Dame Shirley Pearce, AUA Honorary President

Panellists:
Rachel Soper, Senior Project Manager, SOS-UK
Andrew Burgess, Director of Estates, Facilities and Commercial Services, Lancaster University
Sally McGill, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, Staffordshire University
Professor Christopher Linton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Loughborough University
Manveer Gill, Project Officer, CDP



14:45 to 15:15

PgCert award ceremony



15:15 to 15:45

Refreshment break, networking and exhibition



15:45 to 16:45

Working session two

Choose from one of ten sessions

This group discussion will look at the challenges we are facing leading non teaching/professional services teams balancing the expectations of our students with the expectations with our staff. The promise of dynamic working was very attractive to many staff who are professional services staff but depending on the specific role it is not always possible either as desired, or possible at all. We have to lead our teams as we navigate through these new challenges. This session will look at where we are now compared to where we were in in September 2021 and discuss what the challenges have been and how we have met them through the lens of enhancing the student experience, providing value for money for our students and maintaining staff morale.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Have an understanding of many of the challenges managers and their teams have been facing this academic year
– Get the best from their staff whilst ensuring the student experience is at the heart of service improvements/changes
– Ensure that students feel they are receiving an excellent student experience from the professional and support services at their institutions

Speaker:
Alison Levey, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor Students, Aston University

Session Format:
Group discussion

Conference stream(s):
Work cultures
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | Equality and diversity | International | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

This session will look at: Why you should consider writing for a journal; What you might write about for a professional journal; How you set about writing for a journal. There will be opportunity for participants to draft ideas for an article or to discuss something that they have already prepared.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Understand the personal and career benefits of writing for publication
– Examine events and experiences in their professional lives that might form the basis for a journal article
– Feel confident about setting out, and submitting, a journal article

Speakers:
Bland Tomkinson, Editor, Perspectives: policy and practice in higher education

Session Format:
Workshop with introductory talk

Conference stream(s):
Professional development

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Student services | Governance | Events | Quality | Research | Planning | Marketing | Equality and diversity | International | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration | Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior managemen

This session will be an insight into how Academic Voice works within Students’ Unions and ways of using this structure to get an insight into the student voice around your area of administration as well as how to start working with your Students’ Union to get a more diverse student experience when actively investigating student opinions.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Have a better understanding of student voice systems in Students’ Unions outside of sabbatical officers
– Learn from current practices of incorporating student voice into administrative departments
– Develop an initial personal action plan around how to start incorporating student voice within delegates’ departments

Speakers:
Ashley Storer-Smith, Academic Voice & Policy Manager, Warwick Students’ Union

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | Governance | Quality | Teaching and learning | General administration | Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management

How good will you feel to get some of your steps for the day done, whilst building your professional network! Come netwalking with us to Whitworth Park, for a Covid-friendly change from the usual networking encounters, whilst we stretch our legs, share our learning from the conference and take time to get to know a few more people.

Speakers
Sara Corcoran, Co-chair, ODHE Network
Sophie Lovejoy, Administrator, ODHE Network

Session Format:
Walk

Conference stream(s):
Professional development
Wellbeing

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Student services | Governance | Events | Quality | Research | Planning | Marketing | Equality and diversity | International | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration | Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

Want to know more about the history that shaped our present and our future? This session will cover founding moments, transformations, and battles (real ones and academic tussles). Useful for people new to the sector or a chance to join the dots on how we got here. There will be quizzes.

By the end of the session delegates will…

– Engage with key aspects of the history of higher education in Britain
– Understand the historical background to current policy debates
– Understand how the HE sector has changed through history

Speakers
Mike Ratcliffe, Academic Administrator, HE Blogger and Historian

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration

The Covid-19 pandemic brought an end to large scale gatherings, including Graduation ceremonies, leaving many students feeling deflated and without an opportunity to celebrate their achievements. For some, events were cancelled, for others postponed, and some celebrated online. At the University of Suffolk students were invited to mark their achievement in a different way focusing on an on-campus, personalised experience. The success of these events has set out a new way of graduating in the future.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Reflect on the range of ways in which student achievements can be marked, managing and balancing the expectations and needs of different stakeholders
– Consider approaches to managing resources and budgets in uncertain and changing circumstances
– Feel better equipped to work in different ways, whether this is planned or in response to an emergency situation

Speakers
Laura Pennie, Deputy Academic Registrar, University of Suffolk

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Working practices

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

This session examines the experiences of professional services staff along the spectrum of organisational structures from highly centralised to highly devolved, and how individuals can navigate the complexities and challenges inherent in each type. The session will explore the pros and cons of centralised and localised service structures, the organisational pressures which may dictate the model employed in an institution, and the implications for organisational culture, working relationships and individual effectiveness.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Recognise why universities may be more centralised or devolved in their structures, and the advantages and disadvantages of each structure type
– Understand the implications of power dynamics for the roles and experiences of professional services staff on campus, and how they are perceived by their colleagues
– Identify approaches and ways of working that can help to bridge the divide between centrally and locally-based colleagues and services

Speakers:
Thea Gibbs, Director of Operations, UCL

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Governance | General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

This session looks at Newcastle University’s new approach to statutory reporting (in the context of Gender Pay Gap reporting), and how looking at data through an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lens can improve understanding of pay gaps beyond gender, and the contribution of workforce composition to pay gaps. It will be co-led by professionals who have experience of working in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion space, as well as statutory reporting and compliance.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Understand what intersectional pay gap reporting is
– Identify how their organisation could develop an intersectional approach to pay gap reporting
– Identify the data they require for intersectional pay gap reporting, and how they can use it to develop targeted actions

Speakers:
Malasree Home, Race Equality and Accreditations Advisor, Newcastle University
Freya Douglas-Oloyede, EDI Advisor, Newcastle University

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Equality and diversity

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

*Session description subject to slight change*

This session aims to provide an understanding of what the Network Coordinators and Advocate roles are all about – ways to expand your networks, enthuse your colleagues and contribute to the wider AUA community.

These roles help the AUA with its vision of working collectively, sharing knowledge and understanding. If you’re looking for a way to boost your CV, get more inspiration from across your institution and beyond, and be part of growing a positive network where you work, then you might consider becoming a network coordinator or advocate. In this session, we’ll explore how role holders get to bring their own ideas, work with other members across other institutions and see them come to life and make a difference. We’ll share experiences and ideas of how you can create innovative, networking opportunities, expand your own portfolio, and help people discover their next HE steps together again post-pandemic.

Speakers:
Mita Mondal (AUA South Network Coordinator), Quality Assurance and Accreditations Manager, University of Kent
Natalia Crisanti ( AUA Advocate), Student Engagement and Communications Officer, Student Services, University of Kent

Session Format:

Conference stream(s):
Professional development
Leadership Work cultures
This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Student services | Governance | Events | Quality | Research | Planning | Marketing | Equality and diversity | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

During this session you will imagine that you have travelled in the Equantiis time-machine 5-10 years from now. The challenges and obstacles that you face today have disappeared and the experience for your students and staff has completely transformed for the better. You are so excited that you are compelled to write a postcard back to your current state self to say how wonderful everything is, including: How daily working practices and culture has changed?
How you’ve overcome key problems?
The most exciting improvements and key successes?
How the student experience has changed and what are they saying about your organisation?

Like any seasoned time traveller, you may also want to send back instructions, top tips or warnings of things to look out for. Our Higher Education experts will of course be on hand throughout.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Gain insight into their own aspirations and the expectations of all the stakeholders associated with their institute without the limitations of “reality”
– Learn how to use our simple tool and can readily take it back to their institution to use in groups. This is useful when a strategy is still in development or when they need to refresh their future direction. During this session delegates will also hear from their peer Institutions which will help to stimulate thinking
– Carry out any requirements gathering with stakeholders who are now united behind a future-thinking vision

Speakers:
Melody Askari, Director, Business and Digital Consulting – Education, Equantiis
Janine Chasmer, Managing Consultant, Equantiis

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Student services | Governance | Events | Quality | Research | Planning | Marketing | Equality and diversity | International | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
Mid-level management | Senior management

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Friday, 8 July


09:30 to 10:15

Keynote sessions

Choose from one of 4 keynote lectures

Aidan will present a summary of the latest findings on student expectations and motivations from research undertaken with the student body at the University of Leeds. This includes both primary data gathered directly from the student body and secondary data from a range of literature and sources used to inform this work. This research is for the purposes of future planning for Leeds University Union and identifies the priority work required to address strategic impact. Aidan will propose how the role of the students’ union might be developing in response to these findings and discuss what this might mean for work alongside other University professional services. 

About Aidan
Aidan has worked at the University of Leeds for 20 years, firstly as the Director of Membership Services & Development and for the last 12 years as Chief Executive of Leeds University Union. Prior to Leeds he held roles in Further Education and the students’ union at York St. John University. Aidan has served on the National Union of Students Board during a period of turnaround and restructure where he chaired the Finance & Audit Committee. Aidan is in his final term as Governor of Leeds Trinity University where he also chairs the Academic Assurance and Student Experience Committee. Outside Education Aidan is also Chair of Trustees for the Huddersfield Town AFC Foundation and a member of the UK Territory Advisory Board for The Salvation Army. Amongst his voluntary commitments the most important is that he is a Coach/Helper with Norristhorpe Juniors FC Under-10s. 

More than ever, it is important for leaders to grapple with the impact of their emotions, for themselves and for the people that they lead.  In particular, to understand what keeps them afloat and what threatens their buoyancy; and how they impact (intentionally or otherwise) on the emotional energy of others around them. These questions were important ones before the onset of the covid-19 pandemic; since then they have had even greater salience.  This session will explore how greater awareness of the impact of emotions can be powerful in leading change in difficult, uncertain times.  It draws from my personal experience as a senior leader in the University of Edinburgh; and my recent research on the impact of emotions and emotional energy on senior leaders in Universities and Government. 

About Sarah
Sarah Smith is Vice-Principal, Strategic Change and Governance; and University Secretary at the University of Edinburgh.  Sarah leads the professional services group within the University that is responsible for a range of staff, student and external services, including human resources, student services, communications, recruitment and admissions, international, legal and development and alumni.  Sarah also has a cross-University responsibility for strategic thinking; and for governance.  Sarah is a qualified Advanced Executive Coach and has recently completed the Executive Masters in Change at Insead.  Before joining the University of Edinburgh, Sarah was a senior policy official in both Scottish and UK Governments, working in areas as diverse as international negotiations, international development, children and young people’s services and strategy.  She was also Head of Policy Profession for Scottish Government. 

In his keynote address, Graeme will provide an update on the Teaching Excellence Framework. This session will provide a recap on the proposals for the future TEF framework and outline key themes emerging from responses to the consultation. Graeme will also discuss next steps in finalising the framework and preparing for implementation.

About Graeme
Graeme is the Head of TEF and Skills at the Office for Students (OfS). He oversees the development and implementation of this new scheme for assessing the quality of teaching in UK higher education. Before transferring to the OfS in 2018, Graeme worked at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), focusing on the evaluation of both teaching and research in UK higher education. He managed the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, from the initial pilot exercises through to its completion. Prior to that he led HEFCE’s teaching quality assessment functions from 2001-06. This included reviewing the QAA audit method, setting up the National Student Survey, and developing new sources of student information about teaching quality. Graeme was also Head of Health Education Policy in 2015. Before joining HEFCE, he undertook a PhD in History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

Why is there a lack of ethnic diversity in senior leadership positions and does it matter?
 
This session will explore ethnic diversity in higher education.  It will raise questions and challenges as to why there is a lack of diversity and how we can reshape our future to be more inclusive.

About Patrick
Patrick became Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the University of Law in January 2021 after working for 20 years at the University of Manchester.

He is a member of the University Executive Board and has specific responsibility for EDI, Student Support and Widening Participation.
Patrick has worked in EDI for the last 15 years and has been an active member of the HE community, collaborating with a wide range of institutions and supporting sector wide groups. He was a:

· Board member at the Equality Challenge Unit (now part of Advance HE) for six years
· Deputy Chair of the Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel, Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
· Advisor and member of the Diversity Steering group at the Wellcome Trust
· Member of the Minister of State for Universities Diversity in Research and Innovation Committee

Patrick is currently a Commissioner with the Disabled Students’ Commission, an independent and strategic group that advises, informs and influences higher education providers to improve support for disabled students.

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10:15 to 10:45

Refreshment break, networking and exhibition



10:45 to 11:45

Working session three

Choose from one of ten sessions

The session is aimed at professionals in quality assurance and standards, those in administrative and managerial roles and academics involved in teaching, learning, and assessment strategy development and implementation in higher education. The talk will focus on three key aspects:

• QAA’s vision for developing inclusive learning subject communities through the review of Subject Benchmark Statements (SBS).
• QAA’s approach to build inclusive subject learning communities through SBS review process.
• Support for higher education sector to build inclusive subject learning communities. E.g. QAA resources.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Have an enhanced understanding of vision and approach for QAA’s on-going review of subject benchmark statements
– Explore opportunities for participation in next round of reviews in 2022-2023 and onwards
– Share their suggestions and inputs on the work QAA Membership is currently developing and delivering

Speaker:
Andy Smith, Quality and Standards Manager, QAA
Amrita Narang, Quality Enhancements and Standards Specialist, QAA

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Wellbeing
Work cultures
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Quality | Equality and diversity | Teaching and learning

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

In a world where some can be quick to complain, are universities doing enough to use student complaints as a form of feedback? Based on research into the complaint-making behaviours of students at one University, this discussion group will consider institutional attitudes to student complaints, what they can tell us about our students, and how we can use the information they provide to enhance services and the student experience. There will be opportunities to consider complaints in an institutional context, but also to focus in on the behaviours and experiences of different groups of students, in particular students from a widening participation background. Finally, we will consider what impact, if any, the pandemic has had on student complaints and make predictions for how this will inform our practice in the future.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Understand key consumer complaint behaviour theories and how these might apply in today’s higher education setting
– Share good practice and glean ideas from others regarding the effective handling of student complaints and effectively utilising these as a form of feedback
– Consider practical steps they may take back to their own organisation, including opportunities to explore institutional data or changes to process and practice

Speaker:
Laura Pennie, Deputy Academic Registrar, University of Suffolk

Session Format:
Group discussion

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Quality

This session is aimed at:
General administration | Mid-level management

A deep dive, interactive exploration focussed on where we have been, where we are now, and where we need to be to meet new challenges and opportunities as the landscape of Higher Education continues to evolve. This is a hands-on, interactive session where we are going to focus on Agile working, staff wellbeing at work, digital practice and new ways of working. We will introduce scenario planning, design thinking and some other take away tools and strategies that delegates cab use in their roles, as well as food for thought in terms of skills development and areas of focus for the next 5 years.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Gain confidence around emerging working practices and be able to understand the basics to develop further and experiment in their own roles
– Apply design thinking tools to assist them when identifying problems and creating solutions
– Consider the importance of staff wellbeing and team diversity to enable long-term resilience and sustainability

Speakers:
Jennifer Robertson, Head of Service Design, University of Glasgow
Lee Carlton, Senior Business Analyst and Service Designer, University of Glasgow

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | Governance | Planning | Registry | General administration | Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

During the session, you will have the opportunity to understand our motivations in becoming AUA branch advocates wanting to add value to our network. We will share an overview of our CPD session plans and allow time for attendees to ask questions about the content and purpose and how this might be adapted and used at your institution.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Work towards strengthening their AUA branch network by bringing colleagues together and empowering each other to progress their CPD journey
– Use peer learning to support colleagues in demystifying CPD tools and see how they can be used effectively alongside the AUA CPD Framework
– Develop and deliver a series of CPD workshops which lead towards a final goal such as AUA accreditation and the creation of a PDP

Speakers
Bridget Williams, Assistant Faculty Registrar, Coventry University
Samima Hussain, Operations Support Manager, Coventry University
Rosella Brennan, Head of Registry Services, Arden University

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Professional development
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Student services | Governance | Events | Quality | Research | Planning | Marketing | Equality and diversity | International | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
Mid-level management | Senior management

Science backs up what we intuitively know; getting out into nature is good for our wellbeing, and yet you might be surprised just how good. Did you know that nature can restore our capacity for attention and walking can boost creativity? Find out how you can bring nature into your own working practice in this interactive session.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Understand the benefits of working in and with nature
– Enhance their wellbeing, creativity and focus through taking their thinking outside
– Draw on seasonal coaching questions to support the development of themselves and others

Speakers
Sophie Lovejoy, Director, Thinking Outside
Sara Corcoran, Director, Thinking Outside

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Wellbeing
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
General administration | Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

Do you have a strategy but don’t know how to deploy it? Or do you get handed KPIs or Targets and need to know how to track progress? This session will give you some practical tools about how to identify the benefits of achieving your strategy and how to track these so your entire team can align activity to strategy and been engaged with it.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Track action through to strategy
– Know what a benefit is and how to track the measurement of them
– Know how an alignment matrix could be used to align activity within an organisation

Speakers
Luke Phillimore, Senior Lean Practitioner, University of Nottingham

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Student services | Governance | Events | Quality | Research | Planning | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
Mid-level management | Senior management

In September 2021 we began a hybrid working pilot whereby the whole team (50+ people) were on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays at least, with additional principals for home working and diary management introduced outside of those times. This session gives an evidenced based overview of this student-centred pilot, including its successes, challenges and evolution.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Better lead their change processes and personnel issues that arise from introducing new working models
– Adapt their own hybrid working policies after hearing from peers across the sector
– Better consider the needs of students when designing and updating their hybrid working models

Speakers
Emma Moore, Director of Careers and Employability, University of Liverpool
Paul Gratrick, Head of Operations, University of Liverpool

Session Format:
Group discussion

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services

This session is aimed at:
General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

Wonkhe associate editor Sunday Blake will attempt to cut through the political noise to identify the core policy questions that shape the role of higher education in contemporary society, how they are playing out in policymaking, and what the implications might be for the future of the sector and university activities. This session will also encourage you to think about your own perspective and values on these core questions, and how you can engage in the wider policy debate.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Think about their practice from the perspective of national and local policymakers
– Consider their own perspective on core HE challenges
– Know how to contribute their own view to the debate via Wonkhe

Speakers
Sunday Blake, Associate Editor, Wonkhe

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
General administration | Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

Are you fed up of being pigeon holed solely as an Administrator? Do you want to contribute to shaping the future of the AUA whilst building your network? Are you a budding writer or creative mind that can share your story with the AUA community? If so…then this session is for you!

Join us in this unique session to connect with other members of the AUA community, to contemplate what being a member of the AUA means to you and how this can be reflected in the AUA’s latest digital publication. Development Monthly #develop, shares highlights from the AUA, with the knowledge and skills of our membership and stakeholder community, plus best practice from the sector and beyond. Just as the HE landscape evolves, our approach must evolve to reflect the diversity, adaptability, and expertise of our community. This reflective session will encourage you think about your own personal development journey so far, the purpose of Development Monthly and how we can shape a digital offering that would benefit Professional Staff across the HE Sector. We want to hear your thoughts, opinions and ideas on content published so far and to feed into the future of Development Monthly. Part of the session will involve working together in smaller groups to develop and create an output that captures your feedback and thoughts taking the AUA’s values and behaviours into account. You can expect to have fun, connect with others in your groups, have space for reflection and the opportunity to feedback forward your thoughts in a variety of ways. We hope this will be a relaxed and informal session during which participants can get to know one another better whilst letting us know what they would like to see in future editions of Development Monthly.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Understand what Development Monthly currently is, what it aims to become, and why it exists
– Build their professional networks whilst feeding into future editions of the digital publication
– Reflect on their personal development journeys and work together to create something that captures group feedback, which will be used to continue to develop the publication

Speakers
Chiara Singh, Institute Development Associate, Jean Golding Institute, University of Bristol
Mark Hollingsworth, Director of Registry and Academic Affairs, University of Birmingham

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Professional development
Work cultures

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Student services | Governance | Events | Quality | Research | Planning | Marketing | Equality and diversity | International | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration | Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

The session will look at the global move to digital awards, and how provision of digital credentials supports students in achieving employment for industrial placements, as graduates or as post grad researchers, while benefitting universities through streamlined working practices and reduced academic fraud.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Explain how digital awards improve the employability of students, graduates and post-grads
– Understand how digital awards reduce the costs of alumni verifications for both university and alumni
– Understand how digital awards can reduce the rate of academic fraud and consequently, the risk of reputational damage

Speakers
Phillip Dupont, Business Development Manager, Qualification Check Ltd.
Phoebe Taschner-Baldwin, Business Development, Qualification Check Ltd.

Session Format:
Group discussion

Conference stream(s):
Working practices

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | International | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Senior management

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11:45 to 12:45

Lunch, networking and exhibition



12:45 to 13:45

Working session four

Choose from one of ten sessions

How can you effect culture change if you don’t understand your starting point, or clearly articulate the desired culture? Come and unpack your institutional culture using Johnson and Scholes’ Cultural Web model and understand how it can be used to support change.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Navigate the Johnson and Scholes model and apply it
– Use the model to explore differences between institutions and similarities across the sector
– Appreciate the model’s relevance in processes of organisational change

Speakers:
Sara Corcoran, Co-chair, ODHE Network
Sophie Lovejoy, Administrator, ODHE Network

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Work cultures
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Equality and diversity | General administration | Other

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior Management

Pandemic pressures challenged our Student Education Service team to rapidly change our working practices, communications, team culture and leadership approaches. This session will share our approach to leading, developing, and supporting our management team as we go through the process of occupying new campus spaces and adopting a hybrid working model. You will have the opportunity to discuss and share your own experiences as we work through our model.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Describe the approach taken with a management team to deliver major service change across two faculties and the opportunity that navigating through a global pandemic has provided
– Clearly articulate challenges and successes experienced in the approach to implementing hybrid working
– Identify elements of the described approach that you may be able to apply in your own work

Speaker:
Charlotte Armstrong, Student Education Operations Manager, University of Leeds

Session Format:
Group discussion

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | Teaching and learning | General administration

This session is aimed at:
Mid-level management

We are living in VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) times; this has been exacerbated with the pandemic of the in the last two years. We have to learn to adapt to a new normal. This session hopes to give a positive spin on VUCA, from a South African perspective. While South Africa has its own uniqueness and challenges but it also has a lot in common with the rest of the world and other HEIs. By learning to recreate ourselves we learn new hybrid ways of administering and developing flexible administrative systems and enhancing our own professional practices in a diverse society and culture.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Understand the impact the pandemic had on the professional services in HEIs in South Africa, what they did to cope with the challenges they faced, and what they are doing now to better equip themselves for the evolving and volatile times we live in
– Get a perspective on how to take negative experiences and turn them around to work for them in a way that will assist them in achieving their goals and finding fulfilment in their roles
– Be open to finding new ways to carry out tasks, to evolve and embrace changes that will allow them to move into the future with the new generation of students, stakeholders, and a new HEI ethos

Speaker:
Ranithadevi Ramdeyal, Manager for Academic Services in the College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu – Natal – (UKZN)

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Professional development
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | Planning | Equality and diversity | International | General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management

Delegates will learn and practise a variety of meditation and mindfulness techniques via demonstration, online resources and straightforward short practice sessions, with opportunity for questions and feedback.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Promote and support their own wellbeing and resilience through the practice of simple mindfulness, meditation and breathing techniques
– Develop an awareness of where stress and tension are held and practice straightforward techniques to release them
– Undertake a short mindfulness practice and a longer meditation practice

Speakers
Amanda Ostermann, Interim Registry Project Manager, University of East London

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Wellbeing

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Finance | Legal | Student services | Governance | Events | Quality | Research | Planning | Marketing | Equality and diversity | International | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

Working from home during 2020/21 has meant adapting the way we work and communicate – not only within our own teams but across our employing institution and the sector as a whole. This adaption hasn’t always been consistent or connected so how could we have approached it differently to make life easier for ourselves? This session will provide a question-based framework for thinking through what we did and how potentially we could have done it better, enabling participants to further enhance their current working practices.
The interactive nature of the session will allow delegates to actively question and respond to challenge of their own working practices as well as allowing them space to think through how their office practice impacts their ‘outside’ life.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Use the Stop, Start, Continue, Change framework to review their working practices
– Understand how to effectively question their own and others’ working practices by starting to understand processes of managing/directing team workload and resources (for those aspiring to management roles)
– Reflect on how they might ‘leave’ the office at the end of the day to concentrate on life outside work

Speaker:
Lara McCarthy, Head of Governance Secretariat, University of Oxford
Alison Benson, Strategic Planning Manager (Governance), University of Leicester

Session Format:
Interactive workshop

Conference stream(s):
Working practices
Wellbeing

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Governance | Planning | Teaching and learning | General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management

A number of strengths and vulnerabilities were uncovered as institutional leaders responded to operating during a global crisis. As we look to the future, institutions must resist the urge to return to business as usual, but should center their planning on executing strategies that support success moving forward. This session will focus on highlighting some of the current challenges faced by higher education leaders and will provide recommendations for recalibration, including implementation of protocols that augment equity and agility.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Identify some of the challenges that directly impact their work or the work of their teams
– Consider how policies impact people differently based on different circumstances
– Think beyond the present as they prepare proactive action plans

Speakers
Tina DeNeen, Associate Executive Director, AACRAO

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Leadership

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
General administration

This session is aimed at:
Mid-level management | Senior management

The session will explore the roles and responsibilities of being an Academic Registrar or similar role in UK Higher Education. It will look at how the role interacts at a senior level and the conflicting demands on the post holder.

Through looking at two personal experiences it will explore the potential routes to becoming an Academic Registrar. Through that lens it will also consider career and professional development in general and participants will be encouraged to consider what their next steps might be to developing their career further.

The style of the session is discursive, with some information sharing and group discussion as well as considering some case studies and CVs.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Consider what their next steps might be in developing their career towards becoming an Academic Registrar
– Explain techniques for evaluating ones own skills and experiences against a potential future role
– Explain the role of an Academic Registrar and its place in an institution

Speakers
Jim Irving, University Secretary and Registrar, Solent University
Fiona Fisk, Academic Registrar, University of Suffolk

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Professional development

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
Student services | Governance | Quality | Planning | International | Teaching and learning | Registry | General administration

This session is aimed at:
Mid-level management | Senior management

Following the recent restructure of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, this presentation will tell the story of how we engaged with Professional Services (PS) colleagues to design an administrative development survey, working in partnership with National Training Development Centre (NTDC), to capture the skills and development needs of colleagues to shape a Professional Services of the future. The survey, which we believe is the first of its kind in the sector, achieved an amazing 75% response rate and has allowed us to build a comprehensive learning and development plan which provides greater alignment to the new Faculty vision and allows us to address existing inequities in access to training and development.

By the end of the session delegates will be able to…
– Learn from the Director of Faculty Operations & Strategic Change Manager from Newcastle University about the case for change which led to the creation of the survey and learn directly from NTDC on the practicalities of how designing and running a survey suitable for professional service colleague
– Understand how we embarked upon a skills gap analysis which: 1) led to the design of a comprehensive learning and development plan, 2) has been used to inform the re-design of our PS service offer and will compliment workforce planning, 3) aims to maximise use of existing skills and talents and unlock the potential of the PS colleagues empowering them to take control of their learning and development.
– Learn from the team’s experiences, learnings and reflections of how we navigated these changes in an uncertain and fluid environment with the challenges and impact of COVID-19 and other major disruptions

Speakers
Katharine Rogers, Director of Faculty Operations, Newcastle University
Tracey Charlton, Strategic Programme and Change Manager, Newcastle University
Jared Carnie, Operations Manager and Skills Audit Officer, National Technician Development Centre

Session Format:
Lecture/Talk

Conference stream(s):
Working practices

This session will be of interest to those working in, or with an interest in:
General administration

This session is aimed at:
New to the sector | General administration | Mid-level management | Senior management

Session details tbc

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13:55 to 15:00

Closing plenary
Professor Ken Sloan, Vice-Chancellor, Harper Adams University

Most institutions have been changed by the pandemic.  What does it mean for the future of work. 
The pandemic has affected all organisations. Many have discovered new capabilities and approaches which have changed what they do and how they do it.  Drawing on experience in the UK, Australia and internationally, the session will explore what this has meant for how we work in universities and colleges, and what it might mean for leadership, careers and career choices in the future. It will also examine what we might need to do to get the best from the diverse talent we recruit.

About Ken
Professor Ken Sloan joined Harper Adams as Vice-Chancellor on 1 November 2021.  Professor Sloan has extensive international experience in leadership, governance, administrative and commercial activities.   

Previously, Professor Sloan was at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, serving as the inaugural Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Governance). As a member of the University Executive, Professor Sloan was responsible for providing University-wide leadership and strategic support for the creation and acceleration of major partnerships, government relations, precinct development, new revenue creation, commercialisation, innovation, entrepreneurship, strategic intelligence, group governance and institutional risk. 
 
Professor Sloan has previously held roles as Registrar and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Warwick; as a Business Development Director, Universities and Higher Education, with SERCO; and as Special Advisor to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Foundation, based at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He continues to serve as a panel chair for the Schwarzman Scholars annual selection process. 
Professor Sloan has chaired and served on the boards of a number of institutional subsidiary companies, boards and international fundraising and development trusts. He chaired the boards of Monash Investment Holdings and Monash College, the Audit and Risk Committee of the IITB-Monash Academy and the Monash Technology Transformation Institute (Shenzhen) Executive Committee. He served on the boards of BioCurate Pty Ltd, Warwick University Enterprises (Australia), and as Chair of the Victorian Heart Institute Strategic Advisory Board. He served as sector representative on the Federal Austrade Agriculture 4.0 Steering Committee and previously as Chair of the Coventry Partnership, ethics adviser to Coventry City Council, Chair of Governors of Woodway Park School and Community College, governor of the WMG Academy for Young Engineers and a board director of the Midlands Arts Centre. He was chair or member of the University of Warwick’s fundraising trusts in Singapore, South Africa and Hong Kong. 

Professor Sloan graduated with an MA (Hons) from the University of Glasgow, an MBA from the Warwick Business School, and is a member of CPA Australia. He is a Fellow of the Association of University Administrators (FAUA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA).   

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