Autumn Conference: building resilience in a time of unprecedented change

City Hall, Cardiff

Thursday 23 November 2017

9 : 30AM to 5 : 00PM


Autumn Conference: building resilience in a time of unprecedented change

Thursday, 23 November | 09:30 to 17:00 | City Hall, Cardiff

Members: £230+VAT | Non members: £295+VAT


The details

If you are an HE professional who wants an up to date picture on Brexit and the sector, and a personal toolkit to sustain and empower yourself and others through Brexit then this is for you.

There are an outstanding array of speakers from across the sector, addressing topics such as “Brexit, universities and their future sustainability”, “Building personal resilience” and “Leading change together”, our Autumn Conference will cover how Brexit is shaping the HE landscape, and explore how these changes can be approached at institutional and personal level.

What will I learn?
  • Hear from keynote speakers across the sector and UK nations on how Brexit is affecting them and shaping their approaches
  • Tools to develop your resilience to major change
  • Tools to help you lead and support others through the changing landscape

Keynote speakers

Creating a successful future beyond Brexit | Professor Steven West

What will be the role of universities post-Brexit? Where are we now, what do need to achieve and what are the challenges and opportunities ahead? What will be the role of HE professionals in bringing this about?

Professor Steven West, Vice Chancellor, University of the West of England

Professor Steve West took up the post of Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of England Bristol in 2008. He is currently a non-executive director for the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and sits on the Office for Students (OfS) Shadow Board. When HEFCE is replaced by the OfS in April 2018, he will continue to serve as a non-executive director for the OfS.

Harnessing opportunities for Commonwealth and Higher Education | Dr Joanna Newman

In a divided and uncertain world, networks are more important than ever. International partnerships arguably offer our best hope of solving the complex social, environmental, and economic challenges of our time. But what is it about the Commonwealth that makes it such a relevant and valuable framework for cooperation? And why should universities in particular engage with this uniquely diverse and far-reaching network of nations?

Dr Joanna Newman’s talk will explore the challenges and opportunities for higher education in the Commonwealth, and look at how collaboration between universities across these diverse nations can be a powerful asset in our search for solutions.

Dr Joanna Newman MBE, Chief Executive and General Secretary Association of Commonwealth Universities

Dr Joanna Newman is Chief Executive and Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), where she is responsible for fostering and promoting the Association’s aims, as defined by its membership, in developing inter-Commonwealth relations in higher education. Joanna is on the board of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, the board of trustees for CARA and The Conversation. She is a judge on the Times Higher Education Awards, and regularly speaks on issues relating to higher education and internationalisation at conferences, roundtables, and on international platforms. In 2014, Joanna was awarded an MBE in recognition of her work promoting British higher education internationally.

Working session one; choose from

Critical changes in HE in Wales and how to engage with them | Gemma Long

Develop your understanding of the Welsh HE sector, the particular challenges and opportunities ahead and how to make the most of them.

Gemma Long, Quality Specialist and Lead for Wales

Gemma Long currently works a dual role as QAA’s Lead for Wales and an international quality specialist. Responsible for the development, management and oversight of QAA’s activities in Wales, she has developed QAA’s latest review method, Quality Enhancement Review, in consultation with the Welsh sector. Her international portfolio includes the development of oversight of QAA’s International Quality Review and other overseas commercial contracts.

Dr Cliona O’Neill, Head of Student Experience, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

Dr Cliona O’Neill did her degree and Masters in Trinity College Dublin. She gained her PhD from the University of Glamorgan (which has since become part of the University of South Wales). She is Head of Student Experience for the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.  She has previously worked in a number of higher and further education institutions in Ireland and Wales.


Brexit, universities and future stability | Hugh Jones

A look at the different focuses of UK universities, and how Brexit will affect them. There’ll be the opportunity for questions and discussion. You will leave with a better understanding of how your university works, how Brexit may affect it and what you can do to ensure that however hard or soft Brexit might turn out to be, you are prepared!

Hugh Jones, Senior Consultant

Hugh Jones is a management consultant;, supporting universities and other organisations within the higher education sector. He has spent his career in university administration and management, in universities in London and Wales, and is a Fellow of the AUA. He works with a wide variety of universities on organisational design, service reviews, governance and quality assurance issues. Some people say that his blog – Sweeping Leaves – is occasionally interesting.


Building personal resilience: an introduction | Jan Shine and John Ryan

Personal resilience is a key attribute for embracing the uncertainty ahead and sustaining professional services excellence. This session will explore definitions of the term ‘resilience’ and some myths that surround it. It will explore some of the capabilities associated with personal resilience, and offer an introduction to some strategies to develop our capacity to be more resilient.

Jan Shine, People Development Consultant 

Jan Shine is a Fellow of the AUA and is an experienced people developer, manager, coach and HR specialist. Her wealth of experience in HE has been gained through a successful professional services career and in the last 10 years as an HE consultant. Jan contributed to the development of the AUA’s Professional Behaviours Framework, and has been the lead consultant supporting its implementation across the sector. Jan is also a member of the Mark of Excellence team as both adviser and assessor.

John Ryan, Mark of Excellence Programme Lead and Former Trustee

John Ryan worked in higher education management and administration for 36 years, holding a variety of positions at four institutions – Wolverhampton, Birmingham, BCU and Worcester. John is a Fellow and past chair of the AUA, and remains active in the Association. He is currently vice chair of the Board of Studies for its NTU validated PgCert in Higher Education Leadership and Management, and Programme Lead for the Association’s Mark of Excellence in the application of the AUA CPD Framework. John maintains a connection with the sector through his work with the AUA, and as a key associate of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE).


International travel will blow your mind | Heather Moyes

The 2017 AUA Study Tour visited both Switzerland and Germany. During a whistle-stop tour taking in six cities in five days, the group investigated the impact of Big Data on university planning; the development of student learning experience; approaches to supporting doctoral students and research capabilities; regional convergence and divergence in national higher education systems; Brexit and the future of international cooperation in higher education.

In this session, we will share our findings, and look in the mirror by analysing the state of the UK HE sector today and how it compares to its European counterparts.

Heather Moyes, Head of Student Engagement and Education Support

Dr Heather Moyes currently leads the Student Engagement and Education Support Division at Cardiff University, which delivers curriculum design and enhancement services to the academic community and coordinates student voice and partnership activities across the institution. She also acts as Business Manager to the Pro Vice Chancellor: Student Experience and Academic Standards, providing advice and support across the breadth of the portfolio.



Working session two; choose from

How to embed equitable practice and promote values for success in post Brexit higher education |

Annette Hay and Gus Johns, Coventry University

Key challenges for HE professionals post Brexit, including how Brexit may affect departments and individual staff, how it may impact on international students and staff, what practical actions can be taken to address the changes that are coming, and how to promote the positive changes as a result of Brexit.

Annette Hay, Senior Research Delivery Support Partner

Annette Hay is the Senior Research Delivery Support Partner for Trusts and Foundations at Coventry University. As well as providing strategic support and advice for research project delivery Annette supports the universities drive for excellent and impactful research by building strategic and meaningful relationships on a local and global scale. Annette has facilitated international working by participating in a number of inward and outward visits, events and activities with colleagues from a growing number of countries, including USA, Thailand, Ghana and South Africa. Annette is keen to promote all forms of diversity, equality and inclusion and has a particular interest in Race Equality in Higher Education.

Professor Gus John, Visiting Professor

Gus John is Visiting Professor at Coventry University (attached to the Vice Chancellor’s Office). He has worked with governments in West, South and North Africa, helping to develop strategies for meeting the Millennium Development Goals, with specific emphasis on education (especially improving access to education for girls) and youth development. He chaired the Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Working Group as part of the Legal Education and Training Review, which was published in 2013. He is Patron of the Communities Empowerment Network, a charity that provides advocacy and representation for excluded students and their families. He is an adviser to the Methodist Church and the Church of England on Equality and Human Rights.


Leading Change Together | Nick Allen

The Leading Change Together project, funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, gathered views of senior leaders, academics and HE professionals across the UK, and identified key aspects to change management and leadership despite the great variety and variability in how the UK HE sector is responding. This session will outline key survey findings from interviews and focus groups and will share project team’s learning about leadership, change and stakeholders working with a view to supporting the sector to identify and implement good practice.

Nick Allen, Executive Officer

Nick is Executive Officer in the Office of the Vice Chancellor at The University of Northampton. In this role, Nick works with the Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer to support strategic planning and risk management processes. He is also supporting the University’s planned new Waterside Campus development which will open in 2018. He was most recently part of an LFHE funded project team, Leading Change Together, exploring leadership and change in higher education.  Nick is a Joint Association of University Administrators (AUA) Regional Coordinator for the Midlands, a graduate of the AUA PgCert, an active PgCert mentor and is a former Chair of the PgCert Board of Study and a former AUA Trustee.



Workplace health matters | James Craig

What impact is Brexit having on you and your workplace? Whether your role is directly affected by Brexit, or not, there are likely to be stresses and strains. This will be a workshop session will discuss a number of these stresses and how to address them, with opportunities for sharing experiences and good practice in small groups within a safe, confidential environment.

James Craig, Writer and Speaker 

In 2016, James took early retirement from the University of Leeds after nearly 28 years in a variety of roles: departmental administration; project management; financial and management accounts; conference organisations; and staff development facilitator. AUA Staff Development Committee in the 1990s; Branch Coordinator; first Yorkshire Regional Coordinator. James enjoys giving talks and writing on such topics as Emotional Intelligence (Good Practice Guide no 40). He has a very keen interest in mental health and the workings of the brain, linked to a keen awareness of organisational development. In retirement, apart from writing, he is a keen cycling campaigner, volunteer with various organisations including the sustainable transport charity Sustrans, and enjoys composing classical music.


Brexit may mean Brexit; but what does Brexit mean for students? | Mike Day and Carmen Smith

Students and young people overwhelmingly voted to remain in the European Union, only to see an open outward looking future dashed by an older generation nostalgic for a UK that no longer exists. The best deal for students is not to leave, but given where we are, what can we salvage. This session will explore the issues facing students and what, collectively, they are seeking to do about it.

Mike Day, International Director NUS-USI and Carmen Smith Deputy President NUS Wales

Mike Day is the International Relations and NUS-USI Director at the National Union of Students of the United Kingdom. He has over thirty years of experience of working with and for the student movement. He has been NUS Director of Devolved Nations and Internationalism, NUS Director of Nations and Director of NUS Scotland. Before this he worked as a Senior Learning and Development Consultant for the UK children’s charity Barnardo’s, Mike also wrote the history of NUS from 1922 – 2012 produced to celebrate NUS’s 90th birthday. He regularly speaks at academic conferences and contributes articles on the history and development of the student movement.

Carmen Smith, Deputy President, NUS Wales

Carmen Smith is the current NUS Wales Deputy President, and was recently re-elected to a second term. She was previously President of Grŵp Llandrillo-Menai Students’ Union.Carmen is involved with the National Society of Apprentices Wales and is a Board Member representing the UK at the European Students’ Union.

Carmen represents students in Wales’ colleges and Universities. Carmen was re-elected on a manifesto of getting the best deal for students out of Brexit negotiations, including supporting the free movement of students and academics, tackling hate crime, improving teaching and learning in FE.  Carmen has recently been appointed as a Commissioner on NUS UK’s Poverty Commission

What Professional Behaviours will I develop?

This event will develop all of the AUA Professional Behaviours.








Sponsors and exhibitors

EvaSys Survey Automation Suite is the market leading evaluation software of choice for half of the universities in the UK and over 1000 institutions world-wide.

EvaSys is designed to provide institutions with the capability to process large-scale evaluation campaigns with ease.

As a hybrid solution, EvaSys offers the flexibility of using either paper, online and/or mobile surveys to capture the highest possible response rates, and provide instant feedback to stakeholders, alongside advanced data analytics features – essentially managing the whole module evaluation cycle, and helping transform the culture of evaluation in HE institutions.

EvaSys is distributed in the UK by Electric Paper Ltd and developed in Germany by parent company Electric Paper Evaluation Systems GmbH.


Infor is an enterprise business applications provider and technology partner to over 90,000 organisations worldwide. Our software is built and designed for industries, providing complete suites for businesses including Human Capital Management, Financial Management and much more.  Recognising the challenge to recruit new talent in the industry, Infor Education Alliance Program invests with Academic Institutions offering access to these applications and faculty training for academic use, enabling Students to develop Industry Skills leading employers are looking for.

Find out more about Infor and Infor Solutions –

Find out more about Infor Education Alliance Program –


Bristol Transcription Services (BTS) specialises in high quality transcription of digital audio and video, subtitling and language transcription.

BTS is a registered supplier to many universities and businesses in the UK and supports individuals and teams of researchers across a wide range of disciplines. We have a large team of UK-based transcribers and our experienced central team works in partnership with customers to make sure we add value and exceed expectations. BTS rates are competitive, our processes secure and we receive excellent feedback on all aspects of our service.

Whether you’re looking for a good deal on a large academic research project or would like us to quote for the purposes of applying for a funding grant, please get in touch.

Cover image: copyright