Westminster Education Forum Keynote Seminar
The student as a consumer? The next steps for student experience and quality assurance in universities
Deputy Director, HE Access and Quality,
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Chief Executive, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
Professor Janet Beer
Vice-Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University and Chair, Higher Education Public Information Steering Group
President, National Union of Students
Mark Allan, Chief Executive, Unite Group;
Sami Benyahia, Director, Higher Education Research, Ipsos MORI;
Rebecca Bridger, President, Loughborough Students' Union;
Andrew Cleaves, Managing Director, Coach Division, National Express;
Beverley Craig, Off-Campus Student Affairs Manager, University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University;
Professor Nick Foskett, Vice-Chancellor, Keele University;
Ruth Gunstone, Director of Student Experience, Bucks New University;
Terry Hoad, President, University and College Union;
Siân Jones-Davies, Associate, Eversheds;
and Steven Symonds, Deputy Chief Executive, Cardiff Students' Union
Gareth Thomas MP
Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Science
This event is CPD certified
Morning, Thursday, 13th October 2011
Dear Ms Hall
I am writing to ensure you don't miss the opportunity to attend the above seminar. Please note there is a charge for most delegates, although no-one is excluded on the basis of ability to pay (see below).
This timely seminar will bring together key policymakers and stakeholders to discuss the impact of a consumer culture potentially developing amongst students - both in terms of where to study and what they expect from their chosen institution.
The seminar, to be held as universities prepare for the first applications since the introduction of higher tuition fees in England, follows the recent publication of the Higher Education White Paper Students at the Heart of the System, which outlined a series of wide-ranging reforms to improve student experience and increase the information available to perspective students in the form of new Key Information Sets (KIS) highlighting levels of contact time, graduate salaries etc. for each course.
Delegates will consider the future of quality assurance arrangements, levels of contact time, quality of feedback, the role of Students' Unions, and provision of extracurricular activities and facilities. The seminar includes contributions from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), National Union of Students and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Planned sessions examine:
· The implications of a consumer-centric approach to higher education, including the competitive position of English universities with each other, and compared to the rest of the UK and elsewhere;
· Data on the state of student satisfaction and views on their expectations;
· Developing the learning experience - meeting the demands of students as consumers;
· Informing student choice and ensuring quality for learners;
· Student experience beyond the classroom - the cost of student living, quality of student accommodation and provision of extracurricular support and activities for students; and
· The role of local authorities, businesses, universities and other stakeholders in ensuring university towns are affordable, safe and well integrated 'student-friendly' communities.
The draft agenda is copied below my signature, and a regularly updated version is available to view online here. The seminar is organised on the basis of strict impartiality by the Westminster Education Forum.
We are delighted that Bev Thomas, Deputy Director, HE Access and Quality, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA); Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University and Chair, Higher Education Public Information Steering Group and Liam Burns, President, National Union of Students have agreed to deliver keynote addresses at this seminar.
At this early stage Mark Allan, Chief Executive, Unite Group; Sami Benyahia, Director, Higher Education Research, Ipsos MORI; Rebecca Bridger, President, Loughborough Students' Union; Andrew Cleaves, Managing Director, Coach Division, National Express; Beverley Craig, Off-Campus Students Affairs Manager, University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University; Professor Nick Foskett, Vice-Chancellor, Keele University; Ruth Gunstone, Director of Student Experience, Bucks New University; Terry Hoad, President, University and College Union; Siân Jones-Davies, Associate, Eversheds and Steven Symonds, Deputy Chief Executive, Cardiff Students' Union have also agreed to speak.
Gareth Thomas MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Science has kindly agreed to chair the first half of this seminar. Further senior participants are being approached, but if you or a colleague would like to be considered as a speaker at this seminar, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are offering to speak yourself please don't fill in the booking form, as this will be taken as an order and you will be charged for a place subject to our T&Cs.
This seminar will present an opportunity to engage with key policymakers and other interested parties, and is CPD certified.
Attendee organisations include: Anglia Ruskin University; Association of Colleges; Bournemouth University; Bucks New University; Electric Paper; Grimsby Institute; Heythrop College, University of London; Knight Frank; Liberty Living; Liverpool John Moores University; Oxford Brookes University; Newport Students' Union; Richmond, The American International University in London; Roehampton University; Rose Bruford School, Sidcup; Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA); TSW; University of Bradford; University of Bristol; University of Derby; University of Essex; University of Hertfordshire; University of Plymouth; University of the Arts, London; University of Wales, Newport; University of the West of England Students' Union (UWESU) and Viridian Housing.
Press passes have also been issued to: The Daily Telegraph.
Output and About Us
A key output of the seminar will be a transcript of the proceedings, sent out within a week of the event to all attendees and a wider group of Ministers and officials in central government departments affected by the issues; as well as Parliamentarians with a special interest in the subject. It will also be made available more widely. This document will include transcripts of all speeches and questions and answers sessions from the day, along with access to PowerPoint presentations, speakers' biographies, an attendee list, an agenda and sponsor information. It is made available subject to strict restrictions on public use, similar to those for Select Committee Uncorrected Evidence, and is intended to provide timely information for interested parties who are unable to attend on the day.
All delegates will receive free PDF copies and are invited to contribute to the content.
The Westminster Education Forum is strictly impartial and cross-party, and draws on the considerable support it receives from within Parliament and Government, and amongst the wider stakeholder community. The Forum has no policy agenda of its own. Forum events are frequently the platform for major policy statements from senior Ministers, regulators and other officials, opposition speakers and senior opinion-formers in industry and interest groups. Events regularly receive prominent coverage in the national and trade press.
To book places, please use our online booking form.
Once submitted, this will be taken as a confirmed booking and will be subject to our terms and conditions below.
Please pay in advance by credit card on 01344 864796. If advance credit card payment is not possible, please let me know and we may be able to make other arrangements.
Options and charges are as follows:
- Places at The student as a consumer? The next steps for student experience and quality assurance in universities (including refreshments and PDF copy of the transcripts) are £190 plus VAT;
- Concessionary rate places for small charities, unfunded individuals and those in similar circumstances are £80 plus VAT. Please be sure to apply for this at the time of booking.
For those who cannot attend:
- Copies of the briefing document, including full transcripts of all speeches and the questions and comments sessions and further articles from interested parties, will be available approximately 7 days after the event for £95 plus VAT;
- Concessionary rate: £50 plus VAT.
If you find the charge for tickets a barrier to attending, please let me know and we will do our best to see you are not excluded. Please note terms and conditions below (including cancellation charges).
If you would prefer not to receive any more occasional communications from us, please contact email@example.com, and we will remove you from our mailing list.
I do hope that you will be able to join us for what promises to be a most useful morning, and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Senior Producer, Westminster Education Forum
4 Bracknell Beeches
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Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7BW
T: 01344 864796
F: 01344 420121
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The parliamentary patrons of the Westminster Education Forum are David Amess MP, Rt Hon the Lord Baker of Dorking, Gavin Barwell MP, Bob Blackman MP, Annette Brooke MP, Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Baroness Buscombe, Douglas Carswell MP, Christopher Chope OBE MP, Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP, Vernon Coaker MP, Ann Coffey MP, Edward Davey MP, Nadine Dorries MP, David Evennett MP, Tim Farron MP, Professor the Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Paul Flynn MP, Pat Glass MP, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Professor the Baroness Greenfield, John Hayes MP, David Heath CBE MP, Charles Hendry MP, Mark Hoban MP, Sharon Hodgson MP, Baroness Howe of Idlicote CBE, Helen Jones MP, Eric Joyce MP, Lord Laming, Earl of Listowel, Ian Lucas MP, Baroness Maddock, Gordon Marsden MP, Baroness Massey of Darwen, Ann McKechin MP, Greg Mulholland MP, Meg Munn MP, Lord Newby, Stephen O'Brien MP, Baroness Perry of Southwark, Baroness Prosser, Lord Puttnam CBE, Baroness Seccombe DBE, Andrew Selous MP, Baroness Sharp of Guildford, Andrew Turner MP, Joan Walley MP, Baroness Walmsley, Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Craig Whittaker MP, Mark Williams MP, Stephen Williams MP, Rob Wilson MP and Tim Yeo MP. Note: parliamentary patrons take no financial interest in the Forum.
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FINANCIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS: The delegate fee includes copies of the presentations via PDF and refreshments. Cancellation policy is as follows: (1) cancellations 14 or more days before the event: £70+VAT cancellation fee; (2) cancellations less than 14 days before the event: no refunds. Cancellations must be notified in writing to Westminster Forum Projects. No charge will be made for replacement delegates. Transfer of any confirmed booking between events is not possible. The organisers reserve the right to alter the programme and change the speakers without prior notice. Westminster Forum Projects is unable to grant extended credit and therefore must request that full payment be made within 30 days from the date of invoice. Should payment not be received within 30 days from the date of invoice, Westminster Forum Projects will apply an administration charge of £40+VAT. Payments made to our account in error will also be subject to an administration charge of £40+VAT.
Timing: Morning, Thursday, 13th October 2011
Venue: Central London
Agenda subject to change
8.30 - 9.00 Registration and coffee
9.00 - 9.05 Chairman's opening remarks
Gareth Thomas MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Science
9.05 - 9.15 The state of student satisfaction
Sami Benyahia, Director, Higher Education Research, Ipsos MORI
9.15 - 10.05 Developing the learning experience: meeting the demands of students as consumers
How can institutions use National Student Survey data to consistently improve student experience? Is there correlation between levels of contact hours and student satisfaction? Could a more nationally standardised approach to the role of Course Reps improve academics' responsiveness to student concerns? How can student complaints procedures best balance the need for a simplified and supportive system for complainants with the need to protect university standards and academic judgment? Is the introduction of compulsory Student Charters a step in the right direction, and if so, what commitments should charters cover and should these be legally binding obligations? To what extent should universities prioritise investment in equipment and learning facilities to keep pace with latest developments in industry? Should more courses include work placements, as a requirement or option, to improve the practical experience and employability of students?
Professor Nick Foskett, Vice-Chancellor, Keele University
Siân Jones-Davies, Associate, Eversheds
Rebecca Bridger, President, Loughborough Students' Union
Terry Hoad, President, University and College Union
Questions and comments from the floor with Sami Benyahia, Director, Higher Education Research, Ipsos MORI
10.05 - 10.35 Informing student choice and ensuring quality for learners
Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
Questions and comments from the floor
10.35 - 10.55 The Key Information Set - informing student choice
Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University and Chair, Higher Education Public Information Steering Group
Questions and comments from the floor
10.55 - 11.00 Chairman's closing remarks
Gareth Thomas MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Science
11.00 - 11.20 Coffee
11.20 - 11.25 Chairman's opening remarks
11.25 - 11.35 Student expectations following the rise in tuition fees
Liam Burns, President, National Union of Students
11.35 - 12.25 Student experience beyond the classroom - finance, accommodation, welfare and 'student-friendly' communities
Does living away from home significantly enhance students' university experience, and if so, how can this continue to be encouraged? How can local councils help integrate students in the community and make their area more 'student friendly'? Should students get more support in finding quality private accommodation and resolving disputes with landlords? Do student maintenance loans provide suitable levels of support and what more can be done to reduce the cost of student living? What advice and guidance should students receive regarding financial planning and who is best placed to provide this? How can Students' Unions demonstrate that their activities and services add to student experience and employability to ensure sustained levels of funding from universities, and what alternative sources of revenue could be explored? How can universities better signpost support services, for example financial advice, study support, peer support, health care and counselling services?
Steven Symonds, Deputy Chief Executive, Cardiff Students' Union
Beverley Craig, Off-Campus Student Affairs Manager, University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University
Andrew Cleaves, Managing Director, Coach Division, National Express
Mark Allan, Chief Executive, Unite Group
Ruth Gunstone, Director of Student Experience, Bucks New University
Questions and comments from the floor with Liam Burns, President, National Union of Students
12.25 - 12.55 Student satisfaction - the next steps for policy
Bev Thomas, Deputy Director, HE Access and Quality, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Questions and comments
12.55 - 13.00 Chairman's and Westminster Education Forum thanks and closing remarks
Sean Cudmore, Senior Producer, Westminster Education Forum
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