AHEP Regional Symposium 2024

Venue: Edge Hill University

Date: Thursday, 27 June

Time: 09:30 – 16:00

Price: Free to members

‘Community and Collaboration: Networking for Success’

About the Symposium

Connecting HE professionals is at the core of AHEP. To support, develop and empower our members, we’ve established a dynamic system of Regional Networks, designed to create vibrant communities amongst our diverse membership of HE professionals. Exclusive to AHEP members, our annual regional symposium is back and taking place at Edge Hill University in June!

Building a Stronger Community: Members will have the opportunity to attend valuable workshops and collaborative sessions – connecting you with professional services colleagues from across the sector and enriching your experience as part of the AHEP community.

Network and Communicate: Don’t miss out on your chance to attend thought provoking sessions and workshops, facilitating the active development and broadening of HE knowledge with your colleagues.

Connecting Professionals, Building Bridges: The AHEP annual regional symposium presents a unique chance for members of the association to connect and reflect with their regional and national colleagues, develop and share best practice, and forge collaborative relationships within the sector.

Bookings close: 20 June


Further details to be announced

09.30am – 10.15am: Registration and refreshments 
10.15am – 10.30am: Welcome address from Lynda Brady 

10.30am – 11.30am: Keynote session: Professor Sarah Niblock – Edge Hill Honorary Doctorate Awardee

Professor Sarah Niblock is a CEO, journalist, coach, and academic leader whose work focusses on self, culture and ethics. Her reporting and commentary has been featured across the globe including BBC radio and other major media brands on both sides of the Atlantic. Sarah was recently appointed CEO of Inside Justice, an award-winning charity (featured on Netflix) fighting wrongful convictions and campaigning for systemic change. In addition, she is a visiting professor in counselling psychology at York St John University, UK.

Prior to that, Sarah worked in middle and senior management in universities and non-profits for more than 15 years, latterly as a CEO. She has a strong understanding of mental and emotional wellness, and was the Chief Executive of the United Kingdom of Council for Psychotherapy until 2022.

Sarah is on the advisory boards of the Climate Cares research centre at Imperial College London, and the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at Edge Hill University, UK. She is an executive director of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council in the UK.

11.30am – 11.45am: Transition to workshop rooms 
11.45am12.30pm: Intro AHEP for non-members to run parallel to the morning workshop session

Morning Workshops: 11:45am – 12:30pm

Considering the bigger picture: The importance of Higher Education Policy for Professional Services

Delivered by Liam Conway, Hugh Baird College and Martin Lowe, The University of Central Lancashire. Understanding the context of a changing policy landscape, in any role within the sector, can give you the insight to contribute, innovate and progress further with your career. 

This session will present the benefits of regularly keeping up to date with higher education policy changes, and how a deeper understanding of where key developments come from, and where they are heading to next, can lead to higher fulfilment within your current role and increase opportunities throughout your career.

We Don’t Need No (Secondary/Further) Education? 

Delivered by Jake Harding, Manchester Metropolitan University. This workshop will explore applying lessons learnt from the post-pandemic secondary/further student experience to higher education. The session will also facilitate engaging with the wider context of the education sector and working together to understand the pressures on secondary/further students and colleagues, see how this translates as emerging trends in higher education and how we can collaborate as a wider community to address national issues and support the student experience.

Focus: insight into the developing crises in schools/colleges in terms of absence, attainment, funding, recruitment, retention and wellbeing, further exacerbated by the pandemic period, and the consequential impacts on higher education.

It’s not location, location, location: moving to a remote matrix management model

Delivered by Felicity Morley, Coventry University. In December 2020 CU Group Registry (part of Coventry University) moved from a site-based model of support for Registry activity to one that was not dependent on location. In this session we will present how we managed this process, how it has affected stakeholders, the challenges we’ve faced and the biggest wins along the way, as well as our reflections 4 years on. 

Areas covered: Background and context , Biggest wins, Biggest challenges, What we didn’t expect, Reflections as individuals .

There will also be the opportunity for colleagues to ask any questions they may have should this be something they are considering implementing at their own institutions. 

12.30-1:30pm: Connect and Reflect – Join us for an enriching networking and reflection session with an optional tour of the campus and archive.

‘Connect and Reflect’ offers you the opportunity to engage in structured networking discussions. Engage in focused conversations, and broaden your network within the higher education community. Whether exchanging ideas with newfound peers or delving into targeted topics, this session promises to leave you inspired and connected.

Tour starts at 1pm.

1.00pm – 1.45 pm: Transition to afternoon workshops

Afternoon Workshops: 1.45pm – 2.30pm

Autistic Voices: considering the view of neurodivergent students.

Delivered by Kelly Jeffery, Keele University. The key focus of this session will be to highlight some of the key areas in which autistic students feel they need further support and to increase awareness of some of the difficulties autistic people face on a daily basis.  This session will therefore better equip people to support their neurodivergent colleagues, friends, members of their team and students.  It will also allow for better awareness of autism within policy writing. 

From Records to Revolutions!

Delivered by Hannah McAuliffe – Project Transform Programme Manager – Edge Hill University. The Transform team recognise the importance of Community and Collaboration in achieving project success. Acknowledging that everything that happens within Universities is a process or a series of processes, which may be contained within one department, cross-functional or university-wide and that success will be determined by how well these processes work/ work together, the team are taking a Lean Agile transformational approach, underpinned by the belief that single methodologies cannot be effective alone.

Colleagues will be recommended to join this session to discover how the Lean Agile method compliments Community and Collaboration and supports Project Transform colleagues achieve their goals.

The Case for Data Devolution

Delivered by George Aird, Edge Hill University. This session will ask, what can be gained from giving staff more autonomy, and better access to data? It encourages professional support to think, outside of headline regulatory metrics (withdrawal; recruitment; B3) and consider what data is being collected and recorded by their team. Following the exploration of what data sharing can mean in 2024, it will also give some practical examples about how local data has can be used.

Nurturing the Next Generation: Supporting Young Professionals in Higher Education .

Delivered by Jennifer Thompson – MARS Project Administrator Lancaster University. Objectives: 
– exploring the challenges faced by young professionals.  
– sharing strategies and resources for professional development, career advancement and work life balance, both for young professionals and those experienced in higher education.  
– discuss the role of universities and higher education bodies in fostering a supportive environment for young professionals.  
– facilitate networking between young professionals and experienced mentors, bringing a sense of community and collaboration 

2.30pm – 3.00pm: Connect and Reflect – Join us for the final enriching networking and reflection session at the conclusion of our symposium. ‘Connect and Reflect’ offers you the opportunity to engage in structured networking discussions. Engage in focused conversations, and broaden your network within the higher education community. Whether exchanging ideas with newfound peers or delving into targeted topics, this session promises to leave you inspired and connected.

3.00pm – 3.30pm: Plenary session and close
3.30pm – 3.45pm: Walk over to ACRE in Lakeside for the ResearchLab LIVE!

Interested in attending but not yet a member of AHEP? Our free events are only available to AHEP members, with exclusive access to a variety of opportunities throughout the year. If you’re considering membership but not quite sure about becoming a full paid member, why not try our ‘Intro to AHEP’ offering and get a taste of AHEP and our community of HE professionals. Intro to AHEP members are welcome to attend the morning welcome address, keynote and Intro to AHEP session at this year’s Regional Symposium.

We encourage non-members to register for full membership to gain full access to all of our free events. 

Details in brief

Venue: Edge Hill University

Date: Thursday, 27 June

Duration: 09:30 – 16:00

If you have any questions, please contact events@ahep.ac.uk