Student Experience and Engagement SIG

About the Student Experience and Engagement SIG

AHEP’s Student Experience and Engagement SIG was launched in April 2019 to bring together staff within this diverse field of work. We want to create a hub of activity for all of those working within the areas of student experience and/or student engagement. We also want to help those working in other professional areas to understand more about student experience and engagement work.

We’re delighted that over 200 people have already joined the SIG and we’re keen to ensure that this keeps growing to encompass every region – and eventually every institution – in the UK.

What can you expect from the Student Experience and Engagement SIG?

– Give you a space to SHARE best practice, methods of working, and approaches to enhancing the student experience – Create opportunities for you to LEARN about this relatively new and exciting area of work within higher education
– Facilitate COLLABORATION between different institutions on innovative projects to improve the student experience
– Help you to CONTRIBUTE to wider debates around the sector through online discussions, conferences and other events

To access more information and become a member of this SIG, sign into your AHEP account. Not an AHEP member? Join now!

Meet the Coordinators

David Gilani, Student Experience and Engagement SIG Lead Coordinator

Head of Student Engagement and Advocacy

Middlesex University

David works at Middlesex University as their Head of Student Engagement and Advocacy leading on their efforts to engage both current students and alumni. Having started his career as a students’ union officer, he is a strong proponent of the student voice and in 2012 he founded the Student Publication Association, which supports student journalists across the UK and Ireland. He believes strongly in universities working together to support student engagement efforts, and so co-chairs the CASE Student Communications conference and leads AHEP’s Student Experience and Engagement Network.

He is also studying for his PhD at the University of York on the topic of student belonging.

Siobhan Dumphy, Student Experience and Engagement Deputy Coordinator

Associate Director, Education

Kings College London

Siobhan has worked in Higher Education since 2009 in a range of roles across Library Services, Employability, Student Recruitment, Marketing and Student Engagement; her experiences across these roles have led her to be passionate about the student journey and providing students with the best University experience possible. This passion feeds perfectly into the work she undertakes with the AHEP SEE SIG where alongside David and Chris she brings together colleagues from across the sector to share best practice and engage in a supportive community with student experience at its heart.

Siobhan is currently a Associate Director at Kings College London.

Chris Whitehead, Student Experience and Engagement Deputy Coordinator

Communications Lead

University of Surrey

Chris works at the University of Surrey as their Communications Lead, delivering the communications and engagement workstream for one of Surrey’s strategic programmes. Chris has a passionate background in marketing and comms across sport, leisure and education, and enjoys delivering campaigns and messages that resonate with audiences, brings communities together, and drives action. Chris’ role at Deputy Coordinator for the Student Experience and Engagement Network fuels his interest in the industry collaborating to create positive and enriching educational and life experiences for students across the world.

Bob Mckay, Student Experience and Engagement SIG Deputy Coordinator

Student Engagement & Success Manager

Goldsmiths, University of London

Bob’s career in education began as a Modern Foreign Languages teacher in secondary schools in Kent, where he then went on to lead learning and teaching as an Assistant Headteacher. Moving into the Higher Education sector in 2018, Bob led the Student Success Project at Kent Business School before being appointed Education and Student Experience Manager, leading the School’s student-facing professional services staff team. He is currently Student Engagement and Experience Manager at Goldsmiths University of London.

Nissy Cheema, Student Experience and Engagement Deputy Coordinator

Senior Policy and Compliance Manager

Open University

Nissy works at the Open University as Senior Policy and Compliance Manager, working with Partners to develop and implement policies that support the student experience.

Prior to this, she worked at the University of Northampton in Student Services as Academic Adviser and Sexual Violence Liaison Officer. 

Her focus is on the development of policy that underpins student experience and engagement in a trauma-informed way. She is passionate about celebrating diversity and difference on the learning journey, addressing gender-based violence on campus, and creating a sense of belonging for GEM students in Higher Education.

Nissy’s role as one of the Deputy Coordinators for the Student Experience and Engagement SIG allows her to learn, share and collaborate with others in the sector who are part of the student experience and engagement community.