AHUA Autumn Conference 2021 Programme

Friday 17 September

8.30 – 9.15

Pre-Conference meeting with Raj Jethwa, Chief Executive of UCEA, to discuss members’ views of the current national collective bargaining process.

9.30 – 9.50

Registration and networking

9.50 – 10.05


  • Nicola Owen,  AHUA Chair and Deputy Chief Executive, Lancaster University
  • Professor Chris Linton, Acting Vice-Chancellor and President, Loughborough University
  • Richard Taylor, COO, Loughborough University

10.05 – 11.05

Session 1

Past Imperfect: Addressing the legacy of historical slavery in UK universities

  • Professor Bill Cushley, Assistant Vice-Principal, International, University of Glasgow
  • Chair: Nicola Owen,  AHUA Chair and Deputy Chief Executive, Lancaster University

11.05 – 11.30

Refreshment break

11.30 – 12.30

Session 2 – Workshops

Workshop 1

  • The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2021
    Gary Attle, Partner, Mills & Reeve
    Gary will give an overview and analysis of the proposed new legislation.

Workshop 2

  • Strategy, policy and procedures – learning and next steps working with trauma in HE
    Lisa Brooks-Lewis, Duty Assessment and Inclusion Manager, Loughborough University
    Chair: Richard Taylor, COO, Loughborough University
    The session will cover:
    * the Loughborough journey to date 2014 – 2021 – challenges and learning opportunities
    * Holistic, collaborative and strengths based practice
    * Principles for disciplinary-supporting parties through the process
    * Future aims ‘trauma, adversity and culturally informed’ organisational strategy.

Workshop 3

  • Why governance is (actually) all about stakeholders – Part 1
    Seamus Gillen, AHUA Associate
    We normally view governance in a conventional organisational context of policies, processes and systems, and of the decision-making structures of the boards and committees which, in the case of the HE sector, revolve around the Council and the Senate.  While these structures are important, governance is more far-reaching and enabling, and one of the ways of looking at this is through a stakeholder lens.This session will explore how stakeholder management is one of the most important, yet least addressed, areas of governance, and how a stakeholder focus will not only enrich your understanding of the importance of governance, but help you achieve your organisational objectives more effectively.

12.30 – 13.15


13.15 – 14.15

Session 3 – Workshops

Workshop 4

  • Key employment law issues for universities post-pandemic
    Alex Russell, Partner and
    Sian Jackson, Principal Associate, Mills & Reeve

Workshop 5

  • City Deals and economic generation: views from Cambridgeshire and Bradford
    Tom Bennett, Head of Communications, Greater Cambridge Partnership and Professor Zahir Irani, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Bradford
    Chair: James Rolfe, COO, Anglia Ruskin University
    The Greater Cambridge Partnership brings together two local councils, Cambridgeshire County Council, the business community and the University of Cambridge to deliver powers, investment, worth up to £500 million over 15 years, and vital improvements in infrastructure to the area.  The Partnership is supporting the creation of 44,000 new jobs, 33,500 new homes and 420 additional apprenticeships over this period.
  • Professor Irani is chair of Bradford Metropolitan District Council’s Economic Covid-19 Recovery Board.  The Board has developed an ambitious new plan to support the district’s recovery from the pandemic.  The University is a key partner in the endeavour to sustain jobs and boost productivity whilst building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient local economy.  Find out how Professor Irani rallied local business leaders and community groups to find ways to help the whole city population and close the divide which still exists between universities and their local communities, businesses and voluntary groups.
  • This session will examine the complexities behind the creation of these partnerships and the key role universities have played in their development.

Workshop 6

  • Why governance is (actually) all about stakeholders – Part 2
    Seamus Gillen, AHUA Associate

14.15 – 14.35

Refreshment break

14.35 – 15.25

Session 4

Gen Z after the lockdown:  trends, values, Higher Education choices

  • Becky Taylor, Associate Director, HE Research Team, Youthsight
  • Chair: Tony Strike, University Secretary, University of Sheffield

This presentation will look at the big picture in Gen Z trends; long term trends, how Gen Z fared over the pandemic and what the future holds for universities looking to win the battle for attraction and conversion, post pandemic.

YouthSight is a leading youth-focused market research agency.  Their tracking studies, State of the Youth Nation and the HE Success Suite have been plotting youth trends since 2015 and 2004, respectively.  They have reported widely on Gen Z in lockdown.  The YouthSight team regularly help leading brands such as Channel 4, Red Bull and O2 refine their youth marketing strategies.  The agency works extensively in the HE sector and has helped over 100 universities improve branding, course targeting and undergraduate and postgraduate attraction and conversion rates.

15.25 – 16.15

Session 5

The HE experiences of Para Athletes

  • Olivia Broome (Para-Powerlifting/undergraduate)
  • Vladyslava Kravchenko (Para-Swimming/postgraduate)
  • Henry Urand (Para-Cycling/undergraduate)
  • Joshua Bain (Para-Athletics/postgraduate)
  • Facilitator: Nik Diaper, Head of Para Sport, Loughborough University

This will be a facilitated Q&A session with a group of Para athletes to explore their personal experiences of HE.


Conference Close

Conference sponsored by:

The conference programme may be subject to change by the organisers.