Wednesday 30th June


Student recruitment, virtually
Emma Forster, Deputy Director, External Relations, University of Aberdeen

Student recruitment, virtually Follow Sam from her first online Open Day to her acceptance of her offer from her chosen university, learning about the different digital events and platforms that Sam encounters on her way. Both Sam and her chosen university will be facing challenges, technical and emotional, as they shift to digital student recruitment. The presentation will track that journey from these different perspectives, reflecting on the impact of these new ways of working both on Sam, and on university staff. Technology has brought us exciting opportunities, but can we ever fully replace face-to-face interaction in student recruitment? 


Refurbishment, floods and Covid: Clearing past, present and future
Eleanor Draycott, Head of Customer Experience & Service Delivery; and Aaron Kingsbury, Academic & Research Computing Manager, University of Reading


Creating a Hyper-Personalised Student Applicant Journey
John McCarthy, Executive Director, Marketing, Recruitment & External Relations at the University of Salford

The University of Salford attempted to implement a CRM system a number of times within seven years, with the aim to provide a hyper-personalised applicant journey which integrates with previous systems and data. With seven other different systems in operation, both on and off premise, it was vital to introduce effective integration to establish a complete view of the student journey. The result… Not only have the application processes been quickened, the amount of quality applications has also increased. Through the web portal Crimson built, applications have increased for the 2021 academic year. Emphasis has been put on obtaining the right data from the start of the applications processes, to reduce further delays.

John McCarthy, Executive Director, Marketing, Recruitment & External Relations at the University of Salford, explains the journey he took to turn his vision into reality and, in turn, create a blueprint that other universities can follow.


Opening up Registration/Enrolment: Lancaster University's move online
Andrew Newman, Head of Student Systems and Data Quality; and David Harrison, Web Services Team Leader, Lancaster University

Opening up enrolment: Lancaster University's move to online registration As a campus-based institution, the majority of Lancaster's registration processes prior to the pandemic were in person - a huge operation with all students visiting the 'registration hall' to walkthrough each step of registration, from passport checks and having photographs taken, to paying fees, GP registration etc. Join us to hear our journey to registration 2020, and how The Registry, IT services, and library worked together to develop a registration portal, help-centre & online chat in only xxx months. Learn about the highs and lows of the journey, how it improved the student experience, and changes planned for 2021.


Take-away IT: Delivering Oxford’s IT inductions
Pamela Stanworth, Digital Skills Team Leader; and Emma Procter-Legg, IT Teacher, IT Learning Centre, University of Oxford

We will describe the traditional Oxford University induction experience, and why it probably wasn’t going to work in 2020. We will discuss how we considered a number of alternative solutions for IT inductions, with their pros & cons. We will show you the set of options we went on to create for IT induction 2020, including an escape room using Forms, a video hosted online, a set of downloadable resources and synchronous online sessions with live Q&A. During the session you will be able to share your own experiences via live polling, and we look forward to your questions.

Supporting the New Student Experience 
Rad Sargeant, Service Delivery Manager, University of Edinburgh

The Pandemic has brought a number of changes to our student support services over the last year. Hear how the University of Edinburgh helped students Get Connected to wifi, collect their student card and access our new EdHelp Student Helpdesk.

Driven to Inspire
Nicolas Hamilton


Thursday 1st July

2025: the future student experience
Stephen Hoensch, Head of Frontline Services, University of Cambridge and Craig Bramley, Lead Education Technologist, Citrix

We can all agree that the student experience has changed drastically since the beginning of 2020 because institutions were forced to transform the way they deliver education. However, how do we take the key learnings and technology implemented, to provide an even better student experience going forwards?

It’s now 2025, Sam and Jo are just starting at The University of Cambridge. Follow them on their student journey from being onboarded, signing up to socials, interacting in every day student life, through to submitting course work and taking exams. During this session we will demonstrate the art of the possible – a blended learning approach – as well as Citrix & Cambridge’s vision for the student experience of the future.


Finding new ways to support the student experience through Hybrid and Flexible delivery
Sharon Perera, Academic Support Team Manager; and Tony Wright, Head of Service Delivery, University of Greenwich

The pivot to onboarding students online in September 2020 led to the development of new and creative ways to engage with an increasingly isolated student cohort. One year hence, and emerging from being fully online, the University prepares to welcome its students using HyFlex formats. Two perspectives of designing and delivering HyFlex activities are shared:

  • the pedagogy in adapting teaching styles and influencing online behaviours
  • the technical aspects of sourcing and installing appropriate audio-visual systems for teaching spaces.

The presenters will share their experiences of preparing and delivering pilot events, and the lessons learned.


Supporting Stakeholders Digital Literacy-Collaboration with JISC and Microsoft
Neil Price, Digital Engagement and Transformation Partner, University of South Wales

Responding to the intensified need to develop the digital skills and competencies of our student base, we embarked upon a project to develop an engaging, accessible and relevant set of online learning resources. Starting with the JISC digital capabilities framework, the programme evolved to incorporate Microsoft Pathways skills that included free skills certificates that have workplace and industry recognition.


Implementation of AppsAnywhere at Maynooth University
Gerard Fitzsimons, Project Manager, Maynooth University 

With Higher Ed’s eyes on ‘sustaining the change’ and evolving student-centered IT services to meet the demands of hybrid and future learning, it’s important that key teaching and learning software resources don’t get left permanently confined to the realms of your bricks-and-mortar campus computer labs.

In this session, alongside one of our leading UK customers, learn how technology can improve student outcomes by providing flexible, remote and equitable access to academic software, no matter where students are, what they’re studying, or what device they’re using. Afterall, all students should get the same, consistent experience from their time at university, regardless of their circumstances.

From a single online portal, and even from directly within your Virtual Learning Environment like Canvas, Software2 will explain how you can adapt to ‘the new normal’ and meet the demands of today’s students, by making key software titles available on-demand, on and off campus, all with a single click.

Improve student outcomes, pivot to the reality of hybrid learning, and prepare for the inevitable mass return to campus, by providing consistent access to key academic resources, whether in labs or at home, all with AppsAnywhere from Software2.


Mission: Impossible - Supporting students in 140 countries through an exam period during a pandemic
Matt Softly, IT Manager, University of Essex

As the pandemic saw a near instant shift to remote delivery of academic content to students, the Summer Exam period loomed on the horizon. For the University of Essex, having one of the most international student communities in the World, the exam delivery and support model needed to have the flexibility to accommodate students with differing exam types across multiple time zones. Students completed MCQ and essay-based exams online and were supported by several Professional Services teams resulting in brilliant support experiences for students. This session will demonstrate the student experience, the support models behind it, and the lessons learned. 


Digital Change – where are we and how did we get here?
Richard Harris, 365 Product Team & Dignity Advisor, University of Nottingham

In this talk I'll go through where we are as an organisation with Microsoft 365, how we got here, and what techniques we used. This is very much about culture, behaviour, and the approach you could also use to help you achieve change within your organisation.