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The student as a consumer? The next steps for student experience and quality assurance in universities

Central London
13 October 2011 08:30-13:00

Westminster Education Forum Keynote Seminar

This 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.

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
Liam Burns, 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
Chaired by:
Gareth Thomas MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Science
This event is CPD certified



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