Positive approaches for growth and success

  • 09 November 2018
  • 09:30 - 16:30
  • Hilton Sheffield Hotel
  • 7

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Growth and successPositive approaches for growth and success: helping students overcome challenges

This interactive professional development event explores how Student Services in higher education can develop our students’ attitudes and approaches to the transitions and challenges of university life. Discover research-based interventions and strategies to help students learn from failure and setbacks, build life skills, adopt positive growth mindsets, and tackle perfectionism, anxiety and other barriers to achievement and success. Through interactive workshops and inspiring presentations, this event considers the tools, structures and ideas you can use to help students make the most of their potential.

AMOSSHE members can find the event resources here:

Members only

“Resilience” is a hotly contested concept in higher education, and AMOSSHE takes the stance that this term should not be used to label students with negative judgements or place limitations on their abilities. Instead, AMOSSHE is focusing on what Student Services can do to develop supportive, enabling cultures for students and staff alike – for example, making improvements to physical and social environments, and providing approaches and support to help everyone achieve their potential.

Location, time and price

This one day event takes place at the Hilton Sheffield Hotel, Victoria Quays, Furnival Road, Sheffield, S4 7YB.

Registration opens at 09:30, and the first session starts at 10:00.

Here are the delegate prices (which include lunch):

  • AMOSSHE named member - £175 (log in to access this rate)
  • Member colleague (non-member, but an employee of an AMOSSHE member organisation) - £190
  • Non-member (individuals, not-for-profit organisations and higher education providers not associated with AMOSSHE) - £225
  • Corporate non-member - £255

You don’t need to pay VAT for AMOSSHE events. Before booking, please read our booking terms and conditions.



Here's the programme for the day:

Time Session
09:30 Registration and refreshments.
10:00 Welcome and context (Nic Streatfield, AMOSSHE Vice Chair Professional Development, and Chris Warrington, AMOSSHE Executive Member).
10:05 Keynote: Resilience in a university context: fad, friend or foe?
Abby Shovlin, Academic Transitions Coordinator, University of Edinburgh
Opinion on resilience in higher education remains divided, and alongside its ‘buzzword’ status the term continues to court controversy. This keynote presentation addresses this divide and presents evidence that demonstrates the rich potential that the concept of resilience offers both educators and professional services staff. It does so by drawing on theoretically informed, practical examples of resilience-building in the curriculum, which were specifically designed to foster mindsets for learning and creativity in science. However, fostering mindsets for learning and building positive learning experiences is not only achieved through pedagogy; a whole institution approach is required. This session outlines an evidence-based framework on which a whole institution framework can be built.
10:50 Break and refreshments.
11:05 Why should I learn about failure when I want to be a success?
Lancaster University
In university life, we talk about success but rarely talk about failure. University students often seem to see themselves as on show and in competition; anything less than perfection is seen as a failure. But the fear of failure inhibits our students (and us!) across the full spectrum of university experience, from academic performance, to careers, health and wellbeing. This workshop shares findings and insights from research on working with students on issues around failure, resilience and confidence. It showcases some of the coaching techniques used with students, and encourages you to consider how students perceive failure to better help them to deal with the emotional and academic pressures of university. In this highly interactive workshop, explore the ways we choose to focus and engage with failure, how to recognise failure and take it seriously, and how to work productively with it.
Developing practice from research into student and staff perceptions of resilience
University of Leeds
This presentation and workshop session considers the findings of a research project exploring staff and student perceptions of the concept of resilience from different subject perspectives, and how these are being used to enhance the student experience. Recommendations from the research discuss topics including student perceptions and understanding of the term ‘resilience’, expectations with regard to success and failure, support and self-care, and university spaces and communities. Learn about the research and its findings, then explore its detailed findings and recommendations through group discussion.
12:35 Lunch.
13:35 Why should I learn about failure when I want to be a success?
Lancaster University
Repeat of earlier workshop.
Developing practice from research into student and staff perceptions of resilience
University of Leeds
Repeat of earlier workshop.
15:05 Break and refreshments.
15:20 Group interventions to enhance resilience
University of Stirling
This presentation explores the findings and recommendations of a project designed to build the resilience of students living in university accommodation. Find out how the project team developed, targeted and measured the impact of themed interventions (group workshops / support groups) on topics including stress reduction and management, using the power of positive psychology and mindfulness, and managing relationships and social anxiety.
16:10 Our Resilience Toolkit: research, case studies and practical tools
AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation
This session helps you make the most of the Resilience Toolkit developed by AMOSSHE and Unite Students: an open, online resource to help Student Services professionals in higher education develop student and staff resilience to stress, anxiety and similar barriers to achievement and success. Explore the resources available in the toolkit, learn about the research background that informed its creation, and find out how to contribute to the project.
16:30 Finish.



Confirmed speakers and session leaders include:

  • Abby Shovlin is the Academic Transitions Coordinator at the University of Edinburgh, and works with both staff and students to develop and embed enhanced academic transition practice across the university. Her work in academic transitions at the University of Edinburgh formed the basis of her Academic Transitions Toolkit (which is available as a downloadable resource). Abby has also worked on academic transitions nationally as part of her involvement with the QAA Enhancement Themes, and is currently working on transitions to Honours in undergraduate programmes. Outside of this, Abby operates her own consultancy, The Wellbeing Perspective, which she has recently founded to research and develop wellbeing in, and through, learning and teaching.
  • Will Medd (Professional Coach), Liz Brewster (Lecturer in Medical Education), Edith Graham (Professional Coach) and Rob Young (Professional Creative Writer) are part of Lancaster University’s Failure to Learn … Failure to Grow team. Take a look at Failure: a guide for students.
  • Lydia Bleasdale is Associate Professor – School of Law at the University of Leeds. You can find her research on the AMOSSHE / Unite Students Resilience Toolkit.
  • Erin Russell is Head of Student Guidance & Wellbeing at the University of Stirling. You can find her research on the AMOSSHE / Unite Students Resilience Toolkit.
  • Nic Streatfield is AMOSSHE Vice Chair (Professional Development) and Head of Student Services at York St John University.
  • Chris Warrington is an AMOSSHE Executive Member and Head of Student Support at the University of Leeds.


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