Student centre vs students at the centre

  • 06 December 2019
  • 09:30 - 16:30
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Birmingham
  • 0

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Student centre vs students at the centreStudent centre vs students at the centre: managing the tensions

This professional development event for Student Services leaders explores some of the key elements to consider when changing the structure of Student Services provision to integrate services. Whether you're co-locating services in a new student centre, utilising existing space(s) to better serve your students, streamlining services for efficiency, or changing the ethos of how your services work together, this event provides some food for thought from colleagues who have implemented change within their institutions.

AMOSSHE members can find the event resources here:

Members only

Key topics for consideration include:

  • Understanding students' needs and expectations
  • Managing change
  • Bringing staff and colleagues on board
  • Considerations for co-locating in new student centres
  • How to put services where students are

Location and price

This one day event takes place at the Radisson Blu Birmingham, 12 Holloway Circus, Queensway, Birmingham, B1 1BT.

Here are the delegate prices (which include lunch):

  • AMOSSHE named member - £180 (log in to access this rate)
  • Member colleague (non-member, but an employee of an AMOSSHE member organisation) - £195
  • Non-member (individuals, not-for-profit organisations and higher education providers not associated with AMOSSHE) - £230
  • Corporate non-member - £270

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


Time  Session 
09:30 Registration and refreshments.
10:00 Welcome and context
Fay Sherrington (AMOSSHE Vice Chair and Director of Student Services, Edge Hill University) and Helen McNeely (AMOSSHE Vice Chair Operations and Head of Affairs, Queen's University Belfast) outline the context for the day.
10:10 Service redesign and change management: forward thinking
Dr Paul Redmond (Director of Student Experience and Enhancement, University of Liverpool) explores essential points to consider when redesigning your services. Paul is an expert on generations and the world of work. His research into the future of work and ‘Generation Y’ has attracted considerable attention among both graduate recruiters and the media. Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the author of several books, including the best-selling The Graduate Careers Formula and (exclusively for "helicopter parents") A Parent’s Guide to Graduate Jobs. Drawing on his expertise for this keynote session, Paul invites you to challenge your thinking about who your present and future students are, in order to understand their needs and expectations - and discusses how you can help your staff to think differently too. He outlines how a strong sense of leadership, having an overall strategy, and linking change to that strategy, can help you bring institutional leadership teams on board, to convince them to support and invest in your project.
11:00 Designing services for a new Centre for Student Life
Gareth Hughes (Head of Health & Wellbeing, Student Support & Wellbeing, Cardiff University) shares how Cardiff University approached their ongoing service redesign to help inform the holistic design of their new Centre for Student Life. Talking through a number of examples, the session explores how Gareth helped colleagues rethink how to do things differently for a future generation of service users; how this informed the design of the new £60 million space; effective working with the Students’ Union; and issues the team encountered along the way and how they addressed them. While not all higher education providers are in a position to invest in landmark construction projects, all have to continually rethink how to meet the growing and evolving demand for student support, so there's something for everyone in this informative and practical session.
12:00 Lunch.
13:00 Wrapping services around students
Joanne Barnes (Head of Student Disability and Wellbeing, Queen’s University Belfast) discusses how she has worked with her team to put students at the heart of service delivery. The team uses a WRAP model to help students identify their personal resources and the support and services that they can engage with when things don’t go to plan. WRAP allows the student to build a picture of what they're like when they're well, what they do to keep well, and how to identify the early warning signs when things aren’t going well. In doing so, the student is empowered to take ownership of developing a plan that determines how and when they engage with services, which ensures that they are in control of managing their wellbeing and support throughout their academic journey and beyond. In addition, because students can share their WRAP with others, they don't have to re-tell their story to multiple people across various departments. To date, the pilot has been aimed at first year students with mental health difficulties to successfully support their transition to university and reduce the need for crisis intervention. There are now plans to expand the pilot in its second year by encouraging all first year students to develop a WRAP to effectively support their transition to university life, to help them feel better connected and in control. This session includes considerations around when, where and how staff meet with students and how to work collaboratively with other services to create a smooth pathway for these students.
13:45 Bridging the gap between academic and Student Services support
In 2016 the University of Exeter launched a two year programme to transform its frontline Student Services. From the outset it sought to develop the new service in partnership with students, academics and Student Services staff, ensuring that their views, experiences and needs were reflected in the ways of working, service delivery and physical location of the service. The project delivered holistic change including process redesign, organisation design, infrastructure development and, riven through it all, cultural change. Key innovations included approaches to develop service consistency whilst recognising local variation, provision of front-line wellbeing specialists, and an organisation structure and culture that enables flexible resourcing, service resilience and clear career paths for staff. The project built a foundation for the future that, two years on from completion, has evolved further. Elaine Cordy (Education Support and Student Administration Manager) and Gill Preston (Programme Manager), the business lead and project manager, share the highs and lows of their story, reflecting on how the Exeter experience might be relevant to others.
14:45 Break and refreshments.
15:15 Designing an integrated service: identifying challenges and opportunities
This practical workshop is an opportunity to think through all the implications of integrating a range of Student Services, whether in relation to the development of a new student centre, in order to design more effective services, or both. Al Rodgers (Student Hub Manager, University of Birmingham) sets the context by outlining the journey that Birmingham took to develop their Student Hub, and guides you though an exercise in which you can think through the key considerations for integrating the services of a hypothetical university.
16:30 Finish.

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