AMOSSHE is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Sir Deian Hopkins as an independent chair for the JISC-funded Students FIRST project board. Students FIRST, coordinated by AMOSSHE, is working with partners at University of East London, Anglia Ruskin University and John Smith, together with several other technology providers, to investigate the impact of targeted bursary interventions on student retention and transitions.
Professor Sir Deian Hopkin has a keen interest in widening participation and student finance. Deian is the President of the National Library of Wales, after 44 years in higher education which included roles as the Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University and his appointment as the interim-chairman of the Student Loans Company (SLC) in 2010 following his inquiry into the SLC’s performance. Deian is looking forward to working with all the Students FIRST project partners, and exploring the difference that technology-delivered bursaries make to the student experience.
Professor Sir Deian Hopkin said:
“At a time when the cost of higher education is being increasingly borne by students themselves, it is vitally important that we keep a close eye on participation rates from different parts of the community to ensure that no-one is deterred from achieving their potential simply because of money. We also need to ensure that students are properly supported when they do enter university and Student FIRST is an important initiative in this respect. I am delighted to work with my colleagues to find the most effective ways of making bursaries work, to the benefit of students now and in the future. “
Dr. Andrew West, Chair of AMOSSHE and Director of Student Services at the University of Sheffield said:
“Professor Sir Deian Hopkin’s passion for UK higher education, together with his experience of improving student finance provision at the SLC will be a real boost to the board. We are delighted that he is joining us, and the priority that he is according Students FIRST alongside his other national commitments shows the importance of the project. Students FIRST will greatly enhance our understanding of the impact of directing bursary support to specific provision at universities. It will be interesting to see whether the links between support provision, finance advice, and individualised student information can become seamless using the innovative blend of technologies in Students FIRST.”
AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is a UK non-profit professional association. Company registration number 4778650.