Here's the latest news from AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation.
This June AMOSSHE member organisations in north west England hosted four Student Affairs professionals from the USA, representing NASPA, the US organisation for Student Affairs administrators in higher education. AMOSSHE and NASPA have a longstanding international exchange agreement for the purpose of mutual study of Student Affairs / Student Services models, practices and current student issues.
Our NASPA guests were (left to right in the picture): Jennifer Forry (Interim Dean of Student Affairs, Newbury College), Byron McCrae (Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Hampshire College), Kristin Kushmider (Dean of Students, University of Colorado Denver), and Debbie Conner (Vice President for Student Affairs, Coastal Carolina University).
The delegates arrived in Manchester, and spent a week visiting Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Manchester, University of Chester, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Edge Hill University. As well as this, our visitors sampled some of north west England’s vibrant cultural scene.
Many, many thanks to our members and colleagues who took time to welcome our NASPA guests and share expertise - and thank you to our NASPA colleagues for coming!
Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for spring 2017: a roundup of AMOSSHE news, events, and more (click image to view - PDF 2.9 MB).
In this bulletin find out about the themes that AMOSSHE will use to enable our organisational strategy. Also, get an overview of our professional development work so far this year, and find out about our forthcoming exchange visit from Student Affairs professionals from the USA.
The bulletin contains some of the key headlines from the AMOSSHE Student Services benchmarking survey 2016/17, which gives you a snapshot of the scale, scope, challenges and opportunities of Student Services in this academic year.
The AMOSSHE national conference 360 degree thinking is all set to be an inspiring showcase for how Student Services leaders can really make a difference. Our final keynote speaker, Ben Smith, is joining us on Friday 7 July to share his insights into how one person can make a huge impact.
In 2015 Ben ran 401 marathons in 401 days around the UK to raise £250,000 for Kidscape and Stonewall, charities dedicated to tackling bullying in our society. Ben challenged himself to run the same distance as from London to Sydney to overcome the mental health issues, homophobia and bullying he had experienced in his life. His achievement has inspired others to do things they never thought were possible. Ben and The 401 Challenge team have received awards for this inspiring project, including the Regional and National Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year Award 2016, the Power of Light Award 2016 from the Cabinet Office and Prime Minister Theresa May, and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award 2016.
Ben joins our other keynote speakers Wes Streeting, Nicola Dandridge and Lee Elliot Major, to enhance our programme of AMOSSHE member- and sector-led sessions exploring all angles to drive student success – encompassing inspiring leadership, effective collaboration and innovative practice. Find out more about the conference programme: 360 degree thinking: leadership / collaboration / innovation.
This event is AMOSSHE’s key professional development and networking opportunity this year, so don’t miss the opportunity to be there! Booking closes next week - Wednesday 26 April.
360 degree thinking takes place in Brighton from 5 to 7 July 2017. Book your place here.
This month the AMOSSHE National Office is moving to a new home at Woburn House, Tavistock Square, London. We’re leasing our new office accommodation from Universities UK.
This move represents a significant next step in AMOSSHE's development as an organisation and our role in representing our members at sector level. We believe that the move makes both strategic and practical sense by placing AMOSSHE physically and symbolically alongside other sector leadership organisations like Universities UK and GuildHE.
It will both strengthen our relationships with these organisations, and mean that we have the opportunity to engage more directly and more often with a greater number of our members in person, because many members regularly visit Woburn House for sector events and meetings.
The move follows many very positive years of sharing our office accommodation with the National Union of Students (NUS). AMOSSHE has benefited from a productive as well as enjoyable relationship with NUS during this time, which we aim to continue to enhance once we’re no longer neighbours. AMOSSHE would like to take this opportunity to thank NUS for their support and for helping us establish a permanent presence in London.
The National Office will move to Woburn House by the end of April. AMOSSHE’s new postal address will be:
AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation
Third Floor, Woburn House
20 to 24 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9HQ
The National Office phone number, email address and website URL will remain the same.
AMOSSHE is delighted to announce that Wes Streeting MP is the keynote speaker for day two of 360 degree thinking, the AMOSSHE national conference 2017.
Wes was elected as the Labour MP for Ilford North at the 2015 general election. Having grown up on a council estate to become the first person in his family to go to university, Wes is passionate about improving access to education. He has worked on an anti-bullying campaign with schools across Britain, and run a national charity to support people from under-privileged backgrounds to get to university. Wes is a former President of the National Union of Students.
Wes joins Lee Elliot Major (Chief Executive, Sutton Trust) and Nicola Dandridge (Chief Executive, Universities UK) as part of our exciting conference programme. 360 degree thinking approaches Student Services with perspectives from all angles to drive student success – encompassing inspiring leadership, effective collaboration and innovative practice. Take a look at the conference programme, venue and speakers: 360 degree thinking.
360 degree thinking takes place from 5 to 7 July 2017 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, UK.
As a residential delegate you can secure a discounted early bird rate, and also sign up to take a sunset flight on British Airways i360, the world's tallest moving observation tower. But don't miss out! Early bird discounts end on Thursday 6 April.
Book your place here: booking and prices.
The current political climate in the UK and abroad has highlighted deep societal divisions about race, gender, class and religious identities. So as Student Services professionals it's a good time to ask ourselves: how do ideas of culture, social identity, power / privilege dynamics, unconscious bias and intercultural conflict influence our relationships with students and institutional colleagues?
AMOSSHE is hosting a continuing professional development day to discuss these topics and find ways to start dialogues and build bridges.
'Understanding cultural differences to start dialogue and build bridges' takes place on 27 April 2017 at Woburn House, London.
The day provides professional development and also training for trainers, including a resource guide with information about how to conduct similar sessions within your organisation.
Find out more and book your place here: Understanding cultural differences.
360 degree thinking: leadership / collaboration / innovation is the AMOSSHE national conference 2017. Let's take a 360 degree approach to Student Services, with perspectives from all angles to drive student success – encompassing inspiring leadership, effective collaboration and innovative practice.
360 degree thinking takes place from 5 to 7 July 2017 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, UK.
Join AMOSSHE down on the seafront in Brighton for three days of leading edge expertise-sharing by AMOSSHE members and sector organisations from around the world, as well as inspiring keynote speakers, networking and social opportunities. Take a look at the conference programme, venue and speakers: 360 degree thinking.
AMOSSHE is delighted to announce two keynote speakers to open 360 degree thinking on Wednesday 5 July:
We have more exciting keynote speakers to announce for the rest of the conference, so watch this space.
It's worth booking early! As a residential delegate you can secure a discounted early bird rate, and also sign up to take a sunset flight on British Airways i360, the world's tallest moving observation tower!
AMOSSHE Executive Member Pete Quinn, who was previously Director of Student Support at University of York, was elected to the Executive role in July 2016 for one year because Fay Sherrington changed her role to become AMOSSHE Vice Chair. Pete is now pursuing consultancy work, so the role becomes available for a representative of an AMOSSHE member organisation. The entire AMOSSHE team extends their thanks to Pete for his work with AMOSSHE during this academic year, and wish him well for his future in the higher education sector.
The AMOSSHE Executive Committee has consulted the list of candidates who members voted for in June 2016, to find the unelected person with the most votes to take Pete’s place as Executive Member for the remainder of the 2016/17 academic year. AMOSSHE is delighted to welcome Jill Stevenson, Head of Student Support Service at University of Stirling, as the new Executive Member.
Here’s the statement Jill made when nominating to join the AMOSSHE Executive:
As Head of Student Support Services at the University of Stirling, I am privileged to have the opportunity to make transformational changes that make tangible differences to the lives of our students. I would be delighted to extend this impact across the sector as a member of the AMOSSHE Executive. I believe that I can contribute a unique combination of energy, drive, and a fresh perspective, coupled with an extensive knowledge and understanding of the student support and equality and diversity agendas.
I recently led a significant restructure of Student Support Services at Stirling, resulting in the creation of an increasingly integrated, resilient and student-focused service. At the heart of this initiative is a desire to optimise the student experience through the provision of adaptable, accessible and well-promoted services, delivered by a customer-focused team of the highest calibre.
I am deeply committed to creating a shared culture of accessibility, inclusion and respect for diversity. I consider the development of strong partnerships – internally and externally within and outwith the higher education sector – as pivotal to this ambition. This vision, coupled with the ever-increasing demand for all our services, requires universities to share knowledge, expertise and resources to develop impactful and innovative initiatives that not only enable students to achieve their potential at university, but also equip them with the resilience and life skills to become confident and employable graduates.
As a member of the AMOSSHE Executive, I would seek to foster effective collaborations, and create a sound evidence base that convincingly demonstrates the impact of Student Services to policy-makers and funders. I’m excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with and represent my sectoral colleagues in pursuit of our shared ambitions to enhance the lives of our students.
Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for winter 2017: a roundup of AMOSSHE news, events, and more (click image to view - PDF 5.6 MB).
In this bulletin find out about the AMOSSHE national conference 360 degree thinking, which takes place in July. There’s also news about a host of other AMOSSHE events coming up in the spring.
Find out about the Student Services projects AMOSSHE is funding this year through AMOSSHE Insight, and catch up on the outcomes of our most recent continuing professional development event, which discussed how Student Services can tackle gender-based violence in higher education.
AMOSSHE is holding a continuing professional development event about how Student Services can more effectively support trans students in higher education: Supporting trans students.
Focussing attention on support for trans students has never been more timely. Recently the London Assembly Health Committee published a report on the mental health needs of LGBT+ people, which finds that while these people are more likely to experience mental ill health than the wider population, LGBT+ people are often overlooked in needs assessments and consequently in mental health commissioning decisions.
Meanwhile in Texas, USA, legislators have introduced a bill to senate that would restrict trans-identified people from utilising restrooms and changing facilities that align with their gender identity. This applies to public colleges and universities. State-led actions such as this contribute to the sense of a hostile culture for trans students around the world, impacting their mental wellbeing.
Supporting trans students is an opportunity to review updated guidance from the Equality Challenge Unit for staff in higher education institutions across the UK and colleges in Scotland about improving experiences for trans students and staff. The event also explores in a practical way how Student Services can enable trans students to realise their academic potential.
Supporting trans students takes place on 23 March 2017 in Birmingham. Book your place now!
You can also find news, features and photos on our blog
AMOSSHE members can find even more news, plus sector and policy updates
AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is a UK non-profit professional association. Company registration number 4778650.