Here's the latest news from AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation.
AMOSSHE is delighted to publish the case study report and supporting materials resulting from its national Students FIRST project. Students FIRST asked:
Dr. Andrew West, Chair of AMOSSHE and Director of Student Services at the University of Sheffield said:
“Students FIRST is a landmark piece of work. Prior to Students FIRST, there was little readily-available evidence to test the rationale behind targeted-spend bursary models. Equally, the learning in this project underpins a range of tools and templates to help improve the relationship between HE professionals (like Student Services staff) and commercial IT providers, to put the student at the centre of those relationships from the outset.”
Professor Sir Deian Hopkin, chair of the Students FIRST project board 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 to ensure that no-one is deterred from achieving their potential simply because of money. We also need to speak the language of students, and supporting them via the media they use and understand best. Students FIRST provides important insight into one effective way targeted bursaries can be used to support students, and how universities can make the best use of communications technology.”
AMOSSHE thanks those involved in the project for their support in the past eighteen months. JISC provided essential funding as part of its Relationship Management in Higher Education programme strand. Anglia Ruskin University and the University of East London worked closely with the researchers and commercial partners, and John Smith’s Booksellers provided critical information about products and usage. BlackBoard Connecttxt and Modus contributed helpfully to the guidance materials produced. Finally, the researchers at Continuum, the Centre for Widening Participation showed a great deal of professionalism in analysing what seemed to be endless streams of data. Students FIRST’s outputs are truly from the sector and for the sector, and will inform future developments both in bursary provision and technology interactions in higher education.
Ben Lewis has been elected as the Chair of AMOSSHE, the Student Services Organisation and will take this post from 1 September 2012 for two years. Ben has been influential in AMOSSHE’s development for several years, including posts as Treasurer and Vice Chair. He has supported the organisation to increase its profile, with a focus on membership engagement and giving a voice to Student Services professionals.
Ben is Head of Student Advisory Services at Cardiff University. He leads a range of student support services provided at Cardiff University covering advice and guidance, financial support, international student support, disability, dyslexia and mental health support and the Chaplaincy. He was Vice Chair of AMOSSHE for the period 2010-12 and previously spent two years on the AMOSSHE Executive Board, including one year as Treasurer.
Ben Lewis, incoming Chair of AMOSSHE and Head of Student Advisory Services at Cardiff University, said:
“We face challenging times, but also times of opportunity. I am looking forward to working with colleagues to develop the way AMOSSHE can represent our members’ interests and grow new resources which can help us all in the future. I thank Andrew for his support, friendship and dedication to the organisation and it's members.”
Dr. Andrew West, the outgoing Chair of AMOSSHE and Director of Student Services at the University of Sheffield, said:
”I am delighted to be handing over the AMOSSHE leadership baton to Ben Lewis, with whom I have worked closely over the last two years in his role as AMOSSHE Vice-Chair. AMOSSHE enters the next academic year in a strong position and with exciting plans to develop our activities and services further, for the benefit of members. Ben is very well placed to take these developments forward and I send him my warmest wishes.”
Also taking on new roles in the officer’s group at AMOSSHE are: Brian Hipkin (Regent’s College London), Vice Chair; and Nicole Redman (University of East London), Vice-Chair (Operations). Sally Olohan (Nottingham Trent University) has been re-elected to the AMOSSHE Executive, and will be joined by three newly elected board members: Sam Dale (Durham University), Fay Sherrington (University of Salford), and Chris Twine (University of Birmingham).
AMOSSHE wishes all of the Executive officers and board members standing down at the end of August the best of luck with their future endeavours.
The full Executive committee for 2012/13 is:
AMOSSHE is delighted to announce a host of new services for AMOSSHE members adopting the Value & Impact management approach. In June 2011, we delivered the Value & Impact Toolkit to widespread sector acclaim. Today marks the next wave of Value & Impact management support.
Work to assess the Value and Impact of Student Support services is related to three key drivers and benefits:
The Value & Impact bank (members only), launched today, brings together existing evaluation materials from UK HEIs. It enables managers to consider what is currently available and how they might adapt that for their own evaluations. The Bank also allows members to draw on their tradition of sharing good practice and ideas, and to contribute to this evolving management practice.
Ben Lewis, Vice Chair of AMOSSHE and Head of Student Advisory Services at Cardiff University said:
“The Value & Impact Bank is a vital resource for Student Services managers. It champions the great work already being delivered by AMOSSHE members to fully understand the difference their services make to students, and to act on that learning to improve the student experience. The Value & Impact Bank will be the essential home for holistic evaluation as it develops.”
The Value & Impact Bank is an exclusive resource for AMOSSHE members. It can be accessed by logging into www.amosshe.org.uk and selecting ‘Members Resources.’
Feedback from pilot institutions involved in the Value & Impact Project and from colleagues who have considered using the Value & Impact Toolkit has highlighted the difficulties of the initial stages of introducing Value & Impact management. To help overcome these obstacles, AMOSSHE has developed a bespoke CPD offer of masterclasses to be delivered direct to university teams.
“We designed Value & Impact Onsite specifically to address the challenges of moving to holistic service evaluation that Student Services across the UK have reported to us. These include addressing staff concerns, skills needs, departmental culture issues, change management, and the opportunity to test and become familiar with the tools and templates from the Value & Impact Toolkit in a safe environment. If these issues sound familiar, Value & Impact Onsite could be invaluable for your department.”
Value & Impact Onsite is available to book from today. Information about the service is at www.amosshe.org.uk/projects/vip/onsite.
We will be tweeting from today’s Value & Impact workshop using #amosshevip. Follow us @amosshe_uk to find out more about the new services launched as part of Value & Impact Day, and top tips from the workshop.
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. “
“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.”
In this StudentAffairs.com podcast, AMOSSHE Chair Andrew West discusses higher education professional bodies and AMOSSHE’s Value & Impact project.
Listen to the podcast here.
AMOSSHE has today published to members a management support pack to accompany the Value & Impact toolkit. The management support pack is a supplementary resource for managers, bringing together a change and culture management guidance with the value and impact resources. Adopting Value and Impact, across a department or even just within one specific service, is about a change in management approach. The support pack aids managers in introducing and embedding the Value and Impact approach in their teams. Find it here: Management Support Pack (members only).
Work to assess the value and impact of student support services is realted to three key drivers and benefits:
In these stringent times amidst the rhetoric of fees, student experience, widening access and key information, it is essential that managers challenge themselves to understand and address the value and impact of their services.
The pilot experience in the initial Value and Impact Project exposed many challenges for management wishing to adopt the approach. Asking teams to evaluate their services holistically can be daunting. It takes time, asks professions to consider their services and performance in ways they may not have previously considered, and requires tools and skills to be developed and refined. AMOSSHE has responded to these complex challenges by working with Jan Shine, Paullus Consultancy, to create a suite of management support resources and a development programme. The management support pack is the first output from this collaboration.
Dr Andrew West; Chair of AMOSSHE and Director of Student Services at the University of Sheffield said:
"Value and Impact of student services is a rewarding and challenging experience. I am delighted that our recent member survey demonstrates that so many of our members are making use of AMOSSHE's Value and Impact toolkit. Our new management support pack is a great additional resource to help members embed this holistic approach to evaluation."
The management support pack is a members' only resource, and can be accessed by logging in to the members' area of the website. It will be followed with two training days in 2012: a strategic conference 'Value and Impact: why do we do what we do?' on 20 January 2012 and a practical workshop 'Value and Impact: leadership strategy' on 21 March 2012. AMOSSHE is also developing a members' only repository of tools already used in Student Services departments across the UK: further information about this is available from the Value and Impact Project Officer.
AMOSSHE thanks Jan Shine of Paullus Consultancy for her work in developing the Management Support Pack.
The AMOSSHE toolkit is available in two formats: a full PDF and an online resource.
Liz Bromley, AMOSSHE Vice Chair (Operations) 2009-2013 and Director of Student Life, University of Salford, appeared on a Granada News feature about clearing.
Bromley said: "It's not just about them [students] coming in the door; it's about them being successful, being happy, and leaving as graduate that's going to into the world of work and do really well."
Today’s publication of the National Student Survey results show another improvement in student satisfaction with personal development provision at institutions across the UK. AMOSSHE members* often have lead responsibility for this work, and we are pleased to see this as a key area of improved satisfaction.
We commend the hard work and commitment of managers of Student Services and their teams across the UK in delivering high quality student experience. AMOSSHE will continue to work with our members towards continued improvement in the value and impact of student support services within the holistic student experience.
* 35% of respondents to the 2010 AMOSSHE members’ survey were responsible for study skills, 15% for English language skills, 69% for health promotion and 35.4 for volunteering.
Following a nominations process in May and June 2011, Liz Bromley, Director of Student Life at University of Salford has been reelected as AMOSSHE’s Vice Chair (Operations) and Dr. Gillian Jack, Director of Student Services at University of Glamorgan has been reelected as AMOSSHE’s Vice Chair (Finance).
Liz Bromley is Director of Student Life at University of Salford, responsible for a broad range of the non-academic aspects of the student experience. She works closely with the Students’ Union to ensure that the range of student support, including all advisory, welfare and faith matters at the University are appropriate for the diverse student body. Liz’s background includes working for the Open University for a number of years and being a magistrate. She sits on AMOSSHE’s National Executive Board and is Vice Chair (Operations), managing the National Office team and chairing the multi-faith knowledge community. On her reappointment, Liz said:
“Working at the heart of AMOSSHE as Vice Chair (Operations) for the past two years has been rewarding and fulfilling. I am very pleased to be continuing this in 2011/13, and look forward to continuing to work with the office team to support colleagues across Student Services in influencing public policy and advancing professionalism. AMOSSHE is a superb way to engage with the sector across the UK; I encourage everyone to get involved.”
As Director of Student Services in the University of Glamorgan, Dr. Gillian Jack is responsible for the strategic development of student support policies and procedures, and delivery across a multi sited diverse community. She has undertaken a variety of management roles at a strategic and operational level, in addition to specific project and programme management experience. Gill has been Vice Chair (Finance) of AMOSSHE since 2010 and worked closely with the National Office to improve financial reporting and policies for the organisation. On her reappointment, Gill said:
“AMOSSHE has changed considerably over recent years, and it is a privilege to be involved in shaping these developments and the delivery of a high quality student experience. I am committed to transparency for our members and enjoy working with the National Office and Executive to ensure we deliver the best possible value. As we support the sector to assess value and impact of all our services, being recognised for contributing to this aspect of our professional organisation is a fantastic opportunity.”
AMOSSHE is delighted to welcome the following colleagues to the Executive board, including a previous chair returning to the board: Ben Bailey, Senior Assistant Registrar at the University of Derby; Sara Doherty, Director of Services for Students, St. George’s, University of London; Dr. Chris Lusk, Director of Student Services, University of St. Andrews; Nicole Redman, Head of SMART team, University of East London; and Julie Walkling, Director of Student Services, Anglia Ruskin University. They will commence their appointments to the Executive Board on 1 September 2011 and serve until 31 August 2013.
Dr. Andrew West, Chair of AMOSSHE and Director of Student Services at the University of Sheffield, said:
“I am delighted to welcome these colleagues to the Executive at this exciting time for AMOSSHE, the Student Services Organisation. Our recently launched Value and Impact toolkit is a key element in our work supporting student services professionals across the sector, and the next year will be a critical and busy time for the Executive. I look forward to working with our new Executive group in the coming year.”
AMOSSHE responds to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) higher education white paper: 'Students at the heart of the system':
AMOSSHE welcomes the explicit recognition of Student Services and welfare provision as key higher education institution (HEI) services in the white paper published to parliament yesterday by David Willetts. ‘Students at the Heart of the System’ acknowledges the HEI’s duty of care and that good pastoral care can sometimes ‘make the difference between completing a course and dropping out.’ AMOSSHE also welcomes that the proposals around graduate skills and employability in many ways build on existing good practice, employer engagement and internship schemes. This is long overdue recognition of the contribution that support services make to the student experience, employability, and equipping students for life beyond university.
‘Students at the Heart of the System’ is a clear signal that AMOSSHE’s Value & Impact Toolkit could not be more timely. Using the value and impact approach, departments can understand the effect that their pastoral care has and support the statements made by government in the white paper. In meeting Access Agreement requirements and thresholds, institutions are asked to ‘focus on clear outputs from access activities and measurable progress against appropriate measures and targets.’ AMOSSHE proposes that institutions consider the Value & Impact Toolkit when thinking about these measures, and utilise the tools that will best enable them to assess their fair access and widening participation successes.
‘We are pleased to see that the student experience is at the heart of the White Paper and that Student Services provision is explicitly recognised as a key HEI service, pointing in particular to the impact of student support on student success and retention. The evaluation toolkit ‘Understanding the Value and Impact of services that support students’ recently launched by AMOSSHE can support HEIs in assessing student services to ensure that they deliver support that makes a real positive difference to the student experience.’
AMOSSHE today issued a briefing note to its members highlighting the main points of interest in the White Paper as they relate specifically to Student Services. AMOSSHE will consider each of the consultations set out by the White paper, and will respond to these as appropriate. We will discuss the implications of the White Paper and our responses with related professional sector groups where appropriate. In particular, we have agreed to work with the Academic Registrars’ Council (ARC) on areas of synergy relating to the ‘Students at the Heart of the System,’ including consultation responses.
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AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is a UK non-profit professional association. Company registration number 4778650.