Shaping Futures

AMOSSHE national conference 2018

Shaping Futures, the AMOSSHE national conference 2018, explores future directions for Student Services in higher education: how we can enable student success by being proactive, collaborative, and far-sighted.

Find out more:

Shaping Futures conference

Book your place

Booking is open from 26 March until 23 May - early bird discounts end on 23 April

Book here

About the conference

During the 25 years since AMOSSHE was founded, the Student Services mission has moved to the heart of university life. Key approaches now include considering the whole student experience, anticipating change, and developing inclusive, connected learning communities that enhance as well as support student achievement. 

Shaping Futures is an opportunity to explore how Student Services can develop influence, innovations and strategies to shape futures.

The AMOSSHE national conference is the largest annual gathering of Student Services leaders in the UK higher education sector, and the keystone of AMOSSHE’s continuing professional development offering.

The conference takes place between Wednesday 4 July and Friday 6 July 2018 at the Hilton Liverpool City Centre hotel in Liverpool, UK.

Find the conference prices and book your place here: Shaping Futures booking.



Shaping Futures takes place in the lively, friendly city of Liverpool. The Hilton Liverpool City Centre hotel overlooks the historic Albert Dock, and is only a short walk away from famous locations such as the Museum of Liverpool, Liver Building, Tate Liverpool, The Beatles Story and Cavern Club. The hotel also offers easy access to Liverpool One, an open-air shopping district hosting over 160 high-street or designer stores, bars and restaurants.

Hilton Liverpool

If you're a residential delegate, your booking includes accommodation for two nights at the conference venue with all meals, and all evening events. While at the Hilton you can also take advantage of the Fitness Room and Gaming Room.

If you want to stay at the Hilton hotel on the nights before or after the conference, find the best prices here: Hilton Liverpool City Centre. If you’ve also booked a residential place, please email Anya at with your dates, and we’ll make sure you’re in the same hotel room for your entire stay.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re not planning to stay at the Hilton Liverpool City Centre as a residential delegate, there are several alternative accommodation options nearby, including the following:

If you choose not to book a residential place, AMOSSHE can't arrange accommodation for you. Non-residential day places at the conference include lunch and refreshments at the Hilton only. You can attend the evening events on 4 and 5 July for an extra charge.



Here's the programme for each day of the conference:

The conference features sessions led by AMOSSHE members and key organisations in the higher education sector, plus keynote presentations, networking discussions and social events. Find out more about the call for session proposals.


Shaping Futures is kindly supported by these organisations



Randstad Student Support

Studiosity (opens in a new window)

LeadNow (opens in a new window)

Unitemps (opens in a new window)


Report and Support

UniWellBeing (opens in a new window)

Kooth Student (opens in a new window)


Uniti (opens in a new window)

Symplicity (opens in a new window)

Clear Links (opens in a new window)



Barry Bennett (opens in a new window)

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Time Session
Registration and refreshments


The AMOSSHE Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the annual opportunity for AMOSSHE members to engage with the development and direction of their professional association.


David GrevembergKeynote 1 – David Grevemberg CBE

Leadership perspectives: resilient cultures and impact - keys to fulfilment, wellbeing and success
David Grevemberg is Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Games Federation, the organisation responsible for the Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and many other initiatives that inspire Commonwealth athletes to drive the ambition and power of all Commonwealth citizens through sport. Previously, David was Chief Executive of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, and before that David was the Executive Director of Sport and International Federation Relations at the International Paralympic Committee.

In his keynote address, David will draw upon real world examples from major projects in the world of sport and human rights that mirror the responsibilities, challenges and opportunities facing higher education providers in the pursuit of a world class student experience and student success. He will present leadership perspectives and approaches for Student Services leaders to reflect upon and incorporate when establishing a values-based culture that seeks to deliver success through the combined impact of students, faculty and professional services. David will focus particularly on the principle of consistently upholding values whilst establishing relevant and resonant measures of success.


Networking and discovery

15:00 to 16:00

Session 1

1A – No home for hate: a culture change initiative “by the students, for the students”

Middlesex University
David Malpas (Director of Student Affairs), Ben Serlin (Safeguarding (Students on Campus) Project Manager) and Helen Bendon (Director of Programmes for Cinema and Interactive Arts) introduce a culture change project to “stamp out” hate crime and online harassment, which was developed by students as part of their academic programmes. Learn how to use the student voice, collaborate with academic staff, and progress initiatives to sustainable, embedded outcomes.

1B – Student mental health and staff support

University of the Highlands and Islands
Kate Mawby (Student Services Manager) leads a workshop that introduces an AMOSSHE-supported online toolkit designed to increase higher education staff knowledge about different mental health conditions, and the impact they can have on academic study. Learn about the toolkit, discuss mental health terminology, and explore how to tailor support for different groups of students.

1C – The benefits of pro-active engagement: residence life and widening participation

The University of Sheffield
Greg Pevy and Trudie Speed (Residence Life Officers) lead a workshop about the benefits of collaboration between residence life and widening participation teams. Explore research into student retention and achievement, and discover how a supportive and engaging residential environment can promote future success for students. Reflect on how to collaborate across departments and engage under-represented student groups.

1D – Growing through failure: enhancing students’ career resilience

The University of Edinburgh
Dr Lynsey Russell-Watts (Careers Consultant) leads a workshop exploring AMOSSHE-supported research about students’ experiences of failure, setback and challenge and how this influences their career thinking and graduate job searches. Explore the key research findings and how to offer resilience-focused support to students. Take part in activities developed as part of the research, and learn inspiring practical tips to take forward and apply.

Top of programme

16:10 to 17:40

Session 2

2A – Institutional approaches to making accessibility and inclusion part of the culture

Anglia Ruskin University and University of Stirling
Katie Potts (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Anglia Ruskin University) and Jacqui Lenaghen (Accessibility & Inclusion Manager, University of Stirling) lead a workshop about how two institutions have worked with staff and students to implement more inclusive approaches to learning, teaching and assessment, and foster accessible cultures that not only benefit disabled students but enhance the learning experience of all students. 

2B – Getting under the surface: what might be getting in the way of shaping our universities for the future?

UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) and Queen Mary, University of London
Julie Allen (Director of Policy and Services, UKCISA) and Laura SeQueira (Assistant Director Student and Academic Services (Student Wellbeing) and Head of Advice and Counselling Service, Queen Mary) lead an interactive workshop about how to make sense of the unspoken, unconscious and complex goings on in organisations, the role(s) that they play, and their impact on your ability to lead and shape services for the future.

2C – "Parents just don't understand”: the challenges of working collaboratively with parents in higher education

Buzz Consulting and University of Bristol Students' Health Service
Dr Dominique Thompson (GP and Director, Buzz Consulting) and Dr Ian Barakataki (Clinical Psychologist, University of Bristol Students' Health Service) lead a workshop about parents’ heightened involvement in students' lives at university. Explore how staff can appropriately and confidently manage relationships with students' parents, and how to upskill students to navigate parental relationships in their journey to independence.

2D – Creating and developing a resilience module for first year students

Leeds Beckett University
Claire Aydogan (Head of Student and Graduate Futures) and Kate Grafton (Principal Lecturer Physiotherapy) lead an interactive workshop that shares research and techniques for developing resilience as a personal quality that enables people to bounce back in the face of adversity. Take part in resilience training activities designed for first year students, discover student perspectives on this training, and share your own good practice. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Networking drinks reception at the Merseyside Maritime Museum
20:00 Summer BBQ at Hilton Liverpool City Centre Al Fresco Summer Terrace, sponsored by Guidebook

Top of programme

Thursday 5 July 2018

Time Session
Registration and refreshments


Session 3

3A – Collaborative approaches to tackling sexual violence and harassment

Loughborough University, University of Kent and University of Stirling
This workshop explores the collaborative approaches taken by three higher education providers to tackle sexual violence and harassment, change institutional culture, and empower bystanders to intervene. Discover how to work with internal stakeholders, Students’ Unions, partner agencies, city councils and statutory services to implement change and create safe, positive learning environments.

3B – Using digital to build student mental resilience: a discussion panel

Big White Wall
Join a multi-institution panel for an interactive discussion about the role of digital in building students’ resilience. Moderated by digital health expert Nicky Runeckles, the workshop focuses on the move towards enabling students to graduate with the skills, knowledge and ability to cope with life’s challenges. Panellists will offer insights into their institutions’ approaches to using digital tools, share challenges and solutions, and answer your questions.

3C – Critical incident and behaviour management

University of Sussex and Eversheds Sutherland
Christopher Tucker (Head of Campus and Residential Support, University of Sussex) and Si├ón Jones-Davies (Senior Associate, Eversheds Sutherland) lead a practical, scenario-based workshop exploring the challenges faced by students and staff when confronted by students in mental distress and/or engaging in anti-social behaviour. Consider legal and moral duties, and gain an insight into the legal issues related to duty of care, NTQs and “fit to sit” policies or processes.

3D – How can we better support pregnant students and student parents?

Advance HE
Anna Bradshaw (Policy Officer) and Jessica Moody (Senior Policy Advisor) lead a workshop about how to best support pregnant students and student parents. Get an overview of updated sector guidance on student pregnancy and maternity (including the legislative context), discover good practice examples, and work collaboratively to contribute your expertise to help develop the guidance.

Top of programme

11:00 Networking and discovery

Keynote 2 – Janet Beer, Nicola Dandridge and Shakira Martin

For the second Shaping Futures keynote session, AMOSSHE welcomes three exceptional leaders in UK higher education to discuss how students, universities, and the independent sector regulator are shaping the future of the student experience.

Shakira MartinShakira Martin
Shakira Martin is the President of the National Union of Students (NUS). Studying at Lewisham and Southwark College helped Shakira break the cycle of deprivation and develop her voice to become the second NUS President in 95 years to have not attended a higher education institution. Shakira is committed to taking away barriers to education and giving students a voice.

Nicola DandridgeNicola Dandridge CBE
Nicola Dandridge is the first Chief Executive Officer of the new Office for Students, the independent regulator of higher education in England. Previously Nicola was Chief Executive of Universities UK, and before that Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit. In 2015 Nicola was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to higher education.

Janet BeerProfessor Dame Janet Beer
Professor Dame Janet Beer is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, President of Universities UK, a Trustee of the British Council, a member of the Research Excellence Framework Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel, and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In 2018 Janet was awarded a Damehood for her services to higher education and equality and diversity.

13:00 Lunch


Session 4

4A – ARUSafe: institutional responses and sharing good practice for tackling sexual violence, harassment and discrimination

Anglia Ruskin University
Katie Potts (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager) and Nicki Sinclair (ARU Safe Project Coordinator) lead a workshop about the development of two government-funded online tools: one for students to report incidents of hateful, sexually violent, harassing or discriminatory behaviours, and another for sector colleagues to share resources securely and discuss issues. Find out about this project, brainstorm challenges and solutions, and help improve sharing sector good practise.

4B – Shaping financial futures: compliance in money advice

University of York and Bishop Grosseteste University
Mo Onyett (Student Adviser, University of York) and Phil Davis (Head of Student Support, Bishop Grosseteste University) present an overview of the regulatory framework surrounding student money advice, and outline steps to ensuring compliance with consumer protection rules. This is especially relevant if your service offers one-to-one money advice, even if it solely relates to government student loans and hardship funds.

4C – Promoting LGBTQ+ inclusivity in Student Services and across the institution

Student Minds
Dominic Smithies (Equality Improvement Officer) and Rosie Tressler (CEO) draw on new research to discuss how to improve mental health support for LGBTQ+ students. These students are more at risk of experiencing a mental health difficulty, and the complexity is magnified when it intersects with other identities. Get an insight into LGBTQ+ student experiences of help-seeking, learn how LGBTQ+ students believe they can be best supported, and explore a targeted support intervention.

4D – Academic life coaching and the “Pathways to Success @ University” programme

Dublin City University
Deirdre Moloney (Senior Student Support Officer) introduces a programme to help students create clear goals, build strategies to maintain motivation, and build the resilience and self-confidence to reach their goals. Learn about this approach designed to benefit those in transition or who want to find more success in their life. Explore the development of the programme, its impact, and good practice recommendations.

Top of programme

Networking and discovery

15:30 to 16:30

Session 5

5A – Student life mentoring shaping students' lives: how proactive peer support enhances the student experience

University of Surrey
Carol Clutton (Student Life Manager) leads a workshop about a unique service that allocates peer support mentors to first year students. Mentors listen to and empower mentees, provide resources and social opportunities, signpost to support, and offer mediation. Learn about this service and good practice for supporting students who live in residences during their first year, and take part in activities focused on the student lifecycle and ways to provide information to students at the right time.

5B – Critical friends and partners: effective collaboration between Student Services and the Students' Union

Imperial College London and Imperial College Union
Hannah Bannister (Director of Student Services, Imperial College London), Fintan O’Connor (Deputy President of Welfare, Imperial College Union) and Emelie Helsen (Student Development Manager, Imperial College Union) discuss the value of collaboration between Student Services and Students' Union officers and staff to deliver projects that improve the student experience, such as bystander intervention. Explore how a collaboration can work, and how to identify partners.

5C – Shaping the future of university transitions: learning from around the world

Student Minds
Rosie Tressler (CEO) and Louise Honey (Programme Development Manager) lead a workshop about student transitions from school to university, drawing on evidence-based resources and a Mental Health Literacy framework developed in Canada and Australia. Learn about how these resources can help improve student transitions and wellbeing, and explore ways to use them in the UK context and involve the student voice.

5D – Resi Life: success through relationships

Student Living by Sodexo
Elizabeth Davies (Senior Communications Manager) and Tom Martin (Residency Living Manager) present a case study of providing services for all of Northumbria University's student accommodation portfolio. Find out about building successful working relationships with third party providers, stakeholders and students. Share experience with your Student Services peers, and get tips on building successful student living relationships.

Top of programme

16:40 to 17:40
AMOSSHE member-led networking sessions
Gala drinks reception
Gala dinner

Top of programme

Friday 6 July 2018



Registration and refreshments

Phil ScratonKeynote 3 – Professor Phil Scraton

Phil Scraton (Professor Emeritus, Queen's University Belfast) is passionate about recovering truth and informing justice. His in-depth research into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster resulted in an apology to the families and survivors from the Prime Minister and UK government, a new criminal investigation, and a review of emergency planning across the UK. Phil's work has been publicly recognised as an exemplar of methodological innovation, policy relevance and public engagement. He published a much-acclaimed book Hillsborough: The Truth, and the documentary based on his work won a BAFTA in 2017.

Networking and discovery

10:50 to 11:50

Session 6

6A – The value of customer service excellence to Student Services

University of York
Jill Ellis (Deputy Director Student Services), Alison Learwood (International Student Adviser) and Mike Britland (Assistant Head of College) explore how Customer Service Excellence (CSE) accreditation can help develop your approaches to student support, by embedding customer-focused values and providing a toolkit for measuring and monitoring quality service and student satisfaction.

6B – Student debt: insights into UK student borrowing habits – CANCELLED

Future Finance
Chloe Endicott (Strategic Partnerships Manager) leads a workshop about student borrowing habits across the UK, based on credit bureau data analysis. Explore the most popular forms of credit, how much students really borrow while studying, the role of location in debt levels, and the true costs when students turn to credit cards, payday lenders and other sources of financing. Brainstorm different approaches to tackling student debt and educating students on finance matters.

6C - No silver bullets: the role of Student Services in building a whole, institutional approach to student mental health

University of Derby
Jo Jones (Student Services Manager) discusses the steps Student Services can take to shape the future of universities and students, by adopting a proactive and holistic student wellbeing strategy. Explore lessons learned from six years of pursuing one such strategy, including influencing behaviour and culture, ensuring impact on student wellbeing, using research, building teams and doing it all on a shoestring.

6D - Engaging Student Affairs through postgraduate research

Anglia Ruskin University
This session, led by Dr Niki Sol (Senior Lecturer), presents the findings of research undertaken by postgraduate students during their Master of Arts in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Anglia Ruskin University. Learn about the university experiences of students disclosing mental health issues, how academic advisers perceive their roles, the perceptions of withdrawn students on Student Services, and the effectiveness of a residential mentor programme.

Top of programme


Session 7

7A – Working together towards “changing the culture”

Middlesex University and Universities UK
David Malpas (Director of Student Affairs, Middlesex University), Fiona Waye (Senior Policy Lead, Social Mobility, Equality and Diversity, Universities UK) and Ben Serlin (Safeguarding Project Manager, Middlesex University) lead a workshop about approaches to implementing sector recommendations to address violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting students. Explore progress across the sector, Middlesex's approach to creating a safer campus, and key challenges.

7B – Taking a national collaborative approach to supporting the future success of care leavers in higher education

National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) and Liverpool John Moores University
Philip Bakstad (Co-Chair, NNECL and Student Support Co-ordinator - Vulnerable Groups, Liverpool John Moores University) and Vanessa Chapman (Vice-Chair Communications, NNECL) lead a workshop about how to use key findings from recent NNECL projects to better support care-experienced students to succeed in higher education. Explore how to enhance existing practice through greater collaboration at regional and national levels, get examples of good practice, and share your own.

7C – Establishing a shared vision of health and wellbeing

University of Greenwich and Students' Union University of Greenwich
Sara Ragab (Assistant Director Student and Academic Services), and Marianne Boyle (Head of Sports Strategy) lead a workshop about working with stakeholders to develop a holistic proactive approach to health and wellbeing for students and staff. Learn about using a working group to steer and define clear deliverables, how to use networks to get feedback and share information, and more.

13:30 to 14:30 Lunch

Top of programme

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AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is a UK non-profit professional association. Company registration number 4778650.
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