Key Points
  • The transformation of higher education and understanding the student as the consumer: The session will assess the implications of the key changes introduced to the sector, with the growing focus on the student as a consumer, and what this means for you as a key stakeholder. The discussion will provide delegates the chance to consider the most substantive priorities and challenges that lie ahead in providing value to the student-consumer and measuring organisational success, in such a context too.
  • Providing informed student choice in a diverse higher education landscape: This panel will reflect on what to consider in ensuring quality and consumer law compliance, and allowing prospective students to make the best-informed decisions, as well as course choices, once enrolled on to a course. Attendees will discuss and debate the commodification of higher education and to what extent competition and the introduction of alternative providers is improving choice and quality.
  • Ensuring student value and the specific case of student protection plans - considerations for the alternative and the traditional provider:Discussions will look at the most pertinent components of building an effective student protection plan, based on best practice today and for the future, including maintaining a multifaceted baseline of quality. Conversations will also touch upon scenarios, when you would need to call upon a student protection plan and the implications the move towards a stronger consumer focus is likely to have on the crucial educational relationship between the student and institution.
Guest of Honour

Charles Nancarrow Head of Consumers and Competition, National Audit Office

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Overview
As the higher education system gains a more consumer-provider focus, with key legislative changes introduced, the need for providers and students to be fully in tune and prepared for the road ahead is imperative. This forum will tackle the most salient aspects of the guidance provided by the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) to providers; from presenting reliable information to prospective students, providing clear terms and conditions to enrolled students and having effective complaint procedures in place as providers.

The forum will discuss best practice of what ought to be considered in developing a student protection plan that ticks all the right boxes in being evidently fair, accessible, transparent and clear. The platform will also ascertain situations when student protection plans will need to be considered by providers. The concluding stages of the forum will also look to discuss the implications of the drive towards a consumer focus in higher education will have on the traditional student-provider relationship, be it for the better or for the worse.

Agenda
Start

08:30 - 09:00
Networking, refreshments and coffee

 

09:00 - 09:05
Chair's Opening Remarks

 

Speakers

Dr Mike Molesworth Associate Professor in Marketing, Marketing and Reputation, Henley Business School, University of Reading

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09:05 - 10:00
The transformation of higher education and understanding the student as the consumer

 
  • What do providers need to prioritize in the new higher education landscape from a consumer market perspective? 
  • How do you measure organizational and institutional success in such a context?
  • What challenges do providers face in ensuring they use the most reliable and accurate performance measures in delivering for students? 
  • Does the new higher education landscape address the needs of both the student and the provider for the foreseeable future and in the long-term?

Speakers

Maureen McLaughlin Head of Universities and Standards, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

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Smita Jamdar Partner & Head of Education, Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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10:00 - 10:40
Keynote Address - Charles Nancarrow - The Higher Education Market

 

Speakers

Charles Nancarrow Head of Consumers and Competition, National Audit Office

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10:40 - 10:45
Chair's closing remarks

 

Speakers

Dr Mike Molesworth Associate Professor in Marketing, Marketing and Reputation, Henley Business School, University of Reading

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10:45 - 11:15
Networking, refreshments and coffee

 

11:15 - 11:20
Chair's opening remarks

 

Speakers

Dr Mike Molesworth Associate Professor in Marketing, Marketing and Reputation, Henley Business School, University of Reading

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11:20 - 12:10
Providing informed student choice in a diverse higher education landscape

 
  • Considerations from the Office for Student’s for the HE sector today in light of the new regulatory framework of February 2018.
  • What are the integral elements to ensuring prospective and enrolled students can make the most informed choices, from initial marketing, recruitment, admissions and material information once enrolled onto a course? 
  • Does the new regulatory landscape provide institutions a comprehensive framework in permitting students to make well informed decisions in choosing between courses and institutions? 
  • Does the new regulatory framework accurately reflect how students make decisions regarding higher education choices surrounding institution and course? 
  • Are there areas that the new higher education landscape neglects but ought to be considered in ensuring the needs and interests of students are met?
  • How should providers quantify success and how can institutions be confident they are succeeding in this regard? 
  • Does the new higher education landscape give rise to any potential divergences of interest between the provider, student and public policy priorities and if so, how can they be addressed? 
  • What do early indications point to, in regards to the introduction of greater competition and alternative providers in the field?


Speakers

Joy Elliott-Bowman Public Affairs Manager at Independent Higher Education

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12:10 - 12:55
Ensuring student value and the specific case of student protection plans – considerations for the alternative and the traditional provider

 
  • When would a student protection plan need to be drawn upon, in addition to it being a precondition requirement for a new provider, or as part of qualification? 
  • What does a successful student protection plan look like?
  • How can providers ensure they meet the key requirements of being fair, accessible, transparent and clear? 
  • What does existing best practice look like in relation to the formation of student protection plans and how would future best practice vary from this in a new higher education landscape? 
  • Considerations for course changes whilst living up to contract obligations
  • The specific case of alternative providers; meeting the bespoke needs of a diverse set of students, ensuring student value for money and long-term success of students and graduates 
  • How do providers maintain an all-rounded baseline of quality that can serve both the consumer and traditional student, as well as the institution’s strategic interest? 
  • Are suggestions that a stronger consumer lens and mentality can have a detrimental impact on student grades and achievement accurate? 
  • In light of the changes introduced, how can we preserve the importance of the traditional student-university relationship in a new higher education landscape?

Speakers

Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein Professor of Critical Theory, Department of English Literature, University of Reading

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Dr Louise Bunce Senior Lecturer in Human Development, Oxford Brookes University

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Jessica Trahar Head of Strategic Development, Office for Students

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12:55 - 13:00
Chair's closing remarks

 

Speakers

Dr Mike Molesworth Associate Professor in Marketing, Marketing and Reputation, Henley Business School, University of Reading

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End

Speakers

Dr Louise Bunce Senior Lecturer in Human Development, Oxford Brookes University

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Joy Elliott-Bowman Public Affairs Manager at Independent Higher Education

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Smita Jamdar Partner & Head of Education, Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein Professor of Critical Theory, Department of English Literature, University of Reading

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Maureen McLaughlin Head of Universities and Standards, Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

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Dr Mike Molesworth Associate Professor in Marketing, Marketing and Reputation, Henley Business School, University of Reading

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Charles Nancarrow Head of Consumers and Competition, National Audit Office

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Jessica Trahar Head of Strategic Development, Office for Students

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Venue details

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel DoubleTree - Hilton Hotel, Westminster, Central London, 30 John Islip Street, London, SW1P 4DD


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