Does policy-making conflict with the rapid technological advances within Higher Education?  And do either of them improve student success?

Government policies aim to guide decision-making to produce rational outcomes for the benefit of higher education as a whole. This impacts the way in which universities operate but does it support or restrict advances in the use of technology?

Technology by its very nature has always sought to make processes simpler than before or possible where previously impossible. Will technology adapt to the changes in our policy framework? Can it? Should the speed of technological change now drive policy-making and can the policy makers ever hope to keep up with these rapid changes?

New policies and new technology have the common goal of improving the higher education experience and outcomes, for students, staff and wider stakeholders. We ask the experts to give their views and ideas before we invite everyone to debate what really makes a difference to student success.

Join us for an entertaining evening of thought-provoking sessions, forthright opinion and open, lively discussion on the roles of policy and technology in higher education.





Our first confirmed speaker is Nick Hillman of HEPI. Nick has been the Director of HEPI since 2014. He worked for the Rt Hon David Willetts MP (now Lord Willetts), the Minister for Universities and Science, from 2007 until the end of 2013, as Chief of Staff and then Special Adviser in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Previously, he was a history teacher and worked at the Association of British Insurers.

He has written for a range of think tanks and journals. His recent writings include articles on the Coalition’s higher education reforms for the Oxford Review of Education (2016), on access to schools and selective universities for Higher Education Review (2014) and on the fifty-year history of student loans for Contemporary British History (2013). He also wrote the authoritative account of being a special adviser for the Institute of Government (2014).

Jeannette Strachan was appointed as the University Registrar and Secretary at the University of Hull in 2013. Jeannette is a Hull alumna and has a BSc in Economics from the University. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration from the University of London and a Masters in Business Administration from City University.

Whilst at the University of Hull, Jeannette was a member of the University Air Squadron, and after graduation served as an officer in the RAF. She has worked in education for over 25 years, including positions at City University London, UCL and St George’s, University of London. In 2010, Jeannette was appointed Academic Registrar / Director of Student and Academic Services at Newcastle University and returned to the University of Hull in 2013 as the Registrar and Secretary. Jeannette’s portfolio includes Governance and Compliance, Legal Services, Health and Safety and Student Services (including Careers and Employability, Registry Services, Student Wellbeing and the Student Hub).

Professor John Vinney became Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University in August 2010, having joined BU in 2006. John studied at BU, taking an HND in Mechanical Engineering, before going on to study part-time to gain a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD. He also has a PGCE in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. He has worked in the shipbuilding and aerospace sectors and is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He has published research on a wide range of subjects but mostly in computational mechanics, with a focus on health and aerospace applications.

John is proud of the progress that BU has made, developing their learning community and engagement with wider communities, and of the contribution that students and staff make to society locally, regionally and around the world through research, education and engagement with practice and industry.