13th Annual Conference: A Regulated Quality Future?

Thursday 13th Sep 2018 - Friday 14th Sep 2018

The transformation of the quality management landscape continues with great rapidity and intensity. As the new regulator for English Higher Education, the OfS is adopting a bold, student-focused, risk-based approach, reflecting the significant changes to HE in the last 25 years and seeking to anticipate changes still to come. Familiar features – notably, the UK Quality Code – are also subject to fundamental review. The methodology for Year 3 provider-level TEF was tweaked and its results have been issued; and the first of the two sets of pilots of Subject-Level TEF is concluding, with the independent review of TEF due to commence around the time of our conference.

As part of the new regulatory framework for HE in England, QAA has been designated to carry out the quality and assessment functions set out in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 and we are eagerly awaiting the parameters within which QAA will operate in performing these functions. New and existing providers seeking registration on the ‘register’ must now demonstrate the new regulatory language of conditions and behaviours for quality and standards.

There is also the question: what are the implications of this very Anglo-driven agenda for the sector in the rest of the UK?

These changes continue to radically alter the quality world and our Conference will provide sessions that will support us in engaging with all of them. Additionally, our conference will also consider the question that the changes also beg of us, as senior quality professionals: in the midst of this, what can we do to help secure student success and academic standards in the emerging regulated quality world?

To help set the scene and spark discussions, we will be joined by Professor John W Sawkins of Heriot-Watt University and David Kernohan from WonkHE. We also welcome Becky Huxley-Binns, Vice-Provost (Academic Enhancement), University of Law; Ben Hunt, OfS Student Panel Member; Adrian Anderson, Chief Exec of UVAC; Liz Gorb, Director of Apprenticeships, Manchester University; Maureen McLaughlin, Head of Universities and Standards, QAA and William Hammonds, Policies Manager, UUK. We are delighted that our Keynote Address this year will be given by Professor Shân Wareing, whose expertise in sector development and leadership will be of great value to use with the changes we face.

As ever, this QSN event offers the opportunity for us to get together in a constructive and supportive environment and I look forward greatly to welcoming new and returning delegates to our 13th Annual Conference.

Chair of QSN

Event Breakdown

Day One
Day Two

Day One – Thursday, 13 September

Time Description
13:00 Arrival & Registration
14:00 Opening of Conference
14:00 – 14:05 Welcome from the Chair of QSN, Jack Aitken
14:05 – 14:35 Keynote Speech – Professor Shân Wareing, Pro-Vice Chancellor Education and Student Experience, London South Bank University
“Escaping the Brown Bear: the value of networks, strategy and quality in an age of competition”
14:35 – 15:00 Professor John W Sawkins, Deputy Principal (Learning and Teaching) Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Heriot-Watt University
Regulatory frameworks and the UK HE Brand
15:15 – 15:45 WonkHE – David Kernohan, Associate Editor
The Impact of TEF and what this means for students and Universities
16:00 – 16:30 Becky Huxley-Binns, Vice-Provost (Academic Enhancement), University of Law
Generation Z, Consumer Law and a Regulated Quality Future
16:30 – 17:00 Panel Discussion: A Regulated Quality Future
– Shân Wareing, John W Sawkins, David Kernohan, Becky Huxley-Binns, Ben Hunt and Maureen McLaughlin
17:15 – 18:15 Workshop: A Regulated Quality Future – What are the implications of the regulatory changes for quality managers?
Workshop sessions will be facilitated by members of the QSN Executive
19:15 Champagne Reception in Bar – Sponsored by Achievability
19:45 Conference Dinner
After Dinner Reflections

Day Two – Friday, 14 September

Time Description
08:30 QSN Annual General Meeting
09:00 – 09:30 Ben Hunt, OfS Student Panel Member (Strategy & Policy Officer, King’s College London)
The Office for Students – market regulation, enhancement and student engagement
09:30 – 10:00 Maureen McLaughlin, Head of Universities and Standards, QAA
Quality Management Futures
10:00 Parallel facilitated workshops
See the “Workshops” tab button for topics
11:00 Refreshment break and interaction with workshop outcomes in the lounge
11:45 Parallel facilitated workshops (repeated)
12:45 Final Conference Plenary, highlighting key issues for QSN. Closing remarks
Conference evaluation facilitated by Achievability
13:15 Lunch and departure

Parallel Elective Workshops – Regulation and a risk-based approach

Friday, 14 September – 10:00, repeated 11:45

No. Workshop Title Indicative Content
1 Higher and Degree Apprenticeships
External Speakers:
Adrian Anderson (Chief Executive of UVAC) –Ensuring the delivery of apprenticeships meet the needs of the employer and learnerLiz Gorb, Director of Apprenticeships, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School –  Working in partnership with employers to deliver quality Degree ApprenticeshipsLead QSN Facilitator: Tam Milner
In this session Adrian will outline the responsibilities of the higher education provider and the respective roles of the Institute for Apprenticeships, Office for Students, QAA, Ofsted and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.  He will also cover End Point Assessment and approaches to External Quality Assurance for End Point Assessment. Liz will talk about how Manchester Metropolitan University has seen significant expansion of its degree apprenticeship provision and will explore how institutions can grow their provision in a sustainable way while navigating the multiple complex requirements and maintaining quality.
2 Developing Data Skills for the Quality Practitioner
External Speaker: Paula Keys, Project Manager, University of South Wales
Lead QSN Facilitator: Chris Laity
How to generate activity and interest in data and performance in quality assurance processes – a case study of change in culture and engagement at a major UK University
3 Quality Management Futures
External Speaker: Maureen McLaughlin, Head of Universities and Standards, QAALead QSN Facilitator: Anne Miller
The session will provide an update on the developments in relation to the UK Quality Code and plans for the new quality assessment system in England.
4 Student Protection Plans – a seemingly Kafkaesque part of the OfS registration process?
This Session will only run once from 11:45am to 12:45pmLead QSN Facilitator: Jo Wright
Student Protection Plans set out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. What are the implications of these plans for quality professionals? This session will seek to share practical examples from QSN member organisations attending the workshop.
5 Employability-led QA>

Lead QSN Facilitator: Victoria Korzeniowska

In this session Victoria will talk about the development of employability-led quality assurance at King’s College London. She will focus in particular on King’s new programme approval process with its embedding employability in the curriculum workshops and on the accompanying Student PDR which is about to launch this autumn. She will also talk about the revised King’s approach to annual monitoring.
6 Managing Grade Inflation
External Speakers: Dr Gai Murphy, Head of Quality Design, QAA and Dr Charlotte Snelling, Policy Researcher, UniversitiesUKLead QSN Facilitator: Ruth Ayres
Research re ‘How sector manages grade inflation’, Drivers, work with OfS and QAA, embed new classification into External Examining etc
7 Subject Level TEF Review
External Speaker: Debbie Potts, Office for Students
Lead QSN Facilitator: Chris Payne
This session will consider Subject TEF and its implications in the context of the 2017-18 subject-level pilot.
8 The Future of QA and QE in the devolved nations
This Session will only run once from 10:00am to 11:00am
Lead QSN Facilitator:
Julie Blackwell Young
This workshop will look at the changing nature of QA and QE across the nations within the UK. The impact of the regulatory framework and Office for Students in England on the rest of the UK will be considered and how the role of UK-wide bodies such as QAA may now differ across the different nations will be discussed.

Conference Fee

Free to holders of QSN Season Ticket 2017/18 (one member per institution, see below)
£240 for delegates from member institutions
Unsubsidised fee of £350 for representatives from institutions that have not subscribed as members of QSN
The fee includes the Conference dinner, and overnight accommodation at the conference centre for the night of Thursday, 13 September.  Places are limited so early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.  Booking is not restricted to the institutional representative – a nominee can attend in his/her place.

QSN Season ticket 2018/19

The Network offers a QSN Season Ticket.  
For an annual fee of £495, you receive:

  • Institutional membership of QSN
  • One free QSN Conference place
  • Subsequent Conference places at Member rates
  • A free place at (a minimum of) two Symposium events during the year, and member rates for subsequent Symposium delegates.

The Network also offers a QSN Season Ticket Plus One – trial during 18/19 cycle.  
For an annual fee of £750, you receive:

  • Institutional membership of QSN for two institutional members
  • Two free QSN Conference places
  • Subsequent Conference places at Member rates
  • Two free places at (a minimum of) two Symposium events during the year, and member rates for subsequent Symposium delegates.

Any additional events during the year (such as extraordinary meetings to consider specific developments) will also be available at a preferential rate.  The place is allocated to the institution, and is not tied to a named individual.

Event Details

This event belongs to the following categories:
Event Begins:
Thursday 13th Sep 2018

Event Ends:
Friday 14th Sep 2018

Event Venue

Aston Business School Conference Centre
Aston University, Aston St Birmingham, B4 7ET United Kingdom

***Please note for bookings made at this stage, accommodation may be allocated to a nearby hotel located approximately a 10 minute walk from the venue.***

Aston University, Aston St, Birmingham B4 7ET, United Kingdom

Event Registration

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