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Access to Higher Education
15 Sep 2011
National Conference: Raising levels of attainment; widening participation. To be held at Westminster Studio, 10 Greycoat Place, London, SW1

Headline Speakers

As has been widely reported almost three-quarters of universities declaring fees to date are proposing a £9,000 flat rate from the next academic year.

Whilst most Higher Education Institutions will have fee waivers and bursary schemes in place for the poorer students, the Office for Fair Access (Offa) is currently assessing the detailed access agreements needed to satisfy them about the performance on access or retention of HEIs and current rumours are that around a third have been referred back.

How are universities going to put widening access strategies in place? How can they prepare staff and departments to implement the new plans? And how can they prepare financially, with teaching grants and other funding so heavily reduced? How can universities gain extra funding through philanthropy and private sector funding to help poorer students? Are FTSE 500 companies willing to sponsor talented students from poorer background?

This conference will bring together vice-chancellors, head teachers and college principals, Admissions Directors as well as Partnership and Widening Participation Managers to discuss the latest policy developments and the future of access for all talented students to higher education.

Dr Graeme Atherton, Executive Director, Aimhigher London West, Central and North (WECAN) Partnership /Access HE – London Higher
Welcome and introduction from conference Chair

What's on now:
Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor, University of Winchester
The Impact of the Higher Education White paper on the Management of Higher Education Institutions

Helen Thorne, Director of Policy and Research, UCAS
Access and admissions: the 2011 student cohort

Richard Gould, Chief Executive, Villiers Park Educational Trust
Fair Access: A History of Failure and a Future of Success?

Questions and discussion: Session 1
Refreshments, networking and exhibition
Professor Liz Thomas, Senior Adviser for Widening Participation, Higher Education Academy (HEA)
Pre-entry information and student retention

Janice Kay, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Exeter; Chair, Student Experience Policy Group, 1994 Group
Improving partnerships with FE colleges and schools; improving student experience

Brian Lightman, General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders
All age careers guidance – the right information, advice and guidance at the right time

Questions and discussion: Session 2
Buffet lunch, networking and exhibition
Panel discussion: What else can we do?
Steve Kendall, Associate Dean of Partnerships, University of Bedfordshire; Wes Streeting, Chief Executive, Helena Kennedy Foundation; Carol Castle, Vice-Chair, HELOA; Head of Outreach and UK Recruitment Development Team Pre-enrolment Services, Sheffield Hallam University.

Refreshments, networking and exhibition
Seminar A: The future of widening access: The TeachFirst experience
Hannah Essex, Associate Director, Communications, TeachFirst, former NUS Vice President

Seminar B: The legacy of Aim Higher – how can this be continued
Dr Graeme Atherton, Executive Director, Aimhigher London West, Central and North (WECAN) Partnership /Access HE – London Higher


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