Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

13th Annual Conference

June 1, 2018 - June 2, 2018

Event Navigation

Event DescriptionDay OneDay TwoWorkshopsFees

The transformation of the quality management landscape continues with great rapidity and intensity. As the new regulator for English Higher Education, the OfS will adopt a bold, student focused, risk-based approach, reflecting the significant changes to HE in the last 25 years and seeking to anticipate the 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.

The new regulatory framework for HE in England confirms that 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. However, 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?

For the first time at conference we are pleased to involve a larger number of our membership with a ‘call for papers’ to inform discussions at two of our workshops including:

  • Workshop 5 – Pecha Kucha talks – New Approaches to Quality Assurance
  • Workshop 8 – The Future of QA and QE in the devolved nations?

To submit to the call for paper please download our form here

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 – which continues to provide an invaluable service in keeping us abreast of rapidly moving developments. 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

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.

Jack Aitken
Chair of QSN


Please Note: If you would like to book workshops for this event, you can do so by selecting the relevant options below. Please select a maximum of 2 choices (1 from each time slot)

Day One – Thursday, 13 September

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
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 Director

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
– Professor 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
19:45 Conference Dinner
After Dinner Reflections

Day Two – Friday, 14 September

08:30 QSN Annual General Meeting
09:00 – 09:30 Ben Hunt, OfS Student Panel Member
The Office for Students – market regulation, enhancement and student engagement
09:00 – 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
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 learner

Liz Gorb, Director of Apprenticeships, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School – Working in partnership with employers to deliver quality Degree Apprenticeships

Lead QSN Facilitator: TBC

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

Lead QSN Facilitator: Chris Laity

3 Quality Management Futures

External Speaker: Maureen McLaughlin, Head of Universities and Standards, QAA (Confirmed)

Lead 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?

External Speaker TBC

Lead QSN Facilitator: Angela Taylor

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.
5 Pecha Kucha talks – New Approaches to Quality Assurance

Delegates and QSN members to submit presentations

Lead QSN Facilitator: Victoria Korzeniowska

Delegates will be invited prior to conference to submit a presentation (20 slides in a slide show of 20 seconds per slide). Presentations include.

Kings College London, ‘Employability-led QA Project’

6 Managing Grade Inflation

External Speaker: William Hammonds, Policies Manager, UUK (confirmed)

Lead 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: TBC

This session will consider the Subject TEF and its implications given the outcomes of pilots.
8 The Future of QA and QE in the devolved nations

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.


June 1, 2018
June 2, 2018
Event Category:


Aston Business School Conference Centre
Aston University, Aston St
Birmingham, B4 7ET United Kingdom
+ Google Map
Made by Kenyons