Key Points
  • Practical implications of reforming the admissions system and exploring different models
  • Learning from international post qualification systems
  • Examining how the admissions system will respond to the impact of Covid-19
  • Widening participation for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented groups
  • Supporting students to make successful applications and engaging with them throughout the decision-making process
  • Improving international student recruitment and mitigating against the effects of Brexit, the pandemic, and admissions reforms


Overview
Speakers Include:

  • Chair: Alison Johns, Chief Executive, Advance HE
  • John Cope, Director of Strategy, Policy and Public Affairs, UCAS
  • Jill O’Mahony, Director of Admissions and Enrolment Planning, University College Dublin
  • Kathryn Whittington, Head of Admissions, University of Reading
  • Nicola Turner, Policy Adviser, Widening Participation, Schools and Careers Education, UCAS
  • Ellie Rowley, Fair Access Programme Lead, UCAS
  • Charlotte Barratt, Student and Education EDI Project Manager, University of Leicester
  • Bobby Mehta, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), University of Portsmouth



With landmark reforms to admissions on the horizon, and the pandemic still causing disruption to education and exams, Westminster Insight’s University Admissions Digital Conference will explore how to prepare for the forthcoming 2022-23 admissions cycle.

Our conference is ideally timed for spring to assess the impact the pandemic had on 2021-22 admission numbers and how admissions will work for the upcoming cycle with the ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19.

You will explore the practical challenges and implications of implementing different post qualifications admissions models posed by the wide-ranging reviews of the admissions system. Best practice will be shared from established international post qualification systems.

Join live discussions about how the admissions process can be improved to widen participation in higher education to disadvantaged groups, mature students and foreign students applying to study in the UK.

Put your questions to our expert speakers and share ideas with peers from across higher education, further education, and schools to address how the overall admissions system can be revamped to ensure transparency, fairness and improve the prospects of underrepresented applicants.


Agenda
Start

09:30 - 09:40
Chair’s Opening Remarks

 

Speakers

Alison Johns Chief Executive, Advance HE

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09:40 - 10:10
Keynote Address: The Future of University Admissions

 
  • Exploring options for reform and meeting implementation challenges 
  • Embedding transparency and fairness into the application system 
  • Recovery and opportunities in Higher Education: best practices for adaptability and resilience in times of uncertainty
  • Widening access to underrepresented and minority groups
10:00 – 10:10 Questions and Discussion

Speakers

John Cope Director, Strategy, Policy and Public Affairs, UCAS

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10:10 - 10:50
Panel Discussion: Managing the 2022-23 Admissions Cycle

 
  • Assessing the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on students and the admissions system
  • Adapting outreach and recruitment activities 
  • Keeping admissions staff engaged and motivated in a context of increased pressure and workload 
  • Increasing operational resilience and preparedness for disruptive events
10:40 – 10:50 Questions and Discussion - Participate through our live Q&A function and virtual polling tools

Speakers

Richard Harvey Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Admissions, University of East Anglia

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Jill O'Mahony Director of Admissions and Enrolment Planning, University College Dublin

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10:50 - 11:20
Networking Break

 
Meet your colleagues and make new connections via the virtual platform

11:20 - 12:10
Panel Discussion: Preparing for Reforms to the Admissions System

 
  • Examining the cases for post-qualifications applications (PQA) and post-qualification offer (PQO) systems
  • Exploring the admissions reviews led by UCAS, the OfS and UUK 
  • Implications of potential changes to the timing of exams, marking and results
  • Ensuring inclusivity of all students in a new system
  • Boosting support for student decision making including resources for information, advice and guidance (IAG) in schools and colleges
  • Reviewing the transition period, costs of implementation, communication to students and aligning UK-wide admissions to ensure a borderless choice
12:00 – 12:10 Questions and Discussion - Participate through our live Q&A function and virtual polling tools

Speakers

Kathryn Whittington Head of Admissions, University of Reading

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12:10 - 12:20
Networking Break

 
Meet your colleagues and make new connections via the virtual platform

12:20 - 12:50
Widening Participation in Higher Education

 
  • Understanding and overcoming barriers to accessing higher education for different demographics
  • Working with schools and colleges to empower disadvantaged pupils and raise aspirations 
  • Improving Careers Information Advice and Guidance (IAG)
  • Using contextualised admissions to widen participation
  • Retaining students from disadvantaged backgrounds and supporting them throughout their university career
12:40 – 12:50 Questions and Discussion

Speakers

Nicola Turner Policy Adviser, Widening Participation, Schools and Careers Education, UCAS

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12:50 - 13:20
Live Breakout Discussions: Supporting Specific Applicant Groups

 
Choose one of the live discussions below. Share challenges and solutions to designing admissions processes and support systems to improve access to higher education for specific student groups. Consider how to overcome barriers to inclusion in a new post-qualification admissions environment.  

Your thoughts and questions can be pre-submitted to our discussion moderators to share with sector experts and your peers.

Discussion A: BAME applicants 
Discussion B: Mature Applicants 
Discussion C: International Students

Speakers

Charlotte Barratt Student and Education EDI Project Manager, University of Leicester

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Bobby Mehta Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), University of Portsmouth

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13:20 - 13:30
Chair’s Closing Remarks and Close of Conference

 

End

Speakers

Charlotte Barratt Student and Education EDI Project Manager, University of Leicester

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John Cope Director, Strategy, Policy and Public Affairs, UCAS

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Richard Harvey Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Admissions, University of East Anglia

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Alison Johns Chief Executive, Advance HE

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Bobby Mehta Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), University of Portsmouth

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Jill O'Mahony Director of Admissions and Enrolment Planning, University College Dublin

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Nicola Turner Policy Adviser, Widening Participation, Schools and Careers Education, UCAS

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Kathryn Whittington Head of Admissions, University of Reading

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Venue details

Online Event Broadcast Live


Speakers
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