HESPA 2021 > Programme > Monday 21st June


Day One: Monday 21st June

TimeSession informationSpeakers

Hosted by Jackie Njoroge, Director of Strategy, University of Salford

08:30 - 09:00


Hangout / Networking / Exhibition

09:00 - 09:30

How to get the most out of virtual conferencing with HESPA

Tips on Hopin, tech, functionality, chat, networking, sessions, sponsors, fun, getting help, etc.

Wesley Rennison, Director of Strategic Planning, University of Dundee

Jackie Njoroge, Director of Strategy, University of Salford
09:30 - 10:00

Refreshment Break

Networking & Exhibition

10:00 - 11:00

Plenary 1: Policy v Finance: A Rock and a Hard Place

Universities face a multiplicity of funded and unfunded calls externally and internally to direct their efforts across a broad set of agendas, locally, nationally and internationally. They are influential institutions in civil society, way beyond core education and research agendas. However they also want to be and are required to be sustainable institutions, financially and socially resilient in the face of war, pandemic or economic crises.  Strategic Planners are required to advise on institutional directions, taking account of both financial and policy drivers.  

David Sweeney, Executive Chair, Research England

Nolan Smith, Director of Resources and Finance, Office for Students

11:00 - 12:00

Refreshment Break

Networking & Exhibition

12:00 - 12:45

Business Session 1: BibliU - Coventry University: Creating the Largest eTextbook Program in Europe

Content digitisation is a key learning and teaching strategy of future-looking institutions in the United Kingdom. In this presentation, learn how the team at Coventry University partnered with tech innovator BibliU to launch Europe’s largest eTextbook program, providing access to core textbooks to 5,000 students in their Flying Start program and 30,000 students through Broadening Access.

Philip Brabban, University Librarian and Group Director of Learning Resources, Coventry University &

Dave Sherwood, Co-founder and CEO, BibliU

12:45 - 14:00

Lunch Break

Networking & Exhibition


14:00 - 15:00

Workshop Sessions

Workshop A1: Making Friends and Getting on in Higher Education

Professional HE Services is the umbrella company for a number of higher education representative bodies. These include: AUDE, BUFDG, CHEIA, HESPA and UHR. The PHES model provides a valuable platform for institutional members across a range of functions to share ideas, best practice, challenges and opportunities. In an effort to reduce silos and promote more efficient and effective working practice, the opportunities which PHES presents should be harnessed to bring people together. In this friendly and informal workshop, executive directors from the various PHES special interest organisations will share information about their members, their work and how you can make friends and get on in higher education. We hope to see attendees from a range of functions, including but not limited to: estates, finance, internal audit, strategic planning and HR.

Dominic Fryer, Managing Director, Professional HE Services Ltd (PHES)

Jane White, Executive Director, Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE)

Karel Thomas, Executive Director, British Universities Finance Directors'​ Group (BUFDG)

Helen Scott, Executive Director, Universities HR (UHR)

Jennifer Summerton, Executive Director, Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA)

Workshop A2: Institutional Ownership of the HESA Student Return

Many providers will be familiar with the scenario of countless long days and months spent cleansing data in advance of the annual HESA Student Return. Planning Teams can essentially be written off for entire chunks of the academic year whilst data is hastily fixed and validated. How did teams of analysts become the sector data cleansers? Aston University has been asking just this question. In recent years, work has started to take the ownership of the HESA Student Return back to the provider as a whole. From organisational areas of focus such as audit, data ownership and policy, to more operational workstreams such as training and exception reporting, this session will explore some of the early steps that could be taken to achieve this and to finally move away from the concept of Planning Teams as the University ‘data fixers’.

Ruth Hall, Head of Planning and Student Management Information, Aston University

Shereen McIntosh, Senior Planning & Student Management Information Analyst, Aston University

Workshop A3: The Covid 19 Pandemic and its impact on University Student Number Planning at Universities

Student number planning is a large and complex process using and involving multiple stakeholders across the organisation with established governance for reviewing and agreeing short and long-term targets. When the COVID-19 Pandemic emerged in early 2020, it derailed plans for Universities both domestically and globally. It quickly became evident that this would not be a short-term disruption and quickly, senior management teams at Universities began to prepare for the unknown for many months to come with the financial impact likely to be felt in years to come. In this session, we explore how Universities have responded to the Pandemic in terms of how they have tackled student number planning/forecasting. We’ll be offering an honest perspective on what has worked well and what hasn’t.

Dean Stokes, Director of Planning, University College London

Beverley Joshua, Head of Corporate Reporting, Oxford Brookes University


Shabana Akhtar, Associate Director Strategic Planning & Business Intelligence, University of London

15:00 - 15:30

Refreshment Break

Networking & Exhibition

15:30 - 16:30

Plenary 2: HE Strategy and Planning 2021: Taking stock of the state of play and what others in the sector are doing

The last 18 months have been a rollercoaster of unimaginable disruption and with so much uncertainty the role of planning has been a particularly difficult one. This panel session is an informal discussion between four directors of planning: Catherine Lu (University of Law), Tina Egan (University of Leeds), Gideon White (University of East London) and Aashish Khadia (University of Leicester).  We will hear about their challenges, opportunities, priorities and plans for the next 12 months and there will be an opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A which is going to be chaired by Jackie Njoroge, Director of Strategy at the University of Salford and Deputy Chair of HESPA. 

Catherine Lu, Director of Strategy and Planning, The University of Law

Tina Egan, Director of Strategy & Planning, University of Leeds

Gideon White, Director of Strategic Planning, University of East London

Aashish Khadia, Director of Planning, University of Leicester


Jackie Njoroge, Director of Strategy, University of Salford
16:30 - 17:00

Refreshment Break

Networking & Exhibition

17:00 - 17:30

Yoga for a cool down

This 30 min session will be a ‘cool down’ summer session designed to refresh after a day of sitting on a virtual conference in the heat of your home or work office. And what better day to do it than on International Yoga Day?

This will be a beginners friendly sequence accessible to all shapes and sizes and is designed to increase flexibility and calm the nervous system.

Dress comfortably and lightly if possible. All you will need is to bring a bottle (of water!) and have a towel or a mat to do the poses on.

Naomi Drinkwater, Head of Planning and Data Insight, University of Essex

Please note that the session titles and speakers are subject to change.

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of the site and services and assist with our member communication efforts. Privacy Policy. Accept cookies Cookie Settings