Given that the Conference will be held online this year, four main keynote addresses are scheduled for the second week of June. You can find more information on each session and its corresponding presenter below. Registrations need to be made through the official Conference website.
Keynote session 1: Maintaining Trust in the Face of Uncertainty
7 June 2021 (Mon), 14:00 - 15:30 London time
Bryan Alexander is an award–winning, internationally known futurist, researcher, writer, speaker, consultant, and teacher, working in the field of higher education’s future. He completed his English language and literature PhD at the University of Michigan in 1997, with a dissertation on doppelgangers in Romantic-era fiction and poetry. Then Bryan taught literature, writing, multimedia, and information technology studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. There he also pioneered multi-campus interdisciplinary classes, while organizing an information literacy initiative. From 2002 to 2014 Bryan worked with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), a non-profit working to help small colleges and universities best integrate digital technologies. In 2013 Bryan launched a business, Bryan Alexander Consulting, LLC. Through BAC he consults throughout higher education in the United States and abroad. Bryan speaks widely and publishes frequently. He recently published Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education for Johns Hopkins University Press (January 2020), which won an Association of Professional Futurists award. Bryan is currently a senior scholar at Georgetown University and teaches graduate seminars in their Learning, Design, and Technology program.
Keynote session 2: Quality Assurance Supporting Changing Learner Journeys
8 June 2021 (Tue), 08:30 - 10:00 London time
Professor Maria Hinfelaar is Vice-Chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University in Wales. She sits on the QAA Board and chairs the QAA Wales Advisory Committee. She takes a particular interest in the role of universities in regional development and has published in that area. Maria is a Dutch national who has worked in HE across The Netherlands, Ireland and the UK.
Professor Sue Rigby is the Vice-Chancellor of Bath Spa University. Sue commenced her role as Vice-Chancellor of Bath Spa University in January 2018. Previously she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Development at the University of Lincoln where she was responsible for the student journey from application to alumni activities, and had oversight of the Colleges of Science and Arts. Sue is a palaeontologist by background. After being an academic at Cambridge, Leicester and Edinburgh she moved into senior management, first as Assistant Principal and then Vice Principal at the University of Edinburgh. She is an HEA Principal Fellow. Sue is currently an Executive Member of the MillionPlus group (The Association for Modern Universities). In addition Sue is Chair of Student Minds (Student Mental Health Charity) and a Board Member for the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency). Sue is also acting as Chair of the QAA Credit Framework Group (developing a credit framework for English Universities). In the recent past Sue was the Chair of the Natural Sciences TEF Pilot Panel and Chair of the Learning Gain Steering Group for Office for Students. Sue led the Inclusive Development strand of the BIS Disabled Students Sector Leadership Group. In addition she led the work undertaken by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to define information needs for taught postgraduate students. This work has now been formalised into national policy across the whole of the UK, affecting all Universities and many HE colleges.
Professor John W Sawkins MA MSc PhD FHEA. Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education & Student Life) at Heriot-Watt University. His background is as an economist with research interests in the economic regulation of the water industry with particular reference to water pricing, affordability and debt. He has served as a member of water industry consumer bodies and has advised economic regulatory bodies in Scotland and the rest of the UK. He is currently responsible for leading and implementing the University’s learning and teaching strategy and for academic quality assurance and enhancement across Heriot-Watt University. External quality assurance experience includes membership, of the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment (UKSCQA) and QAA (Scotland)’s Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee (SHEEC). He has served as an Academic Panel Member for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) between 2016 and 2019 and is currently a Board member of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).
Vicki joined QAA in 2019 and has responsibility for a range of functions including: Membership & Quality Enhancement Services; International & Professional Services; Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland; Quality Assurance England; and Marketing & Events. She is a member of the Executive Team and acts as Deputy CEO. Prior to joining QAA, Vicki worked at St Hugh's College Oxford, where she was the Bursar (COO), a Director of Oxford Limited, St Hugh's Conferences, St Hugh's Estates and a founding Director of NOSCS. She has also worked at University of Birmingham as the Director of Strategic Planning and in various roles at the University of Warwick and Warwick Business School. She started her career in Higher Education at UMIST, where she worked in international student recruitment. Vicki also has experience in the commercial and charity sectors, having run her own company and been director of a charity working with women and families affected by domestic abuse.
Keynote session 3: New Quality Agendas for External and Internal Quality Assurance
9 June 2021 (Wed), 08:30 - 10:00 London time