We would love to hear your thoughts, concerns or problems with anything so we can improve!
Thank you for submitting your feedback
UHR Conference 2018, Bristol, 22-25 May 2018
Universities: competitive advantage or collective advancement?
This year, our 2018 Conference and Exhibition took place in Bristol from 22-25 May.
Following on from the huge success of our previous conferences, the 2018 event was as stimulating and inspiring as ever. The conference brought those working in the sector an exciting mix of plenary speakers, workshops, legal sessions, evening social activities as well as a fantastic Gala Dinner and the UHR Awards.
The conference was held at the historic Mercure Grand Bristol Hotel in the heart of the city.
We were delighted to welcome Margaret Heffernan, Professor Moira Clark, Matthew Syed,andProfessors Susan Rigby and Steve Westas our main plenary speakers.
Margaret Heffernan is international recognised as a leading media executive.
She produced programmes for the BBC for 13 years before spearheading multimedia productions for Intuit, The Learning Company and Standard&Poors in the US. She was Chief Executive of InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation and then iCast Corporation. She is now Lead Faculty for the Forward Institute’s Responsible Leadership Programme.
Margaret is the author of five books, one of which was named one of the most important business books of the decade by the Financial Times. She also writes for theFinancial Times, theNew York Observerand theHuffington Post. Her TED talks have been seen by over seven million people.
She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath and continues to mentors CEOs and senior executives of major global organisations through Merryck & Co.
Professor Moira Clark.
Moira Clark is Professor of Strategic Marketing at Henley Business School and Director of The Henley Centre for Customer Management. She also serves as a consultant to a number of leading UK and international companies. Her major area of research and consulting is in Customer Management, Social Networking, Customer Retention and Internal Marketing. She has worked extensively in the area of culture and climate, its impact on retention and loyalty and the critical linkages between employee behaviour and customer retention.
Moira has researched and published widely on the subject of Relationship Marketing, customer experience and service excellence. Publications include for example, the Academy of Marketing Science, International Journal of Management Reviews and the Journal of Relationship Marketing. She is also co-author of 'Relationship Marketing for Competitive Advantage, Winning and Keeping Customers and Relationship Marketing: Strategy and Implementation'. Her book 'Business Success through Service Excellence' examines the crucial factors needed to achieve and maintain service excellence.
Matthew Syed is one of the world’s most influential thinkers in the field of high performance and cultural change. He has worked with some of the world’s leading organisations to build a mindset of continuous improvement. Matthew is the author of two bestselling books – Bounce and Black Box Thinking – having released his latest book, The Greatest. He is a multiple award-winning journalist for The Times and a highly-acclaimed speaker, regularly contributing to radio and television.
Matthew explores a thought provoking approach to high performance in the context of a complex and fast-changing world. He draws on a vast array of case studies and real-world examples across sport, business, education and politics. Matthew looks at the inside story of how success really happens – and how we cannot grow unless we are prepared to learn from our mistakes.
Our fourth plenary involved Susan RigbyandSteve Westin conversation withAnt Bagshaw, Deputy CEO of Wonkhe.
Professor Susan Rigbycommenced her role as Vice-Chancellor of Bath Spa University on the 22ndJanuary 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. She is Chair of the HEFCE Learning Gain project, is chairing work on the design of a PGT national survey and is Chair of the Natural Sciences TEF Pilot Panel. Internationally, she has contributed to the development of reward and recognition processes for staff in learning and teaching through the U21 network, and developed the first MOOC to be shared by students in the U21 Universities.
Professor Steve Westtook up the post of Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of the West of England Bristol in 2008 at the age of 46. He trained as a Podiatrist and Podiatric Surgeon in London and developed his research interests in Lower Limb Biomechanics and the Diabetic Foot at King’s College London. He worked as a clinician and clinical tutor in the NHS, University Sector and undertook research and consultancy in industry and the retail healthcare sectors.
He holds a number of national and international advisory appointments in Higher Education and in his discipline, healthcare policy and practice. He is Non-Executive Director for the Office for Students, Non-Executive Director forHEFCE,Board Member for theLeadership Foundation for Higher Educationand Chair of the UUK Mental Health in Higher Education Working Group. He is also a member of both the Education and the Diversity Honours Committees.
Theme - Universities: competitive advantage or collective advancement?
League tables, rankings and periodic assessments of Research, and, now Teaching, Excellence, place universities firmly in competition with each other. Brexit will heighten the focus on each institution’s ability to recruit and retain a diminishing pool of highly talented staff.
At the same time, we’re seeing increased emphasis on partnerships, including: increased collaboration to address research challenges; local partnerships and the regional role of universities; and, consortia of universities to achieve economies of scale and increased efficiency in delivering core functions and professional services.
Can this tension be met collectively or will universities become more fiercely competitive in this new environment?
The 2018 UHR Conference focused on the people management implications of identifying opportunities for competitive advantage and distinctiveness in our own institution’s mission, whilst recognising the value of collaboration as a sector in responding to common opportunities and threats.
How is HR responding to this potential tension and adapting as a function to a trend of increasing individualism?
Is our traditionally open culture amongst HR colleagues, where we readily share information and potential solutions to issues, still relevant and appropriate?
What's the tradeoff between a focus on the HR strategy, activities and achievements of our own institution and the success of the broader UK HE sector?
Bookings for our 2019 Conference will be open from later in the year. Save the date:
UHR Conference 2019 will be held in Manchester from 21st to 23rd May 2019
UHR Conference 2017
The 2017 Conference took place in Newcastle and followed the theme of ‘All things to all people: what are universities for?’. With over 35 exhibitors and sponsors from across the sector on hand to offer useful advice and services throughout the event, and afterwards, there was lots of information and knowledge shared.
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Look at the cookies we use below to help you make an informed decision. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information
Microsoft - ASP.NET_SessionId – keeps you logged in for a set period of time, so that you don’t have to keep logging in
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site.
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance