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Let's Talk Value Conference 2020

This one-day conference will discuss the integrated report framework, new developments, challenges and progress in how institutions communicate and report the value created through education and research.


The second Let's Talk Value event will look at continuing the dialogue about value and looking through the lens of integrated thinking and reporting – a strategic approach to communicating how an organisation uses resources to create value for its stakeholders beyond their financial inputs. This one-day symposium will discuss new developments, challenges and progress in how institutions communicate and report the value created through all their activities in education and research.   



Dates: 11 February 2020
Venue: London 
Who: All higher education professionals

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Conference Focus

We will showcase insights from beyond HE and debate some critical issues to challenge HE leaders to be more holistic and to demonstrate, beyond financial, the value that universities create for students, society and the economy. It will consider how institutional strategies, such as sustainability, knowledge exchange and the effective use of resources can help senior leaders (both professional and academic), to demonstrate value and make better decisions for sustainable success.

We will hear from some universities who have, and are looking at, ‘value’ using a multi-capitals approach such as integrated reporting (a principles-based framework), as a lens to help them navigate the changing expectations of different stakeholders and to better articulate and demonstrate the value they create for all stakeholders. The re-thinking of value by this pathfinder group of universities has shown some real insights on how to tackle the current challenges around perceptions of value and communicating how higher education creates value. 

Even though universities are primarily about people, ideas and relationships, management focus is often on financial performance and inputs rather than outputs and outcomes. Thinking in a more integrated way brings stakeholders of a university onto the same level playing field when it comes to understanding impacts and outcomes. This is much deeper and wider than value for money – it is about understanding the relationships between the resources available to a university, the stakeholders impacted by the activities of the institution and the consequent creation (or destruction) of value across all activities. 

Conference Topics

Topics covered will include:

  • Communicating value, insights from outside the sector and understanding what stakeholders want to hear
  • Integrating the sustainability strategy
  • Beyond the balance sheet and understanding what it means to be transparent

Keynote Speaker

Professor Julia Buckingham

Julia Buckingham is currently Vice Chancellor and President of Brunel University and President of Universities UK. She is a Director of Imperial College Health Partners and of the National Centre for Universities and Business, Chair of The Concordat Strategy Group, supporting the career development of researchers, and Chair of the Steering Group undertaking the review of the Athena SWAN gender equality charter.

Julia read Zoology at the University of Sheffield and, after a short spell in the pharmaceutical industry, moved to London to study for a PhD in Pharmacology at the University of London and to pursue an academic career. She was awarded a DSc and appointed to the Chair of Pharmacology at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School in 1987 where she became Pre-Clinical Dean in 1992. She joined Imperial College London in 1997, where she contributed to the development of the a new Faculty of Medicine and held a number of senior roles.  

Throughout her career Julia has combined research and education with supporting the broader aspects of academic life through work with the research councils, medical charities and learned societies. She has published widely in her field and received a number of prestigious awards and honours for her work. She was appointed a CBE in 2018 for services to Biology and Education and elected to a Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019.  

Julia Buckingham

Panel Speakers

Monica Chadha

Monica has broad and extensive experience in both executive and non-executive roles across the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) space. Previous roles include Chair of the British Board of Film Classification Advisory Group; a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Digital Communications Board; Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness; Non-Executive Director at Voddess Portal Ltd and Non-Executive Director at Obviously Creative Ltd. Her last executive position was as CEO of MyMovies.Net Ltd, a UK market-leading service delivery company that aggregated, curated and monetised content for retail, internet service providers and mobile networks.

Currently Monica is Vice Chair of Queen Mary University of London where she also chairs the Remuneration Committee; Chair of the British Independent Film Awards Advisory Board; Advisor to the European Women’s Leadership Programme in Cinema; Advisor to Onboarding Officers which is an accelerated Non-Executive Director Programme for exiting military officers; and a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for AI. She regularly undertakes freelance speaking, coaching and consultancy engagements.

Monica was appointed an ambassador for Women on Boards in 2018 and a ‘Super NED’ by FDS Director Services and the University of Salford in the same year. She was recognised in the 2019 Female FTSE Board Report as one of the top 50 Women to Watch in the UK.

Monica Chadha

David Sweeny

After studying Statistics at the University of Aberdeen, David worked at two BBSRC research institutes, as a consultant statistician. David was a Director at Royal Holloway, University of London, before moving into university leadership as Vice-Principal in 2004. 

He joined HEFCE in 2008 as Director and led the development and implementation of the first Research Excellence Framework. He was responsible for research policy and funding, knowledge exchange and university/business relations.

In May 2017 he was appointed the first Executive Chair of Research England which is one of the nine research councils that forms UK Research and Innovation. Research England is biggest research funder in the UK with responsibility for university block-grant funding for research and knowledge exchange.

David was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen in 2012, was Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Newcastle, NSW in 2015 and is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

David Sweeny

Dr Joe Marshall

Dr Joe Marshall is Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business, a higher education and industry network committed to enhancing the impact of university-business collaboration.

An academic specialising in government education policy and practice, he was a researcher at the University of Manchester and held senior lectureship positions at Liverpool Hope University and the University of Worcester. Before joining NCUB, Joe held senior positions at UNESCO, the World Health Organisation, UK Sport and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Joe Marshall

Carol Adams

Carol is a Professor of Accounting at Durham University's Business School. 
Carol is an expert in integrated reporting, social and environmental accounting, sustainability reporting and developing strategy to address sustainable development. A number of her articles in academic accounting journals of international standing are ranked in the top 20 most cited articles in the journal in which they are published. She is founding editor of the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal and writes on her website at

Carol Adams

Parallel Session Speakers

Laura Kelly

Laura is a Director in PwC London UK specialising in innovation in assurance including non financial assurance of complex subject matter. She has a background grounded in financial assurance, governance and controls which she has applied to diverse metrics in a variety of complex environments both the UK and across Africa.  She is a trusted advisor to clients when they need to enhance the transparency and accountability of their messages and data.

Laura Kelly

Let's Talk Value Programme

Download the draft programme below. 

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Let's Talk Value Programme