The second Let's Talk Value conference looked 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. New developments, challenges and progress in how institutions communicate and report the value created through all their activities in education and research were explored.
Dates: 11 February 2020
Venue: Woburn House, London
Who: Senior and strategic leaders, HE Finance professionals and those in HE with a remit for strategic reporting and Management Information
Demonstrating value, beyond financial
We showcased insights from beyond HE and debated 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 considered 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 heard 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.
Topics covered included:
- 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
Communicating value and telling our HE story better
Panel: Kim Ansell, Advance HE (Chair); Sallie Pilot, Director, Black Sun Communications; Monica Chadha, Vice Chair, Queen Mary University of London; Chuchu Nwagu, Student Voice Co-ordinator, University of West London.
What is the value of higher education?
Panel: Alison Johns, CEO, Advance HE (Chair); Steven Hill, Director of Research, Research England, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB); Jyoti Bannerjee, Partner, Fronseys.
Integrating sustainability strategy to demonstrate wider value
Sharon Machado, Head of ACCA Qualification, ACCA also formed the panel and looked at recent developments and examples from outside the sector of integrating sustainability into the wider organisational strategy and Eunice Simmons, EAUC and VC, University of Chester spoke about the integrated leadership required in the sector to incorporate sustainability and what the key messages and challenges are for leaders.
Panel: Phil McNaull, University of Edinburgh (Chair); Carol Adams, Professor of Accounting, Durham University; Sharon Machado, Head of ACCA Qualification, ACCA; Eunice Simmons, EAUC and VC, University of Chester.
As a first for Advance HE, live streamed this panel session using webinar technology, while simultaneously running a live Tweet chat on our @AdvanceHE_Chat Twitter page, sponsored by ACCA.
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.
Sallie is Chief Insight and Engagement Director at Black Sun. Sallie is responsible for engagement and the strategic direction of Black Sun’s industry leading research and thought leadership programme.
She has more than 20 years’ experience in corporate communications consultancy for clients such as Coca-Cola Hellenic, DBS, HSBC, Kingfisher, Olam, Tesco, Recruit Holdings and World Bank. She is a globally recognised commentator on ‘integrated thinking’, corporate reporting trends and best practice stakeholder communications.
Sallie is a Board member and Chair within the functions of numerous industry bodies, such as the UK Investor Relations Society, the Prince's Accounting for Sustainability (A4S), FRC and ACCA.
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.
Alison was appointed chief executive of Advance HE in autumn 2017. Prior to that she was the chief executive of the Leadership Foundation. She has worked in higher education for 25 years. Before becoming chief executive, she was head of policy for leadership, governance and management at the Hefce (now the Office for Students), where she established both the Leadership Foundation and the Equality Challenge Unit. She is a past president of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) and represents the UK on the Association of Commonwealth Universities Human Resources Management Network and has recently joined the British Council’s planning committee for Going Global, the major international higher education conference.
Steven Hill is Director of Research at Research England. Steven was formerly Head of Research Policy at HEFCE, and leads on all aspects of research policy and funding.
Steven is responsible for research funding, including quality-related funding (QR), general capital funding and the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund. He also leads Research England’s research assessment and policy work, and is the chair of the steering group for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Policy responsibilities include research integrity, public engagement and open research, and Steven contributes to debates and discussions at home and overseas on the enhancement and assessment of research impact. His team also includes Research England’s analysis function.
Steven has a degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in plant biology from the University of Edinburgh. After a number of research posts, he was appointed to a lectureship in plant science at the University of Oxford, where he taught and researched for 8 years. He then shifted career tracks into the world of policy-making, with two roles at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, focussing on bringing science and research into policy-making. Subsequently, he was appointed Head of the Strategy Unit at Research Councils UK, and then took up the post of Head of Research Policy at HEFCE in 2013.
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.
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 www.drcaroladams.net.
Sharon is the Head of Business Reporting at ACCA. In this role, she provides a holistic representation of the business reporting function, and manages the team of experts who cover ACCA’s thought leadership and policy work in financial and integrated reporting, audit, tax and business law.
While Sharon’s area of specialism is weighted towards the area of financial and integrated reporting, her prior experience enables a breadth across the business reporting portfolio. Sharon’s area of expertise relates to the impact of the profession on both qualification and education needs.
Professor Eunice Simmons
Eunice is currently Vice Chancellor at the University of Chester and has also previously worked in diverse institutions: Nottingham Trent University, University of London’s Wye and Imperial Colleges, UCLan and the University of Cumbria, in roles that included Course Leader, Head of School, Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor. This has given her a sound understanding of how strategy and operation interlink - and how to build capacity for horizon-scanning and implementation in all of her teams.
A crucial part of her previous DVC role leading NTU’s Academic and Student Affairs directorate was to create the optimal conditions for innovation in all areas of practice. Recent team achievements include a significant apprenticeship portfolio with 170 companies and a curriculum refresh to embed inclusivity, sustainability and graduate outcomes in all courses. Eunice ensured that NTU was the first university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge and, through this and co-leadership of the new TASO-HE evidence and impact exchange, she has encouraged Nottingham Trent to strive for equality of opportunity and success for all of its students.
Chuchu is Student Voice Coordinator at University of West London Students’ Union. Chuchu works within the Students’ Union Representation Team and is responsible for the coordination of student representation, democracy, and campaigning work at UWLSU; as well as contributing towards the teams strategic and operational planning. As part of his role, he runs the Students’ Union School and Course Rep initiative; which means that he is responsible for supervising 9 part-time student staff and up to 550 student volunteers.
Prior to joining University of West London Students’ Union, he was Vice President Community and Welfare (2017-2018) and President (2018-2019) from University of Roehampton Students’ Union. Some of his achievements at the Students’ Union include them being the first Students’ Union in the country to host an LGBTQ+ Students’ Conference, which had Matt Henry MBE (Olivier award winning actor) as its keynote speaker; as well as the introduction of the Muslim Students’ Officer in the country.
Chuchu has been heavily involved in student politics nationally as a member of the National Union of Students’ Welfare Zone Committee and for the last two years has been elected onto the National Executive Committee (NEC) of NUS. As part of his involvement in NUS; he contributed to national work around the Augar Review and the Attainment Gap. Chuchu studied Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Roehampton and was based on Digby Stuart College.
Chuchu has an interest in Diversity and Inclusion. Outside of the Higher Education sector, Chuchu has been involved in church governance on a diocesan and parochial level; as well as involved in theatrical production.
Parallel Session Speakers
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 in 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.
Jyoti seeks systemic change across the whole of the capitalist system - it's the only system we have that has worked, but it has created a deeply flawed world, in terms of climate change, biodiversity loss and deep inequalities. He was part of the team that created the integrated reporting movement, and continues to seek a multi-capital view of business wherever he goes. An impact investor for eighteen years, he is on the investment committee of Ibex, an impact fund. As an entrepreneur, he was involved in four start-ups, and taught a course on Tech Entrepreneurship at Said Business School, University of Oxford. He recently contributed a chapter to the Oxford Handbook for Food, Water and Society, titled Integrating Multi-capital Thinking into Business Decisions.
Victoria joined Advance HE in February 2019 from the OfS and previously HEFCE. As Head of Membership, Victoria manages relationships to ensure members are supported fully by Advance HE’s work, enabling them to deliver for their staff and students by understanding their needs. She also leads work to support good governance, bringing expertise and perspectives from her time at HEFCE and OfS, as well as from serving on the Boards of a Multi-Academy Trust (2014-19) and Plymouth Marjon University (2019-present).
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
We support our 219,000 members and 527,000 students in 179 countries, through a network of 110 offices and centres and more than 7,571 Approved Employers worldwide. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.