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Surveys and Insights Conference 2019: Highlights

The Surveys and Insights Conference: Maximising reach and developing potential, provides an opportunity to discuss and debate the potential of insights from surveys, metrics, qualitative research and wider methods of capturing the voice of the student for driving excellence and enhancement within higher education.


Surveys, measurement tools, metrics and the wider insight that such tools generate have a key role to play in helping maximise the reach and quality of provision within the sector.

By gathering and acting on such insight, institutions, sector agencies, researchers and policymakers can work together to help students maximise their potential.

Each Advance HE Surveys Conference brings together keynote speakers, papers, posters and workshops with an aim to explore real examples of how innovative approaches to measurement and feedback have been employed to deliver impactful findings which have driven real change.

Date: 8 May 2019
Venue: Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa, Bristol
Who: Those with an interest in surveys and metrics in higher education

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Conference Programme

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Session Abstracts


Keynote Speakers


Elizabeth Shepherd, Director, Higher Education, IFF Research

An abundance of graduates, but too few skilled workers? Investigating higher education labour market alignment

The UK Higher Education sector is under increasing scrutiny to demonstrate evidence of successful progression of their graduates into the labour market. In this session, Elizabeth will present a comprehensive definition of labour market alignment and a practical framework for operationalising higher education and labour market configuration via analysis of several national survey data, including NSS, DLHE, the Employer Skills Survey and Working Futures.

Elizabeth joined IFF Research in December 2017. As a Director within IFF’s Higher Education team Elizabeth’s portfolio includes delivering projects for the Department for Education, Office for Students, Equality and Human Rights Commission,  several UK higher education institutions and projects surrounding the internationalisation of higher education. Previously, she worked for 13 years in international education research in the UK, North America and East Asia for the British Council. Whilst working for the British Council Elizabeth’s experience included establishing the UK – US higher education partnership fund, and as the Director Research for the global Education Intelligence team.  Her research experience also includes studying part-time towards finalising a PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, where she is exploring international education policy analysis, in the local context of Vietnam.

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Rachel Hewitt, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Higher Education Policy Institute

What does the latest HEPI research tell us about the student experience?

What do students think of the critical issues of today? HEPI regularly publishes research looking into students' views on a whole range of issues, from Brexit to the financial health of universities. In this session, Rachel will talk through the latest HEPI polling, plus the results of the annual HEPI/Advance HE Student Academic Experience survey, to give the perspective of today's students on the most critical issues in higher education.

Rachel joined HEPI in November 2018, as Director of Policy and Advocacy. Prior to joining HEPI, Rachel held a number of roles at the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), focused on data policy and governance and gathering requirements for information that could be met from HESA data. Rachel also lead on the review of data on graduate destinations and designed and implemented the new Graduate Outcomes survey. Rachel is a graduate of the University of Bath, where she also briefly worked with the careers department.


Call for Papers

The call for papers for the 2019 conference is now closed. Proposals were invited from a broad range of topics revolving around four key themes: 

- Student development and outcomes

- Widening participation

- Teaching excellence

- Understanding the undergraduate and postgraduate student journey

“This was a well organised conference that provided a good range of speakers. There were two very engaging keynotes with plenty of time for networking". 

Surveys Conference 2018 delegate