Here's the latest news from AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation.
Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for summer 2015: a roundup of AMOSSHE news, events, and more (click image to view - PDF 2.1 MB).
This bulletin contains a roundup of AMOSSHE's work during the 2014/15 academic year, including details of how our Executive Committee has helped influence the higher education sector to give a Student Services perspective. Also, there's a summary of our national conference ALL CHANGE, and details for the AMOSSHE year ahead.
In 2015 six roles became available on the AMOSSHE Executive Committee, to serve for a period of two years from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2017.
AMOSSHE members nominated for these roles, and the new Executive Members were decided by a membership ballot. There was no competition for the available Vice Chair (Operations) and Vice Chair (Professional Development) roles, so these appointments didn't require a membership vote.
At the 2015 AMOSSHE Annual General Meeting in Newcastle on 8 July, Brian Hipkin (Vice Chair, AMOSSHE) announced the names of the Executive Members who were elected. The new committee members will take up their roles from 1 September 2015.
Find out more:
Here are the people who join the AMOSSHE Executive Committee for the 2015-17 term of office.
Nicole Redman (Assistant Director, Student Services, Anglia Ruskin University) continues as Vice Chair (Operations).
Sam Dale (Deputy Academic Registrar, Durham University) continues as Vice Chair (Professional Development).
The nominees elected to the four Executive Member roles are:
Congratulations and welcome to all the new Executive Members! Here are the nomination statements from all the new members of the Executive Committee: nomination statements.
Many thanks to Maria Lorenzini (Director of Student Experience, Bangor University), who leaves the Executive Committee at the end of August. Maria has contributed a great deal during her year volunteering as an Executive Member, including work on Student Services approaches to sexism, sexual consent and lad culture, and especially taking a lead role in organising the 2015 AMOSSHE national conference.
Here are the nomination statements from everyone who joins the AMOSSHE Executive for the 2015-17 term of office:
Find out more about the the Executive Member roles.
Nicole Redman is Assistant Director, Student Services at Anglia Ruskin University. Here's Nicole's nomination statement:
Having been an AMOSSHE member since 2003, I am privileged to have served on the Executive Committee, firstly as an ordinary member and then as Vice Chair (Operations) for the past three years. I am standing again as Vice Chair (Operations) because during this period I believe I have made a considerable contribution to an association I feel passionately about.
During this period I have successfully contributed to all aspects of my elected role and taken the lead on several AMOSSHE projects, CPD events and conferences. I have represented AMOSSHE on several national forums and presented nationally, positively promoting our organisation and our members' work to stakeholders across the sector.
Throughout all my dealings I maintain a professional approach and remain fully committed to championing the aims and objectives of AMOSSHE and promoting AMOSSHE as the Student Services organisation.
Over the past three years I have had the pleasure of managing the National Office and the staff within it. This has seen a time of rapid and significant change to both staff structures and organisational arrangements, which have been dealt with and improved. This includes a relocation of our offices to a more suitable location and, in consultation with the wider Executive Committee, increased and restructured the staffing in the National Office to include a Head of Development and Operations as well as a Membership Engagement and Communications Officer to ensure that AMOSSHE is relevant to and supports the work of our members.
I would welcome the opportunity to continue to contribute and serve as part of the Executive Committee for another term. I would be thrilled to continue to work collaboratively with the Chair and wider Executive Committee, ensuring that the hard work already being undertaken by AMOSSHE is taken forward to the highest standards.
The past few years have seen significant changes to the sector and structurally to the organisation, and I am keen that these changes are embedded and the team is in a strong position to contribute positively to AMOSSHE strategy.
I will continue to ensure these activities are underpinned by our values and with our strategies at the forefront of everything we do in shaping AMOSSHE’s future direction and priorities. This work is also supported by sound, effective and up to date policies and procedures.
I am a highly capable manager as well as being financially astute with my background as a qualified accountant. I have extensive experience of leading teams through change, and in my AMOSSHE role this is evidenced this through my work with both with the National Office and the annual conference.
I welcome the opportunity to continue in this role, working closely with the National Office team, with whom it is a pleasure to work with and for whom I have the highest respect.
Sam Dale is Deputy Academic Registrar at Durham University. Here's Sam's nomination statement:
There are two main reasons why I am seeking election to the AMOSSHE Executive. Firstly, I would like to continue to make a contribution to the development of AMOSSHE at a time of significant change for the higher education sector both nationally and internationally. As a senior manager working directly in Student Services I am committed to enhancing the experience of students at Durham University. I would welcome the opportunity to channel this commitment into supporting work for the enhancement of the student experience across the sector.
My second motivation for seeking election is to build on the contribution I have made to the Executive over the last three years. My major contribution has been to provide a stimulus for creative thinking about the range of services offered and the future direction of the organisation. During my time on the Executive as Vice Chair (Professional Development) I have enjoyed the challenge of reviewing and reinvigorating the way in which the organisation delivers professional development to colleagues. The level of attendance and high levels of satisfaction with the services offered in this area is indicative of having made a difference in this area.
If elected as Vice Chair (Professional Development) my priority would be to identify and deliver key topics of professional interest to colleagues in Student Services and to offer these in a range of locations to maximise their reach, acknowledging the geographical spread of the organisation’s members. Additionally, I would seek to broaden development opportunities for Student Services staff by focussing on core leadership and management skills that would help them in their day-to-day work and sessions to aid reflection on career and personal progression.
I have extensive higher education management experience, and feedback has shown that I routinely display transformational leadership qualities. I have genuine interest and concern in people as individuals and I value the contributions they make. As a trained and experienced mentor, I routinely use my coaching skills to support colleagues both to achieve and to address issues they currently face. I am approachable and not status-conscious. As a qualified mediator, I have the skills to deal with conflict and difficult situations when they arise. I trust colleagues to take decisions and lead on important matters. I routinely challenge colleagues to question traditional approaches and I encourage new approaches and solutions to problems.
Jayne Aldridge is Deputy Director - Student Services & Administration at Kingston University. Here's Jayne's nomination statement:
I have been an active member of AMOSSHE since 2005 and have just completed a term on the Executive Committee (2013-2015). During this time I have continued to represent AMOSSHE on student funding matters (at BIS and SLC Stakeholder Groups) with particular emphasis on the proposed changes to DSAs including (at a meeting with the Minister of Higher Education and other representatives) successfully negotiating additional time for the sector to put in place necessary changes. I have deployed my experience of working in Million+, 94Group and University Alliance universities to ensure AMOSSHE’s voice has been both heard and listened to in all representative meetings in which I have been involved.
I recognise the critical work that AMOSSHE members undertake each and every day in our own institutions and the importance AMOSSHE can have in supporting those activities. If I am given the opportunity to serve another term on the Executive I will continue to listen to the views of members to shape AMOSSHE’s future direction and priorities in order to continue to make our organisation relevant to the day-to-day challenges that we face.
Ben Bailey is Director of Student Services at the University of Birmingham. Here's Ben's nomination statement:
I have been an Institutional Lead Member of AMOSSHE for 12 years, and contributed to the Executive Committee for the last four years.
In this last term serving AMOSSHE on the Executive, I have made my contribution in a range of areas of AMOSSHE’s work. From leading on our exchange arrangements with NASPA, supporting National Office with the membership survey, to representing us in national forums relating to disability, and co-ordinating a CPD event.
Those contributions continue to be motivated by my belief that AMOSSHE is a key part of supporting colleagues in Student Services. Supporting them to deliver important outcomes for students and also therefore, our institutions. Whether about national policy, professional development or sharing and advancing best practice and ideas, AMOSSHE’s work and member networks can be invaluable.
The ongoing challenge will include ensuring that we achieve high quality outputs to support members, we make further real advances in understanding of the delivery of excellent Student Services through research, and that our focus is on learning both domestically and internationally.
I remain committed to ensuring that as a member-led organisation AMOSSHE continues to consult on and address the needs of members. This is vital in guiding the development of AMOSSHE’s services and to be able to act in a representative way as part of an Executive.
I am passionate about seeking to continue to support AMOSSHE’s work as part of the Executive team, and would be grateful for your support in being able to do that.
Christine Lowther is Director of Student Services at the University of Glasgow. Here's Christine's nomination statement:
I am Director of Student Services, University of Glasgow, responsible for a wide range of services and the strategic direction of student wellbeing and engagement in the university, and a current Executive Member. Serving on the Executive has been a privilege and I believe that I have made a positive contribution to the work of AMOSSHE. Areas I have made a particular contribution to include playing a lead role in the AMOSSHE Insight projects activity and leading a CPD event on out of hours support, as well as ensuring that a Scottish dimension and the views of Scottish members are included in all AMOSSHE’s activities.
If re-eIected, I will continue to promote and develop the AMOSSHE Scotland network, ensuring there are regular meetings covering topics of concern to members, promoting AMOSSHE activities and facilitating discussions with relevant external stakeholders. I will also continue to work to ensure that AMOSSHE is seen as a key organisation to be consulted in relation to government policies affecting students in Scotland, and, working with other sector groups, to develop effective relationships with bodies that impact the student experience, for example the Student Awards Agency for Scotland and Police Scotland.
I wish to ensure that members from all parts of the UK are fully involved in AMOSSHE activities: good progress has been made in running CPD events outside London but we need to ensure that events are accessible to even more members, for instance through the development of webinars. It is crucial that the Executive reflects the interests of members across the range of professional staff involved in student support, the range of institutions we work in and all nations and regions of the UK. I therefore hope to receive your support and continue to serve you for a further term on the Executive.
Nic Streatfield is Head of Student Services at York St John University. Here's Nic's nomination statement:
I am a psychotherapist by training and have worked in six Universities (five northern and one in London) over the last 15 years. I have also been Operations Director at a software firm specialising in evaluating psychological therapies. Being able to demonstrate the value and impact of the work we do is a key driver of mine.
Currently I am Head of Student Services at York St John University. Wellbeing, Disability, Study Development, Student Advice, Student Funding, Induction & Transition, Chaplaincy, Health and the Access Centre all fall under my remit. My role is situated within the Student & Staff Directorate, which has enabled lots of collaborative work on supporting staff supporting students. Partnership working is key and I have led on a number of students as co-creators projects. I have previously been a trustee for the student charity Mental Wealth UK and helped facilitate their integration with Student Minds.
I won tweet of the conference in 2014 (surely a career high) and in 2012 presented to conference the results of a JISC-funded project researching the use of self-help material for the digital generation.
I am fortunate to have been selected to represent AMOSSHE on the NASPA exchange to Colorado in June 2015, and am looking forward to disseminate my learning from this to colleagues.
I am applying to be on the AMOSSHE Executive as I want to be able to contribute to the continuing success of the organisation at a national level. I believe my psychological background and commercial experience will add value to the committee as it continues to champion the vital role of student services in the sector.
AMOSSHE is directed by 12 Executive officers, who are Student Services professionals and AMOSSHE members. The Executive, who include AMOSSHE's Chair and Vice Chairs, are elected by the members and volunteer their time to ensure that AMOSSHE works in the best way to support our members, the sector and the student experience.
Executive roles last for two academic years, and every year half of the roles become vacant. All named AMOSSHE members have the opportunity to join the Executive by nominating themselves for a role.
If there's more than one nominee for a role, AMOSSHE members vote for the nominee they want to elect.
Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for spring 2015: a roundup of AMOSSHE news, events, and more (click image to view - PDF 1.1 MB).
This bulletin contains features about this year's AMOSSHE national conference ALL CHANGE, ten key findings from our 2014/15 Student Services benchmarking survey, and details of AMOSSHE's continuing professional development programme.
Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for winter 2015: a roundup of AMOSSHE news, events, and more (click image to view - PDF 1.73 MB).
This bulletin contains features about this year's AMOSSHE Insight projects, an overview of our first winter conference, details of AMOSSHE's continuing professional development programme, and news about our summer conference, ALL CHANGE.
Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for autumn 2014: a roundup of AMOSSHE news, events, and more (click image to view - PDF 2.11 MB).
This bulletin contains features about your newly elected AMOSSHE Executive members, an outline of some events and activities AMOSSHE has in store for 2014/15, and details about how your membership feedback has informed our strategy this year.
Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for summer 2014, a roundup of AMOSSHE news, events, project work and more (click image to view - PDF 4.4 MB).
This bulletin contains features about the AMOSSHE student services benchmarking survey, a roundup of AMOSSHE's annual conference, a guide to AMOSSHE's online resources, and more.
In 2014 six roles became vacant on the AMOSSHE Executive Committee for a period of two years, from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2016. AMOSSHE members nominated candidates for these roles, and the new Executive Members were decided by a membership ballot.
At AMOSSHE's 2014 AGM in Manchester, our Vice Chair (Operations), Nicole Redman, announced the names of the Executive Members who were elected.
Ben Lewis (Director, Student Support and Wellbeing at Cardiff University) will continue as AMOSSHE Chair.
Brian Hipkin (Dean of Students at Regent's University London) will continue as AMOSSHE Vice Chair.
In addition, Maria Lorenzini (Director of Student Experience, Bangor University) will take on an Executive Member role for a term of one year. Levi Pay (Head of Student Support & Wellbeing at Northumbria University) has had to stand down from the Executive due to other commitments, so Maria is taking his place and the role will be open for election again next year. Thank you to Levi for all his contributions to the work of the Executive.
Congratulations and welcome to all the new Executive Members!
Here are the nomination statements from everyone who was re-elected to the Executive in 2014:
Ben Lewis is Director, Student Support & Wellbeing Division at Cardiff University. Ben continues as AMOSSHE Chair for the 2014-16 term of office. Here's Ben's nomination statement:
"I have been dedicated to developing and growing AMOSSHE for a number of years. AMOSSHE has provided me with a huge range of opportunities and allowed me to develop links with colleagues across the sector which have been invaluable to me.
"We are now in a strong position with a new National Office team, more accessible membership structure and a more diverse range of membership engagements and offers (AMOSSHE Futures, AMOSSHE Insight and our CPD programmes).
"I am keen to complete this process and embed it over this term of office and work with the Executive to ensure there is in place an outward-looking, stable, secure and diverse student services organisation representing our needs to the sector.
"My priorities will be to:
Brian Hipkin is Dean of Students at Regent's University. Brian continues as AMOSSHE Vice Chair for the 2014-16 term of office. Here's Brian's nomination statement:
"I can contribute to AMOSSHE a unique blend and depth of experience. Having been an academic for 18 years and now a university senior manager for almost as long, I have held a focus on the student experience all my working life - work that has taken me across all mission groups. For the past ten years I have been an active member of AMOSSHE, presenting at conference,running CPD events and over the last four a member of the Executive Committee with the last two as Vice Chair. There is still so much that I want to contribute to our students and AMOSSHE members. It is a privilege to have been so closely involved with promoting the interests of students via AMOSSHE. I am now seeking the opportunity to not only continue to do so for two more years but to continue to develop and extend my contribution to our organisation. Being a member of the Executive provides a unique opportunity to help shape the future of student services at a national level at a time of both challenge and opportunity both for our students and our members.
"I have held university senior management roles in a number of institutions for the last 17 years and undertaken consultancy roles within higher education both in the UK and around the world. I am seeking the opportunity to continue contributing as Vice Chair to the very real progress that I believe AMOSSHE has been making in the past few years. I can bring to the role and to our members a deep understanding and commitment to our mission and our values. The Vice Chair needs to be able to draw upon experience and knowledge of higher education, not only from within the UK context but internationally.
"The next two years will see AMOSSHE growing and rising to challenges as yet unknown. As Vice Chair I will continue to innovate, represent and above all work with other officers and the Executive of AMOSSHE to ensure that our organisation continues to thrive and that its voice is heard loud and clear in the sector."
Mandi Barron is Head of Student Support Services at Bournemouth University. Mandi joins as an Executive Member for the 2014-16 term of office. Here's Mandi's nomination statement:
"I have been the institutional AMOSSHE lead at Bournemouth University for over five years and I have found the support and sharing of best practice from other members to be incredibly helpful in informing and shaping what we do at BU.
"I have led a number of changes to student services within my own organisation and monitored developments across the sector with interest to improve and enhance what we do with limited resources.
"I believe that the time has come for HEIs to take a completely fresh look at the way we support students - or more properly help them to help themselves - so that we can meet the changing demands not only from our students but also from our other stakeholders.
"I believe that my role as elected governor on the University Board, and my membership of a number of internal and external boards and committees, including QAA advisory groups for the Code of Practice, would stand me in good stead should I be elected to the AMOSSHE executive. I would relish the opportunity to be involved at this very exciting time."
Maria Lorenzini is Director of Student Experience at Bangor University. Maria joins as an Executive Member for 2014/15 only. Here's Maria's nomination statement:
"I’ve been working within student services for 19 years now, so I’ve been able to observe AMOSSHE growing from strength to strength supporting the professional development of student services and representing our voice within the sector. I’d like to make a contribution to AMOSSHE’s work as a member of the Executive Committee. I’ve been in my current role as Director of Student Experience at Bangor University for four years, and was previously at the University of Leicester for 15 years, where my last role was as Head of Student Development. My approach to managing student services has been underpinned by the belief that all student service professionals have expertise that can be used institutionally if they have strong representation at management level to ensure they feed into institutional policies and decision making.
"My current role as Director of Student Experience is dual: it combines overall management of student services with responsibility for our university’s Student Experience Enhancement Strategy. I’ve needed to develop a broad understanding of the inter-related agendas and interests within a university, and the sector as a whole, in order to create a forward-thinking strategy that all university staff can identify with and contribute to. I’ve embedded partnership working with students as the underlining theme of the strategy, and this has been a launching pad for a wide range of student-led initiatives across the university. It is important to me that the strategy includes a strong commitment to the development of an inclusive campus community, and I've utilised the expertise of student services staff to promote equality of opportunity across all aspects of the student experience.
"I hope my experience of promoting the strategic importance of student service professions would be useful to the Executive Committee in championing the value of student services within the sector."
Helen McNeely is Head of Student Affairs at Queen's University Belfast. Helen joins as an Executive Member for the 2014-16 term of office. Here's Helen's nomination statement:
"I have worked in student services in three different universities, in England and in my current role, Head of Student Affairs at Queen’s University Belfast. Across these roles I have managed Student Advice, Disability Services, Counselling, International Student Support and Registry Services and Systems. My current role incorporates student support services as well as the academic audit functions of the university – an accidental marriage that has proven to be strategically very important in terms of helping improve the overall student experience. The audit role includes managing student academic appeals and complaints, many of which include a student support element and therefore provides an invaluable insight into the changing needs and perceptions of students. Regionally I am involved with other local higher and further education providers in an implementation group for the Northern Ireland Strategy for Higher Education.
"Being part of the AMOSSHE Executive and bringing the views of a university in a devolved administration would help shape the national debate on promoting student wellbeing. I have been a member of AMOSSHE since I started in higher education in 1997 and would welcome the opportunity to serve on the executive and contribute to an organisation that has been essential to my professional career."
Ian Munton is Head of Student Support and Development Services at Keele University. Ian continues as an Executive Member for the 2014-16 term of office. Here's Ian's nomination statement:
"I've enjoyed six months on the AMOSSHE Executive this year - it's been a fantastic experience, and one that has provided me the opportunity to contribute to real change and direction for our profession. It has, however flown by and as such I am keen to commit more time and energy to contributing to the continued advancement of our profession through a position as an AMOSSHE Executive Member.
"We say this every year, but it feels more so than ever that we are at a juncture where in order to move forward we need to make many important and challenging decisions - being in a position to listen and learn from AMOSSHE members in order to drive forward change is exactly why I want to continue in my position as Executive Member.
"My career in the Student Services profession has spanned 10 years across three institutions, all of which are markedly different from one another; for the last four years I have worked at Keele University, as Head of Student Support and Development Services. The thread that runs through my career has been the importance of effective relationships – I think that nothing else has quite served me as well in developing trust, partnership and effective services. I see this as a pivotal role of an Executive Member and would welcome the opportunity to develop effective, professional relationships with and on behalf of AMOSSHE in order that we can continue to respond to challenges as they arise, but also lead on initiatives and themes that will influence and form our thinking around student services, now and into the future."
Fay Sherrington is Student Wellbeing Services Manager at Lancaster University. Fay continues as an Executive Member for the 2014-16 term of office. Here's Fay's nomination statement:
"I am currently an Executive Member of AMOSSHE and the Student Wellbeing Services Manager at Lancaster University. I manage a range of student facing support services, including student funding, wellbeing, counselling, mental health and disability support.
"I have worked in Student Services in an educational environment for over nine years, taking on a variety of roles and responsibilities. I have a particular interest in wellbeing, counselling and mental health support, customer service and people management. I have been involved in various training and development courses and have achieved an MSc in Management Practice.
"I have been actively involved in AMOSSHE events over the last few years, including the following:
"I have really enjoyed my involvement in AMOSSHE over the past few years and would love the opportunity to remain on the Executive for a further term. Being involved in AMOSSHE has provided me with new experiences and skills which have been invaluable in my role and career development. I would therefore like to be able to offer my time and enthusiasm to the Executive for another two years. If I was re-elected I would continue to support AMOSSHE’s work and would be pleased to co-lead the annual conference again or provide support to new leads if needed."
Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for spring 2014 (click image to view - PDF 2.4 MB).
On Monday 7 April 2014 the Rt Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, released a ministerial statement that represents a reduction in the available resource to support access to higher education for disabled people. AMOSSHE, the Student Services Organisation, which represents leaders in student services across UK higher education, is concerned that the proposal set out in the statement will remove funding that has been shown to make a positive difference to the attainment of disabled students in higher education.
Universities have made significant progress in main-streaming adjustments to the curriculum to improve access for disabled people. The Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) has consistently been proven to make a difference to disabled students.
This proposal will also pose a significant resource problem for higher education providers in general, and student services departments in particular. Student services departments will have to consider how these changes may affect demand for other overstretched services that they offer, such as counselling, study skills classes and mentoring.
With the recently announced cessation of the Access to Learning Fund (ALF) in England, this further change to higher education student support represents another significant reduction in the funding designed to improve access for people from backgrounds that make them less likely to participate and succeed in higher education.
It is regrettable that changes of this nature were not subject to full consultation or equality impact assessment prior to their publication. We note that details and specifics behind the ministerial statement remain unclear. Representatives of the AMOSSHE Executive Board look forward to engaging positively with officials from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills to ensure that any changes are introduced effectively.
You can read David Willetts' ministerial statement here: www.gov.uk/government/speeches/higher-education-student-support-changes-to-disabled-students-allowances-dsa.
The International Association of Student Affairs & Services (IASAS) is celebrating its chartering as a legal entity under Belgian and European Union statutes today (25 July 2013) in Brussels, Belgium.
Ben Lewis, AMOSSHE Chair, comments on today’s charter:
"AMOSSHE, the UK Student Services Organisation, is delighted to be a part of IASAS. The student experience has always been our key concern, and we’re excited that we, along with higher education Student Services leaders from across the world, now have the vehicle of IASAS through which to learn from each other. We applaud IASAS’ leadership in forging international partnerships amongst Student Services practitioners, especially the opportunities that this great organisation offers for global learning, networking and sharing good practice."
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