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Annual Admissions & HE Guidance Conference 

Admissions Conference

An event for teachers and careers advisers involved in Post 16 education (FREE)

The 23rd Annual Admissions and HE Guidance Conference is being held at Aston University, Birmingham on Friday 12 January 2018. This event is aimed at teachers, heads of sixth form and careers advisers involved in post 16 education. 


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*a description of each workshop can be found below the form 

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Annual Admissions Conference booking form

Programme Sessions Descriptions

  • Conference Welcome, Professor Alec Cameron, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University.
  • Student Recruitment and Outreach Welcome, Sapreena Kumari, Director of Admissions, Student Recruitment and Outreach. 
  • Morning Plenary: UCAS: An overview of the current educational climate, Louise Evans, Head of Adviser and Provider Experience at UCAS. 
  • Afternoon Plenary: Ask the expert: Admissions. Louise Foster-Agg, Head of Undergraduate Admissions at Aston University will be joined by experts from other UK universities to lead discussion and answer any queries about admission to university. 

Ahmar Ehsan, Funding Information Partners Account Manager (Midlands & Oxford)

Student Finance England will guide delegates through the changes within student finance policy for 2018/19. Information will be provided to guide your students through the application process and to understand the student loan repayment system. It is an opportunity to discuss any concerns you have regarding student finance. 

Rachel Lister, Head of Student Recruitment and Information Cambridge Admissions Office, Cambridge University

This workshop will explain what Oxford and Cambridge offer, with a particular focus on how they differ from other universities. It will give an insight into student life at the two institutions and what kinds of students are likely to get the most out of the distinctive education system offered. It will also provide detailed advice on how applicants and their teachers/advisers can maximise their chances of success in a highly selective and competitive system.

Sarah Fullwood, Student Recruitment Officer, Aston University and Laura Hutchinson, Degree Apprenticeships Marketing and Events Office, Aston University

Experience is as important as education. Aston believes that a degree shouldn't just give students the knowledge of how to succeed in their ideal career, but teach them how to do it. In this workshop hear directly from Aston University and learn more about why your students may wish to consider a degree apprenticeship in the future.

Anne Young, Senior Admissions Manager, Aston University and Andreas Michael, Outreach Manager

A reference supporting your students University application can often prove to be a crucial factor in a successful UCAS application. This session will look at the dos and don’ts of reference writing and we will give delegates the opportunity to examine some good and bad examples. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions, discuss issues that you face ad share best practice with other HE advisers. We will also provide a brief overview of the personal statement writing process for those of you who are new to the sector. 

*Suitable for less experienced advisers/those new to HE guidance work

Jo Burrows, Student Recruitment and Outreach Officer, Aston University and Jonathan Hunter, University of Birmingham

We attend over 300 events in schools and colleges across the UK every year. We attend fantastic events, where the students have been prepped, the timings are perfect and we have lots of engagement to events where we are stood in a corridor for six hours and we are lucky to catch one student. 

So what is the secret to a great HE event for everyone involved? 

Working with the University of Birmingham, this workshop will explore what support HE institutions can offer your institution and how to effectively engage universities - ensuring students make the most of these opportunities and reducing your own admin. This will also be an opportunity for you to share best practice with colleagues about successful and innovative past events. 

Andreas Michaels, Outreach Manager, and Peter Lakeland, Head of Student Recruitment and Outreach, Aston University

Find out how the Student Recruitment and Outreach (SRO) team work directly with schools and colleges to support potential applicants of all backgrounds to consider Aston’s degree courses, whilst striving to raise higher education aspirations amongst the least advantaged groups of school-age learners. As well as hearing from current Aston students who are actively engaged with work in schools, you will also have the chance to hear from some teachers who work closely with SRO, and some of the benefits of working closely with a University. 

Jayne Reilly, Student Recruitment Officer, and Andra Groza, Digital Marketing Officer, Aston University 

Throwing yourself into the social media world can sometimes seem like a group workout class, due to the fear of embarrassment or not being able to keep up. During this interactive session, we will take a look at some of the most successful social media strategies that universities have been using to engage with students. We will demonstrate how the examples shared can be implemented at your institution and still be effective, regardless of your social media fitness level, whilst providing a practical planning tool for you and your colleagues to use back at your school or college.

Sarah Fullwood, Student Recruitment Officer, Aston University

This workshop will explore the ever changing higher education environment and the growing notion that universities’ need to incorporate employer engagement within their fundamental objectives. We will look at the traditional emphasis that universities have placed on careers and employability in relation to current students and discuss the idea that employer engagement needs to play a greater part in our Outreach and Recruitment provision.

Christopher Wilson, Lecturer in Learning Innovation and Professional Practice

One of the key conversations that take place at open days at universities focuses on how ‘university study is very different from school or college’. This workshop reflects on the changing dynamics of learning and teaching in higher education, how student experience is framed both by traditional lectures, seminars and tutorials, alongside an increasing focus on innovation and experimentation. Highlighting examples of innovation in learning and teaching in the global HE sector, the session is designed to support constructive conversations with university applicants and to inform a better understanding of what to expect from university study.

Dr Ray Carson, Senior Lecturer and phase one lead, Aston Medical School 

Colleagues from the Aston Medical School will explore the application process of applying to a competitive course such as Medicine. Including top tips on supporting your students, aspects of the UKCAT test, as well as focusing on the interview process through the use of the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI).

Nikki Jell, Education Liaison Manager at Hotcourses group

Our website helps students tailor their search using sophisticated search tools, comparison tables and thousands of student reviews to make informed decisions about university.

For teachers and advisors, we have Whatuni Destinations, enabling you to track your students’ progress throughout their research journey. This also includes our SOW, ‘University Research and Application’, with classroom resources to complement our online offering.

The newly launched Whatuni App, with its virtual assistant H.E.R.B, makes it even easier for students to find the perfect course for them.

All our resources are completely FREE so come along to find out more!

Louise Foster Agg, Head of Undergraduate Admissions at Aston University 

This session will be addressing the conditional and unconditional offer making strategies, looking at what Firm and Insurance choices really mean for students particularly during Clearing. It will also look at Clearing in more detail particularly as it has become a key period in the recruitment cycle.  

George Kearney-Bambridge, NCOP manager at Aston University

This session will explore research into cultures of aspiration and motivation whilst providing practical advice and guidance on how to inspire young people to succeed.

Benedict Van-Der-Linde, Advice Zone Manager, Modasar Rasul, Learner Enhancement Officer and Ellen Pope, Head of the Learning Development Centre

Transitioning to University is an exciting time for students but it can also be very daunting. We have a fantastic range of support packages in place and mentoring schemes to support students throughout their educational journey. This leads to a very low percentage of students choosing not to continue their degree course, indicating Aston is successfully retaining students as well recruiting them. In this session, you can find out about Aston’s support networks and there will be opportunities to discuss how we can support you and your students more pre-university but also during the transitional phase. 

Dr Hannah Bartlett, Reader In Optometry, Aston University and Amanda Bishop, Widening Participation and Admissions Manager, Aston Medical School

Session description coming soon. 


PDF document

Admissions Conference Programme

Click here to download the Admissions Conference Programme [pdf].