Westminster Higher Education Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? You can contact our Delegate Relations team at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk or by calling the above number.

Degree apprenticeships in England - next steps for development and performance, standards and assessment, branding, and economic contribution

Morning, Monday, 28th February 2022

This conference will assess the future for degree apprenticeships in England in the context of the pandemic.

It will be an opportunity to consider the way forward for proposals from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) aimed at improving degree apprenticeship development, approval, and how well they work for both apprentices and employers.

There will also be discussion on the impact of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, the outlook for Ofsted inspections of level 6 and 7 apprenticeships and their role in driving up standards, and further approaches that could be taken to improve provision.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote contributions from Mandy Crawford-Lee, Chief Executive, University Vocational Awards Council; and John Cope, Director, Strategy, Policy & Public Affairs, UCAS.

Overall, the agenda is structured to bring out latest thinking on:

  • priorities for delivery in the context of the pandemic - including the future for blended and flexible provision
  • driving standards and quality in provision - and the role of Ofsted inspections
  • regional economies - how degree apprenticeships can be tailored to cater to regional priorities
  • the applications and admissions process - priorities for development and improvement
  • branding and awareness - creating a distinct identity for degree apprenticeships

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the DfE; the Cabinet Office; CAFRE; the DfE, ROI; the DIT; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, ROI; DWP; HMRC; the IATE; and the Valuation Office Agency.

Keynote Speaker

John Cope

Director, Strategy, Policy & Public Affairs, UCAS

Keynote Speakers

Mandy Crawford-Lee

Chief Executive, University Vocational Awards Council

John Cope

Director, Strategy, Policy & Public Affairs, UCAS


Lord Lucas


Graham Hasting-Evans

Chief Executive, NOCN Group

Nicola Drury

UK Apprenticeship Manager, Amazon

Liz Gorb

Director of Apprenticeships, Manchester Metropolitan University

Chris Ensor

Deputy Director for Cyber Skills and Growth, NCSC

Rachael Johnstone

Director of Degree Apprenticeships, University of Exeter Business School

Hannah McAuley

Director of Advanced Programmes, Multiverse

Rachel Hewitt

Chief Executive, MillionPlus

Professor Lynette Ryals

Pro Vice Chancellor, Cranfield University; and Chief Executive, MK:U

Viren Patel

Director of Business Development Unit, The Open University

Paul Skerry

UK Early Careers and Professional Development Manager, Royal BAM Group