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.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or call +44 (0)1344 864796.

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, and branding and economic contribution

Morning, Monday, 28th February 2022

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will assess the future for degree apprenticeships in England in the wake 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 and approval, and how well they work for 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, Director of Policy and Operations and Chief Executive Designate, University Vocational Awards Council; and a senior speaker confirmed from UCAS.

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

  • priorities for delivery in the wake 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


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Cabinet Office; the Department for the Economy, NI; DWP and the Valuation Office Agency. Also due to attend are representatives from Staffordshire University.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials in this area of public policy, together with other stakeholders from across the higher education sector, including university leaders, lecturers and lecturer groups, programme administrators, students and student unions, skills and training platforms, scientific and technical bodies, industry representatives, trade and professional groups, academic researchers, as well as reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials are made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Mandy Crawford-Lee

Director of Policy and Operations and Chief Executive, University Vocational Awards Council

John Cope

Director, Strategy, Policy & Public Affairs, UCAS


Graham Hasting-Evans

Chief Executive, NOCN Group

Nicola Drury

UK Apprenticeship Manager, Amazon

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

Viren Patel

Director of Business Development Unit, The Open University