Westminster Higher Education Forum

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Tackling drug use in higher education

Morning, Tuesday, 10th January 2023


This conference will examine the latest issues and priorities for tackling drug use in higher education.


It is timed to follow the release of the first phase report from the Universities UK taskforce, led by Professor Nic Beech, a keynote speaker at this conference. It will be a timely opportunity to discuss the report’s findings, key issues and suggested next steps.


Delegates will assess the latest research on the trends and characteristics of drug use in higher education, along with the role of drugs within student life, and the drivers of supply and demand. There will also be discussion on the priorities for further research and the ways in which HEIs can gain a better understanding of their own drugs landscape.


Areas for discussion include:

  • the drugs landscape in UK universities - supply and demand - student culture and pressures - vulnerable groups - local issues and patterns
  • drug policies and harm reduction strategies - whole university approaches - co-production - implementation - disciplinary procedures - building trust - support services - accommodation policies
  • universities in the context of UK-wide drug use - impact on students - the role of HEIs - priorities for research - developing a system for prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery
  • creating local and regional partnerships to tackle drug harms - supply disruption - developing multi-agency working and coordinated approaches

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Professor Dame Carol Black, Lead, Independent Review of Drugs (2019-2021); and Professor Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University London; and Chair, Drug-Use Taskforce, Universities UK.



Keynote Speakers

Professor Dame Carol Black

Lead, Independent Review of Drugs (2019-2021)

Professor Nic Beech

Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University London; and Chair, Drug-Use Taskforce, Universities UK

Keynote Speakers

Professor Dame Carol Black

Lead, Independent Review of Drugs (2019-2021)

Professor Nic Beech

Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University London; and Chair, Drug-Use Taskforce, Universities UK

Speakers

Jenny Shaw

Director, External Engagement, The Unite Group

Rania Regaieg

President, The Students’ Union at UWE

Professor Owen Bowden-Jones

Consultant Psychiatrist, CNWL; and Honorary Professor, University College London

Arda Ozcubukcu

Co-Founder & Director, NeuroSight; and Partnerships Associate, Clerkenwell Health

Dr Simon Merrywest

Director for the Student Experience, The University of Manchester

Tracy Scares

Senior Service Manager - Substance Misuse, Catch22

Professor Graham Towl

Professor of Forensic Psychology, Durham University; and former Chief Psychologist, Ministry of Justice

John de Pury

Assistant Director of Policy, Universities UK

Tracy Lumb

Senior Project Manager - Wellbeing, Students Organising for Sustainability UK