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.

Next steps for improving quality and standards in HE - new regulation, implementation, course development, funding, assessment and qualifications

Morning, Monday, 21st February 2022

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

This conference will look at priorities for regulation, the development of higher education courses going forward, and next steps for assessment and qualifications to boost standards as well as quality across the UK higher education sector.

It will be a timely opportunity to discuss proposals in the OfS consultation on quality and standards in HE - such as allowing the regulator greater power to intervene in universities and colleges with sub-par performance, as well as measures for assessments and qualifications aimed at ensuring effectiveness and credibility - with the OfS considering its response.

The agenda also looks ahead to the anticipated consultation from OfS on minimum requirements for student outcomes, and the best approach for regulating them.

Additional areas for discussion include priorities for higher education in the wake of the pandemic, and what has been learned from developments such as the increased use of digital technology and online provision for driving up standards into the future.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote contributions from: Professor Andrew Wathey, Chair, UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment; and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Northumbria University; Alex Bols, Deputy CEO, GuildHE; and Dr Charlotte Snelling, Policy Manager, Universities UK.

Overall, the agenda will bring out latest thinking on:

  • ensuring the quality of UK higher education in the wake of the pandemic
  • developing and implementing new regulations whilst avoiding increased bureaucratic burden
  • the development of innovative and up-to-date courses that align with sector needs
  • the use of remote and blended provision and improving access to support
  • boosting confidence in assessments and qualifications, and tackling grade inflation


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by representatives from Edge Hill University; Grimsby Institute; Royal Society of Chemistry; and University College Birmingham.

A press pass has been reserved by a representative from University Business.

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 university leaders, teachers and teaching groups, student collectives, programme coordinators, remote learning platforms, technical centres, training and skills programmes, regional government, as well as academic researchers and 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

Dr Charlotte Snelling

Policy Manager, Universities UK

Professor Andrew Wathey

Chair, UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment, and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Northumbria University

Alex Bols

Deputy CEO, GuildHE


Sally Burtonshaw

Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, London Higher

Sarah Knight

Head of Learning and Teaching Transformation, Jisc

Carmai Pestell

Registrar, TEDI-London

Smita Jamdar

Partner, Head of Education Team, Shakespeare Martineau