PLEASE SEE NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT BELOW ucisa 20 Leadership Conference

Booking Closed

Primary Sponsor


18 March 2020

19 March 2020

20 March 2020

Book Before

13 March 2020


Manchester Central

About the Event

Please note that this event is now due to take place on 29th-31st March 2022, rather than January 2021. This is due to restrictions in place to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and because the conference venue continues to be utilised in the response to COVID-19 as a Nightingale Hospital.

Until we meet again in March 2022, all ucisa events will be taking place online and free of charge to ucisa members – for details of our upcoming events, please see our website’s event page.

Planning is already underway for the Leadership Conference 2022, to create the inspiring, thought-provoking and memorable experience that our delegates deserve.

We look forward to seeing you in-person then, for a fitting reunion.



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Adi Latif

Accessibility and Usability Consultant


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Sarah Christen

Director of IT Infrastructure

Cornell University

Headshot of closing speaker

John Doe

Inspirational speaker

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Chris Dixon

Head, IT Partnering and Innovation

Lancaster University

Head shot of Abdi Hassan

Abdi Hassan

MA in IT Management, Sheffield Hallam University

More Info

Abdi's talk will focus on his journey to the IT industry through education. Failing at school and college level, he secured a university place in UCAS clearing at 2013. HE graduated with a BSc Honours Degree in Business Information Technology with a Sandwich year from Leeds Beckett University and is currently completing a Masters Degree in IT Management at Sheffield Hallam University. However the journey was difficult along the way - from going through clearing to failing numerous times in his undergraduate studies, to finding a placement year, whilst dealing and overcoming his studies with multiple disabilities during his time in higher education.

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Penny Hindle

Recent graduate and software developer at X-Lab.

More Info

After studying Maths and Computing at A-Level, Penny went on to study Computer Science with Industrial Placement at the University of Leeds in 2015. Having taken a traditional route into tech, she has dedicated a lot of free time to encouraging those who may not have taken the same route to pursue a career in tech, through organisations such as Code First: Girls and STEM ambassadors. Her talk will be on her experiences as woman in a male dominated degree subject, and the importance of relatable role models.

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Deborah Green



More Info

Deborah joined UCISA as CEO in May of 2019, bringing with her a wealth of marketing and Higher Education experience, most recently as Director of Student Recruitment at the University of Hull following five years as Chief Executive of Marketing Leeds and 5 years at Leeds Beckett University, where she was a member of the Executive Board. She is no stranger to leading member organisations, having led the Law Society’s regional team earlier in her career, supporting 14,500 solicitors in Yorkshire and the North East and introducing a wealth of new initiatives and services, resulting in her receiving the Yorkshire Enterprise Award and being recognised as Yorkshire Lawyer of the year in 2007 for her services to the profession.

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Sally Bogg

Head of Live Services

NHS Digital

More Info

Sally Bogg is an award winning Service Management professional with over 15 years experience of creating sector leading teams and services. Sally currently works at NHS Digital as Head of Live Service where she is responsible for leading the cross cutting functions, contributing to the running and operation of the business critical infrastructure and technology that underpins the national health and social care system in England.

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Terri-Anne Hamer

More Info

Level 6 - Young People, Communities and Society @ Leeds Beckett University As a care leaver with over 15 years’ experience volunteering in the third sector and fostering her younger brother as a kinship carer, she decided to apply for a degree and put all her lived and volunteering experience to some use. After taking a non-traditional route into higher education, using her experience to build her UCAS points, as a mature student and single mother of three, Terri-Anne has faced multiple systemic failures and contradictions in the systems in place that are implemented to support individuals to achieve their goals and become productive members of society. Despite all these odds Terri is now in her final few months of her degree and today will speak of the multiple challenges herself and many others in similar circumstances face on their journey through higher education.

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Nicky Moffat

CBE, Speaker, Leadership Development Consultant, Executive Coach

More Info

Nicky helps companies develop their people and make transformative and sustainable improvements in leadership and culture. Her insight is drawn from 27 years in strategy, command and training roles in the British Army and MOD, achieving the rank of Brigadier. She supports executive teams and individuals as a leadership and career coach.

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Rohit Talwar

Global Futurist and Business Consultant

More Info

Global Futurist and Business Consultant Rohit is a global futurist and award winning professional speaker noted for his inspirational approach, provocative content and humour. He is considered a world authority on the future of airports, airlines, travel, tourism, retail and meetings - leading the Convention 2020 study. Rohit authored Designing Your Future - Key Trends, Challenges and Choices, edited Achieving Transformation and Renewal in Financial Services, and contributes regularly to books and journals on futures and strategic change. He is a keynote speaker for business, government and association events around the world. Regular topics include the drivers of change, economic futures, emerging technologies, innovation, developing economies, managing complexity, winning in a downturn and the future travel, aviation and meetings. Rohit leads Fast Future Research and has conducted in depth futures studies on a range of topics. Recent studies include HR2020, Global Mega Trends, Scenarios for 2015, The Shape of Jobs to Come, Future Science and Technology Timelines, the Future of Cities, the Future of China and India, the Future of Travel and Tourism, Convention 2020, Scenarios for Migration, Healthcare Innovation Scenarios, Narcotics Scenarios and Demographic Trends. Rohit was profiled by the Independent Newspaper as one of the top ten global future thinkers and is considered an authority on how technology is transforming business and society. Rohit also has a particular geographic interest in the emerging economies of Asia and Africa and a strategic focus on the challenges of embedding foresight in leading organisations. He has spoken to leadership audiences in over 50 countries on six continents and typically visits 20-25 countries each year. Alongside his research, he spends around 40% of his time travelling to meet the people and organisations that are shaping the future and helping his clients develop innovative responses to future opportunities and challenges.

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Jenny Evans

Research Environment and Scholarly Communications Lead

University of Westminster

More Info

Jenny Evans is Head of Research and Scholarly Communications at the University of Westminster. Based in the Research Office and working closely with Library and Archives Service colleagues, her specialities include Research Data Management, Current Research Information Systems and Open Access. As the institution’s operational business owner of the Haplo CRIS system, she works with researchers, professional services colleagues and Haplo, to oversee and co-ordinate updates and development work. Over the past 3 years she has led (in close collaboration with colleagues and Haplo) the development and implementation of a Haplo repository that enables the more effective capture, discoverability and preservation of all types of research outputs. She joined the University in late 2016 after previous roles at Middlesex University and Imperial College London.

Event Schedule



Exhibitor briefing

in the Exchange Hall

This session will be aimed at new and existing suppliers and exhibitors and will provide a brief insight how they can use their time at ucisa 2020 to gain greater insight into higher education, including the strategic challenges and topics facing our sector and how they can use their membership to engage more effectively with delegates at this unique event.


Registration opens

in the Exchange Foyer

The Exhibition opens

in the Exchange Hall

Newcomers session

James Smith, Director of IT, Birkbeck, University of London

If this is your first ucisa conference, or your first in a long time, please join us for a session describing how to make the most of the Conference. Hear about ucisa's resources, events, and working groups, as well as networking with your colleagues.

in the Charter Suite


Lunch and the Exhibition

in the Exchange Hall

Introduction and welcome

Sally Bogg, Conference Chair, Leeds Beckett University 
and Deborah Green, CEO, ucisa

in the Charter Suite


Bad design disables

Adi Latif, Accessibility Consultant, Ability Net

in the Charter Suite

(Sponsored by Course Loop)


Building Cloud Communities: A people centric view on a technological journey.

Sarah Christen, Director of IT Infrastructure, Cornell University

(Sponsored by AWS)

in the Charter Suite



available in the Exhibition

Partner case studies

A chance for senior teams to hear and learn from the experience of our corporate members and their institutional partners

Delivering the digital student experience (Exchange Room 1)
Dan Perry, CIO, Keele University

A fast-track to improving the student experience (Charter Suite)
Nick Moore, IT Director, Birmingham City University

The evolution of the University of Oxford’s museums’ collections online solution utilising continuous delivery on AWS (Exchange Rooms 2&3)
Marcus Cheetham, Project Manager, University of Oxford

Curriculum Management for student success (Exchange Rooms 4&5)
Brian Clark, Course Loop Software CEO

Evolution of Backup at Lancaster University using Veeam in an ever changing world (Exchange Rooms 6&7)
Dr Matthew Storey, Head of Storage and Virtualisation, Lancaster University


Travel time


A very human future

Rohit Talwar, Global Futurist and CEO - Fast Future

This session will explore how the higher education sector can embrace the transformational potential of technology and respond to the human impacts of the resulting changes across society. How can we place higher education at the centre of thinking about ensuring that all humanity can survive and thrive in the emerging future?

in the Charter Suite


Networking and drinks reception

in the Exhibition (Exchange Hall)

(sponsored by Dropbox)


Drinks reception with speed networking

at the Albert Hall

(sponsored by CirrusHQ)


Dinner at the Albert Hall

Dress code: business casual

(sponsored by Veeam)

Enjoy a mix of street food from around the world and take part in networking opportunities and a quiz (sponsored by Quest)



How to recruit and retain great people into the HE digital sector?

Jon Faulkner, Shasa McCarogher and Carla Toomer, Domain7

Lynne Newbitt and Emma Woodhouse, ucisa Recruitment and Retention working party

Information on how to register

The message and mandate from the ucisa community to gain insight and guidance on recruiting and retaining great people has been heard. Through widespread community engagement activities, in person and on-line, a digital guide for potential recruits, those working within the sector and the employing universities is being designed and produced.  At the briefing you will get opportunity to hear about the journey so far, key insights, the digital engagement platform being used and then be invited to contribute your combined wisdom into this important collaborative activity.

in Exchange Room 1


Travel time


Leadership is everyone’s business

Nicky Moffat CBE

In the Charter Suite


What value we add

Panel session chaired by Claire Priestly, Director of IT, City University of London

Panel members are Bella Abrams, Director of IT, CiCS , University of Sheffield
James Crooks, Director of Learning & Information Services, University of Central Lancashire
Laura Dawson, Director, Data and Technology Services, London School of Economics



Available in the Exhibition, Exchange Hall

Digital strategies for the learner’s journey

Representatives from visiting Australian Universities join their UK counterparts to discuss the changing digital strategies needed to direct the learner’s journeys from the perspective of the staff that support them.

Chaired by Drew Cook, Director of ICT, University of Lincoln, Chair ucisa Board of Trustees, the cohort, brought together by TechnologyOne, will discuss the digital strategies that are being used to meet the challenges and create new opportunities in areas such as student retention, student interactions and student experience.

Sponsored by TechnologyOne



The fifth Annual General Meeting (the 'Meeting') of the Company, and the 27th Annual General Meeting of the association, will be held at 12:00 noon on Thursday 19 March 2020 in the Charter Suite at Manchester Central, Windmill Street, Manchester, M2 3GX

in the Charter Suite



available in the Exhibition

Student voice

New for 2020 and based on your feedback we have decided to bring the student voice to our leadership conference. In this session three students will share their very personal journeys and experiences of higher education and provide insight into the challenges they have faced and the obstacles they have overcome, demonstrating first- hand the transformational impact of higher education.

Penny Hindle, Recent graduate and software developer at X-Lab

Terri-Anne Hamer, BA HONS in Young People, Communities and society at Leeds Beckett University 

Abdi Hassan, Masters in IT Management, Sheffield Hallam University


Travel time


Institutional showcases

A range of university showcases providing real life examples of HE initiatives

Working in partnership with Haplo to build a Research Information Management System at the University of Westminster (Exchange Room 1)
Jenny Evans, University of Westminster

Voice, Chat and Innovation with Students as Co-Producers (Charter Suite)
Chris Dixon, Lancaster University

King's operating model journey - the search for a common approach (Exchange Rooms 2&3)
John Butterworth, Director, Office of the CIO, King's College London

Culture Change and Colleague Engagement (Exchange Rooms 4&5)               
Rob Moore, Leeds Beckett University  

The Transformative Impact of BI (Exchange Rooms 6&7)    
Gary Tindell, University of East London



in the Exhibition

Exhibition closes


Institutional showcases

A range of university showcases providing real life examples of HE initiatives

Moodle – A decade of ups and downs (Exchange Room 1)
Nadeem Ahmad, Hythrop College, UoL

Enhancing fitness for service  (Exchange Rooms 2&3)
Julie Christie, University of Dundee 

Projects to Programmes to Portfolio’s  - The challenges, pitfalls and successes of an IT Portfolio Management Office (Exchange Rooms 4&5)
Clive Green, University of Nottingham

Cyber Resilience - Selling it to the wider University (Exchange Rooms 6&7)
Bruce Rodger, University of Strathclyde 

Uncovering the real value of academic engagement – a strategic case study (Charter Suite)
Lorraine Spalding, University of Edinburgh


Roundtable sessions

A number of facilitated small group discussions on a range of topics.

In order to provide the best opportunity for the free exchange of ideas this session is open to delegates from HE and FE institutions only


In the Charter Suite


Conference dinner drinks reception

at the Midland Hotel

(Sponsored by AWS)


Conference dinner

at the Midland Hotel

Dress code: Black tie optional



5k run

Meet at the Jury’s Hotel reception
All welcome.

Led by Jim Nottingham, University of the Arts London


Panel discussion on our institutions' reactions to Covid-19, what actions CIOs and their teams are taking, and what we should be considering next

Chaired by Arthur Clune, University of York Director of Infrastructure and Faculty IT

Fireside chat

Sometimes the best insight comes not from watching slides, or listening to talks but in the conversations we have at a meal, or over a glass of wine. In these conversations there is space for thought, for humour, even for constructive disagreement.


Join us as a fly on the wall and watch our chat around the fireside, as we look at perspectives from within and outside the HE sector. We think it just might be interesting...


in the Exchange Auditorium 



in the Exchange Hall

Bringing the rollercoaster to the classroom

Alex Denley, Director of Innovation and Transformation at London South Bank University

in the Exchange Auditorium 


Bouncing back

John Doe

Our closing presenter will share his story of transformation and how we can all deal with the challenges we get dealt in life. We guarantee you will remember this presentation for years to come.

in the Exchange Auditorium 

(Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise) 


Conference close

followed by Lunch