ucisa20 Leadership Conference

Booking Open

Primary Sponsor


18 March 2020

19 March 2020

20 March 2020

Book Before

21 February 2020


Manchester Central

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About the Event

The HE and FE Sectors continue to operate in what is undoubtedly one of the most challenging periods of sustained change in their histories. As a result, the need to seek out best practice from both within and outside our sector in order to ensure we have the agility and creativity needed to meet the challenges our institutions face, has never been greater.

Building on the success of ucisa 2019, we are therefore pleased to announce that the theme for ucisa 2020 will be “Inside Out, Outside In” – focusing on inspiring and enabling outstanding leadership in IT.

The conference will explore best practice themes from the Inside Out by looking at sector exemplars to provide guidance and inspiration by exploring how best to develop, and support our existing workforce to improve capacity, effectiveness and deliver an excellent student experience. The Outside In conference strand will seek out best practice from organisations and exemplars from outside the sector, focusing on how technological innovations and strategic & operational models identified can be effective within an educational context, ensuring we remain open/ opening our minds to new ideas and opportunities.

This year we will be bringing the Student Voice to our Leadership Conference with a number of short sessions from students, demonstrating first- hand the transformational impact of higher education.

We will again be hosting the largest supplier exhibition for our sector, building in greater levels of interactivity and more opportunities to get to know some of the exhibitors and suppliers. Perhaps most importantly our Leadership Conference will continue to provide the best possible opportunity for peer to peer interaction, conversation and inspiration with expanded and improved opportunities for you to network with colleagues.

We encourage CIOs and IT Directors to bring their senior teams along to explore how they might do things differently in a rapidly changing digital world and how they can support and develop the workforce of the future.

ucisa events supported by University Business and Education Technology magazines


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Adi Latif

Accessibility and Usability Consultant


Head shot of Nicky Moffat

Nicky Moffat

CBE, Speaker, Leadership Development Consultant, Executive Coach

Headshot of closing speaker

Closing speaker

Motivational Speaker

Head shot of Chris Dixon

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.

Head shot of Penny Hindle

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 this year, 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 lead 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 Service Management

Leeds Beckett University

More Info

A motivated and adaptable ITSM professional, Sally has worked in Higher Education IT for over 12 years and has experience of developing and delivering high quality sector leading support services and creating respected, high performing and award winning teams. FDM Everywoman, Team Leader of the Year Award 2019 and Women in IT Business Role Model of the Year 2018, Sally is passionate supporter of the enhancement and empowerment of women in tech and is well known across the ITSM, Higher Education and Service Desk Industry. Having dropped out of school after becoming pregnant at the age of 17, Sally returned to education as a mature student from Leeds Beckett in 2006 with a degree in computing. Since then she has gone on to forge a successful career in ITSM and is currently working as Head of Service Management at Leeds Beckett University. In this session Sally will share her career journey and provide insights into some of the challenges she has overcome as well as her top tips for successful leadership.

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.


Morning sessions

  • AWS

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.


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


Opening keynote


in the Charter Suite


Travel time


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

Dan Perry, CIO, Keele University


The IT gateway to innovation in higher education

Nick Moore, IT Director, Birmingham City University


The evolution of the University of Oxford’s museums’ collections online solution utilising continuous delivery on AWS

Marcus Cheetham, Project Manager, University of Oxford


Curriculum Management for student success

Brian Clark, Factor5 Software CEO


Evolution of Backup at Lancaster University using Veeam in an ever changing world

Dr Matthew Storey, Head of Storage and Virtualisation, Lancaster University



available in the Exhibition

Bad design disables

Adi Latif, Accessibility Consultant, Ability Net

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

Dinner at the Albert Hall

Dress code: business casual

Enjoy a mix of street food from around the world and take part in networking opportunities and a quiz



How to attract and retain great talent

Jon Faulkner, Ceri Rees, Tim Booker and Charlotte Ruttle from Domain7


In Exchange Room 1


Travel time


Leadership is everyone’s business

Nicola Patricia Moffat

In the Charter Suite


What value we add

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

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

Change is going to come – do student bodies need to be more involved in HE business transformation projects?

University student experiences are being shaped by business transformation strategies and the technology underpinning them, but, are the students themselves entitled to more involvement in setting those strategies for change? A panel of Australian and UK institutions debate the student role in the evolution of HE business strategy and ask, are universities missing the opportunity for student collaboration?


AGM in main conference room



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

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
Jenni Evans, University of Westminster

Voice, Chat and Innovation with Students as Co-Producers
Chris Dixon, Lancaster University

Enterprise Architecture in Education: From a Higher Education Reference Model (CAUDIT) towards a Reference Architecture
Andreas Hartmann, University of Applied Science & Telecommunications, Germany

Culture Change and Colleague Engagement               
Rob Moore, Leeds Beckett University  

The Transformative Impact of BI    
Gary Tindell and Simon Gill, 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
Nadeem Ahmad, Hythrop College, UoL

Enhancing fitness for service 
Julie Christie, University of Dundee 

Projects to Programmes to Portfolio’s  - The challenges, pitfalls and successes of an IT Portfolio Management Office
Clive Green, University of Nottingham

Cyber Resilience - Selling it to the wider University  
Bruce Rodger, University of Strathclyde 

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


Roundtable sessions

Following their debut in 2019, the roundtable sessions are scheduled to return at ucisa20.


The intention is to provide a number of facilitated small group discussions on a range of topics.


The breadth and depth of ideas and knowledge exchanged regularly on the full range of ucisa mail-lists demonstrates the potential for powerful face to face conversations is real. MS Teams deployment; legalities of UK-EU personal data export; multi-factor authentication; central vs local IT - just some of the topics that have been discussed at length over the last few months within our community.


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


Session 6

in the Exchange Auditorium 

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

Building cloud communities: a people centric view on a technological journey

Sarah Christen, Director of IT Infrastructure, Cornell University

Bouncing back

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 


Conference close

followed by Lunch