Keynote Speakers


Session summaries and biographies

  • Zac Ashkanasy, Principal, Nous  'The Next Generation University'

Summary of session: The era of the traditional university model is over. The drivers of change are coming from different fronts - technology, globalisation and workforce flexibility - and higher education institutions must adapt to deliver a quality student learning and engagement experience. No longer can we assume that students want to be ‘grateful receivers’. They want to be ‘active participants’ where personalisation and two-way interaction are the new king and queen. Is your university ready?
Professional Biography: Zac is an award-winning Principal with Nous Group. Zac brings almost 25 years’ business, consulting and facilitation experience across a range of clients in in the UK, Canada, South-East Asia and Australia. He has extensive experience working with higher education institutions.
Zac’s work combines a keen strategic brain, extensive experience in strategy and design, knowledge about the effective interaction of people and information, and effective leadership skills. Executives and staff value his innovative and practical mind-set, and engaging nature.  Zac has an MBA from Melbourne Business School (Dean’s Commendation) and a Bachelor of Commerce, University of Queensland.
Return to keynotes

  • Professor Linda Price, Director of Academic and Organisational Development, University of Bedfordshire  'Digitised Futures? How do we prepare?'

Summary of session: As digital technologies become an integrated part of our everyday lives, we need to consider how to harness their educational potential in higher education. However, despite considerable research into the use of technology in higher education, there still remains a gap between what teachers might perceive as valuable digital curriculum design and what students perceive as valuable digital learning experiences. One key component is how ubiquitous technologies can be harnessed to support students’ learning experiences. This session will explore some of the changes that may occur in the next 30 years and question how we are going to educate our graduates to prepare for a different kind of world.
Professional Biography: Professor Linda Price is the Director of Academic and Organisational Development in the University of Bedfordshire.  She is also a visiting Professor in Lund University in Sweden.  She previously worked at Kingston University, London and the Open University, UK. Linda has over 28 years of experience in a range of national and international contexts. Her research investigates how organisations can holistically advance teaching and learning through sustainable and appropriate uses of educational technology. She has advised the Danish government on the future of higher education and has given numerous international keynotes on how to improve the quality of learning and teaching, supported by technology.
Return to keynotes

  • Professor Karen Rowlingson, Professor of Social Policy, University of Birmingham 'Addressing economic inequalities'

Summary of session: Poverty and inequality are growing in the UK and are at very high levels.  Education is often portrayed as a potential route out of poverty and a way to reduce inequality through social mobility but, despite the heroic efforts of many dedicated teachers and lecturers, our education system currently fails to do this.  At best, it generally reinforces inequalities.  At worst, it increases them. In this presentation, I will consider how education might be used to help address poverty and inequality.  It will argue that if we are serious about this we need radical reform of our education system to reflect the kind of society we want to see.
Professional Biography: Karen Rowlingson is Professor of Social Policy and Deputy Director of CHASM (the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management). She is also Deputy Head of College for the College of Social Sciences.  Karen has degrees in Modern History and Sociology and carried out research on inequalities of income and wealth with a particular interest in policy issues around taxation, social security and financial regulation.
Return to keynotes

  • Professor Teck-Hua Ho, Senior Deputy President and Provost, National University of Singapore  'Charting the journey for lifelong education and adult learning at the National University of Singapore'

Summary of session: NUS is a pioneer in lifelong education, having launched the Lifelong Learners (L3) programme in 2018. The programme allows students to study at NUS for up to 20 years after admission, enabling them to reskill for new careers or pathways that may open during their working lives. In this presentation, Prof Teck-Hua Ho will discuss how NUS created and implemented this programme, and where the university plans to go with adult learning in the near future.
Professional Biography: Professor Teck-Hua Ho is the Senior Deputy President and Provost, and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor at the National University of Singapore. He is also the Executive Chairman of AI (Artificial Intelligence) Singapore, a national research and development programme.
Teck is a prominent behavioural scientist, with many significant works published in behavioural economics, management science, and marketing. Before joining NUS, Teck was the William Halford Jr Family Professor of Marketing at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. At the Haas School, he received the 2015 Williamson Award, the School’s highest faculty award.
Return to keynotes

  • Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive, Institute of Student Employers (ISE) After Dinner Speech

Professional Biography: Stephen Isherwood was appointed Chief Executive of the ISE in June 2013 following seven years as Head of Graduate Recruitment UK and Ireland at Ernst & Young, one of the largest recruiters of graduates in the UK.
Prior to EY, Stephen managed graduate recruitment and development programmes at PwC and Safeway as well as working in the public sector where he developed and managed a number of careers related programmes. Stephen has extensive experience in the recruitment and development of students, both graduates and school leavers. He has worked closely with Higher Education throughout his career and is focused on the career development and employment of students.
In addition to his current role, Stephen is a special advisor to Dame Shirley Pearce’s TEF review, he is on the board of HECSU, sits on a number of university employer boards and is a trustee of Ashorne Hill Management College. Stephen works with the charity Speakers for Schools and is a school Enterprise Advisor through the Careers and Enterprise Company. He has presented to various committees in the Houses of Parliament and often appears in national and local media.
Return to keynotes