Wednesday 7 June
Dr Michelle Morgan
9.40am to 10:30am, Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor, Redmonds Building
In Search of the Perfect Student
The undergraduate and postgraduate taught landscape of higher education has dramatically changed in the past 20 years not only in terms of student numbers, but also diversity. The cost of participating in higher education has dramatically increased in recent years for both UG and PGT students, and there is greater pressure on universities to demonstrate value for money and improved outcomes.
Covid19 and the cost of living crisis has put added pressure on students in terms of being able to engage. Universities are increasingly using data dashboards to measure engagement to help with the progression and success of students.
But is the use of data dashboards really able to capture ‘student engagement’ effectively in determining the ‘perfect student’?
This session will consider what we need to think about, what the key challenges are across UG and PGT levels of study, whether it is possible for there to be the ‘perfect student’ and future challenges.
Dr Michelle Morgan is a national and internationally recognised Student Experience Transitions Specialist across all levels of study and is extensively published in the area. She is currently Dean of Students at the University of East London. Michelle is a Principal Fellow of the HEA, Fellow of the AUA , an elected council member of UKCGE and Student Minds Mental Health Charter Assessor. During her varied career, Michelle has been a faculty manager, lecturer, researcher and academic manager. She describes herself as a ‘Third Space Integrated Student Experience Practitioner’ who develops initiatives based on pragmatic and practical research. Michelle has over 50 publications and has presented over 100 national and international conference papers (including 52 keynotes and 30 invited papers). She has developed a free portal for staff which provides a range of information and links for anyone interested in improving the student experience in higher education.
Michelle was creator and PI/Project Lead of an innovative, £2.7 million, 11 university collaborative HEFCE grant, looking at the study expectations and attitudes of postgraduate taught (PGT) students. The project report received praise from across the sector including UKCGE, OFFA, the HEA and the Engineering Professor’s Council.
Thursday 8 June
9.40am to 10.30am, Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor, Redmonds Building
An LJMU alumni family – from IMM to the Bicentenary
London-based entrepreneur and BA Business Studies (1994) graduate, Gareth Dixon, was President of the Liverpool Students’ Union in 1992-1993, just as Liverpool Polytechnic became John Moores University. His daughter, Kezia, recently became the third generation of the Dixons to graduate from LJMU as his mother, Annice Dixon, is an alum of IM Marsh.
At the centre of this LJMU alumni family, Gareth will reflect on his own time as a student, contrasting this with his daughter’s experience of student life at LJMU and sharing the reasons for his continuing, active relationship with his university. Gareth will speak about his life-changing experience at Liverpool Polytechnic/LJMU and the ongoing impact this still has. From his first day in 1990 to his final day in 1994, Gareth never regretted the decision to study at Liverpool Polytechnic/JMU and will share highlights of his time with us, against the backdrop of a changing city; from meeting new friends to helping to set-up the first women’s football team and his struggles to find a work placement during his degree, which resulted in his Presidency of the Liverpool Students’ Union.
Gareth is an owner and co-founder of Rainmaker and the business information company Pearlfinders. As the managing director of Rainmaker Consulting, he leads 30 staff organised around detecting and progressing new business opportunities for clients operating in the creative, marketing, sports and professional services sectors.
Always keen to 'pay it forward' to our students and graduates, through his businesses he has offered placements and internships for LJMU graduates to build their professional work experience.
Gareth graduated in 1994 with a BA in Business Studies and his daughter, Kezia, recently became the third generation of the Dixons to graduate from LJMU. Gareth’s mother, Annice Dixon, is an alum of IM Marsh.
“I chose Liverpool Polytechnic back in 1989 as I knew I wanted to work in advertising and marketing from my teenage obsessions with brands and how they were created. Liverpool was one of the few unis offering Business Studies with a large proportion of it being marketing focused, so Liverpool was my first choice. From my first day in 1990 to my final day in 1994, I never regretted the decision, from meeting new friends to quite quickly in our first year helping to set-up the first women’s football team (although to be honest I think I was only asked as I had a large banger of a car and could drive a minibus!),” says Gareth.
Struggling to find a suitable work placement during his degree, Gareth opted to stand in the student officer elections and was President of the Liverpool Students’ Union in 1992-1993, just as Liverpool Polytechnic became John Moores University.
He said: “When I was elected as President of the Students’ Union it was an exciting but terrifying opportunity. With extensive training from the union and with a nurturing and helping hand from the then Vice-Chancellor, I gained in confidence and gave a voice to students. I was proud to represent the students when the poly became LJMU and on graduating had nothing but positive feedback to share with friends and the staff at the time.”
“When my eldest daughter starting looking at uni options, I encouraged her to look North from our London base, and she leapt on the chance to study at LJMU when offered a place. She then went on to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and is now teaching in our local primary school, I couldn’t be more proud that she flourished at such a great uni.”
Always keen to 'pay it forward' to our students and graduates, Gareth spoke at an LJMU event at Middle Temple, London in 2018 to an audience of postgraduate students, honorary fellows, friends and staff of the university. He spoke of his life-changing experience at Liverpool Polytechnic/LJMU and the ongoing impact this continues to have.
Through his businesses, he has also offered placements and internships for LJMU graduates to build their professional work experience.
Gareth is an owner and co-founder of Rainmaker and the business information company Pearlfinders.
As the managing director of Rainmaker Consulting, he leads 30 staff organised around detecting and progressing new business opportunities for clients operating in the creative, marketing, sports and professional services sectors.
Gareth is highly experienced in helping creative agencies to find their most effective voice and provided strategic counsel to a large number of agency owners helping them to win clients including Starling Bank, White Claw, Nando’s, Fever Tree, Nike and Unilever.
Gareth is an active supporter of Village Water, a charity founded by his father in 2003.