Speakers – Afternoon Agenda

Dr Rebecca Edwards

ABLE Project Officer
Nottingham Trent University

Dr. Rebecca Edwards, from Nottingham Trent University (NTU), is working on two Erasmus+ funded projects that aim to improve student outcomes using learning analytics (ABLE project & STELA project). She is experienced at handling data and conducting research and analysis around the relationship between students’ engagement with university, as measured by the NTU Student Dashboard, and their success. In her time at NTU, Rebecca has been heavily involved in two iterations of Dashboard developments as the learning analytics tools matures in line with the needs of its users and changes in the data landscape.

Kevin Mayles

Head of Quality Enhancement and Learning Analytics - Learning and Teaching Innovation
The Open University

As Head of Quality Enhancement and Learning Analytics, Kevin leads a team that supports the Open University’s faculties, and the institution strategically, to continuously improve the learning experience of their students through qualitative and quantitative data analysis and insight creation. For the last three years he has been responsible for the institution’s learning analytics strategy and leads strategic projects to enhance the university’s application of new capabilities in the field. Prior to his current role, Kevin held a number of positions associated with promoting and enhancing the use of technologies for teaching and learning within the OU.

Neil Williams

Director of IT and Digital Transformation
University of Derby

Neil Williams is the Director of IT and Digital Transformation at the University of Derby. Neil provides leadership of the digital capabilities of the University which include change management, enterprise systems, analytics, infrastructure, user devices, support and service, governance and security as well as data protection and GDPR. Neil has served on multiple advisory boards and HE sector groups and has been listed multiple times in UK top 100 CIO ratings. Neil is responsible for ensuring the University has the necessary data governance and security measures in place whilst also ensuring data is maximised to create business value.


Dr Phil Richards

Chief Innovation Officer

Phil is formerly director of IT at Loughborough University and has undertaken IT roles within other academic institutions including head of ICT at Plymouth University and assistant director of information services at Aberystwyth University.

More recently, he has become known for his novel approach to data centres: Loughborough’s ‘hybrid cloud’ model has delivered millions of pounds and hundreds of tonnes of carbon savings. It has also won plaudits including the 2012 Times Education Leadership and Management Awards ICT initiative of the year.

Dr Neil Croll

Head of Widening Participation (Marketing, Recruitment & International Office)
University of Glasgow

Dr Neil Croll is the Head of Widening Participation at the University of Glasgow. He has worked in widening access since 2001 and assumed his current role in 2009. Neil leads on widening participation strategy and provision for the University of Glasgow, including the portfolio of widening participation programmes for school and adult learners, which combine effective outreach with evidence-based contextualised admissions, to equalise entry to Glasgow and HE in general. He was instrumental in the creation of the contextualised admissions WP Policy utilised by Glasgow for applicants from widening access backgrounds. He recently co-authored the SFC-funded Impact for Access report, How to engage with MD40 pupils in higher progression schools, examining current and future widening access policy in Scotland.

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