Speakers and Facilitators

University Market Insight Conference 2018

Day 1 - Conference - Tuesday 27th November

Professor Peter John - Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of West London 

Professor Peter John has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of West London since 2007; prior to that he was Dean, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Plymouth. From 1990 to 2004, he was an academic at the University of Bristol and during the 1980s held academic posts at the University of Reading and Oxford Brookes University. Professor John was educated at the Universities of Wales, LondonOxford and Bristol and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Plymouth. The author of eight books and more than 70 papers in academic journals, he continues to write in the field of education policy and practice. His most recent book – Dimensions of Marketization in Higher Education  was published by Routledge in 2016. Peter was also a visiting professor at the University of Bristol and is currently a visiting professor at the University of Fuzhou.

Currently, he sits on the UUK quality and student experience committees and in 2010 was an advisor to the then Secretary Of State at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. He is Chair of the Learning Analytics UK Board and Chair Elect of Access HE.  He is active in the local West London community and sits on the Local Strategic Partnership boards for Ealing and Hounslow as well as playing a central role in the annual Ealing Music and Film Festival. He sits on the board of ‘Connexions’ a Berkshire charity, and is a member of the board of London Higher and Million+. In 2015 he was shortlisted for the Most Inspiring University Leader of the Year Award, is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and about to be made an Honorary Fellow of the London College of Music.

Vickie Phair - Head of Insights and Consultancy, UCAS

With a background in the advertising industry and career at UCAS and UCAS Media spanning across strategy, surveys, data, and insight, Vickie now heads up the Insight and Consultancy area in the Analysis and Insights business unit. She is passionate about using her knowledge of UCAS, its customers, and its data to develop new insight-driven services to the business, both internally and externally. 

Elizabeth Shepherd - Director Higher Education, IFF Research

Elizabeth has worked for over 14 years in Higher Education and international education research. Previously she worked in the UK, North America and East Asia for the British Council, leading international research initiatives for UK and international universities, governments and sector bodies. In December 2017 she joined IFF Research as Director Higher Education Research, supporting the Higher Education team to grow their contribution to the UK sector. Elizabeth is also studying part time towards a PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London, where she is exploring her passion for interpretive policy analysis.  

Richard Boniface - Manging Director, RCU 

BSc (Hons), FRSA, CMRS, ACGI. Richard is the Managing Director of RCU, the leading market intelligence organisation within the further and technical education sector. Richard leads the strategic research and consultancy activities at RCU. He has managed major research projects for the DfEESFA, the Association of Colleges and several combined local authorities, with a particular area of expertise being the generation of fee income and the impact of college based Higher Education. Prior to joining RCU in 2004 he was Deputy Principal of a large FE College and also has extensive industrial experience having worked as an electronic engineer.  

Chris Lee - Director of Marketing & Communications, RCU 

B(Hons), MCIM. Chris is primarily responsible for marketing, communications and customer support. Chris has account management responsibility for over 300 clients across England, including colleges, HEIs and Awarding Organisations using RCU’s core market intelligence products and services including Vector. Since joining RCU in 2009, Chris has developed particular expertise in linking skills supply and demand to support clients with informed curriculum design and strategic development. 

Professor Tom Hayes - Dean of Williams College of Business, Xavier University

Tom is Dean of the Williams College of Business at Xavier University in Cincinnati where he is also the Professor of Marketing. In 2001 he co-authored Marketing Professional Services with Philip Kotler. Tom is an internationally recognised expert in the field of education marketing having founded the American Marketing Association’s Symposium on the Marketing of Higher Education. He also served as editor of The Journal of Marketing for Higher Education for 20 years and remains an associate editor. Tom is a founding member of the Forum for Higher Education Marketing, a group of thought leaders and practitioners dedicated to advancing the theory and practice of marketing for colleges and universities.

Tom has also authored two books: University Marketing Mistakes: 50 Pitfalls to Avoid (co-authored with Roy Adler and the award winning Marketing Colleges and Universities, A Services Perspective. Tom has won the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Crystal Apple for speaking and CASE Alice Beeman Award for writing. He co-founded Simpson Scarborough one of the leading American higher education marketing, branding and research firms.


Stuart Rennie - International Higher Education Consultant & Director, SJ Rennie Consulting

Stuart's consultancy delivers bespoke services to companies and organisations working in the international Higher Education sector. The Managing Director and associates have over 18 years experience working in the international education sector and a track record of delivering target-based results against client objectives. Our key focus is on Africa. We have extensive experience of helping international clients from Canada, Australia, Europe, Ireland and the UK develop and increase a sustainable footprint across Ghana and Nigeria 

Stuart has been Director and Head of International at organisations including The Robert Gordon University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Nottingham Trent University, Edinburgh Napier University, and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Michelle Morgan - Associate Dean of Student Experience, Bournemouth University

Michelle Morgan is Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the Student Experience in the Faculty of Media and Communications at Bournemouth University. Michelle is extensively published in the area of improving the student experience at UG and PG level in, through and out of the student study journey. Her two edited books that revolve around her Student Experience Transitions Model (SEPT) are designed to help academic and professional service colleagues support UG and PG students. 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 www.improvingthestudentexperience.com  

During her career, Michelle has been a Faculty Manager, Researcher and Academic. She describes herself as a Third space professional student experience practitioner who develops initiatives based on pragmatic and practical research. Michelle has presented over 100 national and international conference papers (25 keynotes and 30 invited papers). 

Prior to her current post, she 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 has received praise from across the sector including UKCGE, OFFA, the HEA and the Engineering Professor’s Council. www.postgradexperience.org  

In 2005, she was recipient of a special award from the University of Sussex’s Students’ Union for Outstanding Achievement and Excellence. She is a PFHEA and Fellow of the AUA. She was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2011 and in 2015 she received the Student Led L&T Award from the Students Union at Kingston University. She co-wrote and co-presented a 5 part Radio series for BBC China in 2011 on the student experience. 

Hal Bonella - Product Manager, Burning Glass

Hal Bonella is a Product Manager for Burning Glass Technologies in the UK. He and his team are based in Edinburgh, working with big data from online vacancies. Their data and research can be used to provide labour market intelligence on workforce skills needs, informing curriculum development, business practice and policy. Hal’s previous roles were with LSIS and Lifelong Learning UK, producing sector-specific research to inform policy development. 

Christian Bowman - Managing Director, Active Informatics

Christian Bowman is Managing Director for Active Informatics Ltd responsible for strategic direction and day to day operations.  He has a real passion for emerging technology and over ten years’ experience in helping transform the way education organisations use data to solve problems.  In partnership with Burning Glass Technologies he helped launch real time labour market intelligence in the UK. 

Simon Eder - Founder, Voxburner

Simon Eder is founder of Voxburner, the youth insights consultancy arm of The Beans Group, which reports on the new generation and produces cutting-edge insights on the youth market. Simon leads the production of inspiring events that bring the industry together. Youth Marketing Strategy takes place every year in London, New York, San Francisco and Berlin. 

Day 2 - Academy - Wednesday 28th November

Andy Priestner - Director, Andy Priestner Training & Consulting

Formerly a senior administrator at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities, Andy is now a full-time freelance trainer and consultant in user experience (UX) who regularly works with HE institutions, helping them to embed a UX research and design process that results in the creation and delivery of truly user-centred physical and digital services. He has written books and chaired conferences on UX and offers training programmes and consultancy across the UK and beyond. 

Dan Beynon - Head of Education, SMRS

Dan heads up the education team at SMRS. In this intensely competitive higher education marketplace SMRS help universities tackle their communication and branding challenges delivering strategic marketing and consultancy projectsCentral to SMRS’s work is a dedication to delivering high performance campaigns. Dan provides insight and sector expertise to SMRS’s 30 University clients. He has been working in Higher Education for 17 years and has worked with both UK and International universities in that time. He’s especially interested in the student journey and with SMRS delivered Revisions and Decisions (a longitudinal study following 50 students from year 11 all the way to University). He and the team at SMRS have also just launched Firsthand – an initiative aimed at promoting the transformational impact of our Universities to an audience of potential students and influencers. 

Maite Barnett - Research Director, Boxclever Consulting

Maite is Research Director at Boxclever, which provides quantitative, qualitative and analytical services to both public and private sector organisations. Maite is highly experienced with over 30 years’ experience in quantitative research and marketing. She has previously held senior roles both client and agency side including Head of Marketing & Insight at Yorkshire Universities regional HE association.  She has extensive experience of developing and delivering successful segmentations in education, finance and retail including student segmentations for Sheffield Hallam University and Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Karen Bagshaw - Analytics Director, Boxclever Consulting

Karen has a strong analytical background with over 15 years’ experience working in research and analytics across both the public and private clients (covering probably every sector!).  Karen is a highly experienced statistical consultant with great expertise in constructing commercial segmentations for brands including DFS, Nectar, Princes Foods to name just a few.  She has developed numerous student segmentations, most recently for Sheffield Hallam University and Manchester Metropolitan Students Union.  

John Pritchard - Director of Strategic Planning, Durham University

John has worked in a variety of strategy, planning and policy roles for a diverse range of universities and several national policy bodies including the Scottish Funding Council, Universities UK and the Higher Education Academy. Having played a key role in the development of Durham University’s Strategic Plan, he is responsible for associated development in relation to academic planning, business intelligence, market analysis and risk management.

John is Chair of the Russell Group Directors of Strategy and Planning, a member of the HESPA Executive Committee and leads the HESPA Member Network on Strategy Development. He is a Board Trustee of Groundwork North East and Cumbria, a charity which pioneers community and environment regeneration across the region.

Betty Adamou - Founder, Research Through Gaming

Betty Adamou is the CEO & Founder of Research Through Gaming Ltd based in the UK.  

Adamou is a multiple-award winning researcher and entrepreneur, the inventor of ResearchGames, and has been voted as “1 of 7 women shaping the future of market research”. She is the author of the book Games and Gamification in Market Research, (available for pre-order via Kogan Page Publishing via on Amazon) scheduled for release in November 2018. 

Paul McGhie - Creative Marketing Strategist, Leading Thought

Paul McGhie is the Creative Director of business marketing and visual messaging at Leading Thought. Based in London, Leading Thought work with a global client base. My work is focused on collaborating with clients to bring business ideas to life through compelling visual solutions and messaging. Our marketing solutions span print advertising, infographics, social media campaigns, video and bespoke solutions to meet individual business needs. 

Paulbackground is in filmmaking, where his work has won him awards and recognition, with his debut movie Webcast due for release in Winter 2018.  

Dasha Karzunina - Market Insights Manager, QS Enrolment Solutions

Dasha is the Markets Insights Manager at QS, combining a public-facing role with extensive involvement in QS Intelligence Unit’s research, analysis and rankings delivery. She specializes in qualitative research, having run focus groups with prospective international students from all over the world. Leading on key partner relationships, she regularly liaises with university officials and presents at higher education conferences. Coming from a student leadership background, Dasha previously represented the academic interests of over 30,000 students in one of the biggest Students’ Unions in the UK.


Alex Berka - Market Research and Data Manager, QS Enrolment Solutions

Alex is the Market Research and Data Manager at QS and oversees the analysis and design of a range of research projects conducted by QS’ Intelligence Unit. This includes the International Student Survey - the largest survey of pre-enrolled international students globally. His focus is on quantitative research, setting up and running online surveys which target prospective and current international students at institutions all over the world. He also works with insight departments from universities to design and produce bespoke surveys and present the findings back to them. With a background working in a number of market research agencies, Alex has experience working across a range of sectors and clients.