UCISA 2015

Dr Christine Sexton tells us what’s in store at the UCISA15 Conference and Exhibition, 18-20 March 2015

By Dr Christine Sexton, Director of Corporate Information and Computing Services, University of Sheffield and UCISA15 Conference Chair

The annual UCISA Conference is the premier IT event for UK universities and colleges. With a programme specifically tailored for CIOs, Directors of IT and members of their senior staff, the Conference provides an opportunity to learn from each other, network, discuss challenges with suppliers and listen to leading speakers from inside and outside the sector.

Making a welcome return to Edinburgh from 18–20 March 2015, the Conference will take place in the excellent facilities provided by the EICC. As well as high-quality speakers, there will as usual be the very popular Business and University Showcases, the largest supplier exhibition for our sector, and some very entertaining social events.

Our speakers include the Chief Executives from two of our partner organisations, Mary Curnock Cook from UCAS and Alison Allden from HESA. Also from our sector, Professor Jeff Haywood will talk to us about developments in Technology Enhanced Learning, and Aline Hayes, formerly IT Director at Sheffield Hallam University and now CIO at Sheffield City Council, will enlighten us on some of the differences between the two sectors.

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We have a new generation of students now who grew up on the web and who have very different expectations of institutions and Emer Coleman will cover the threats to incumbents, new business models and the nature of We, The Web Kids.

Mobility is an extremely important trend for all of us, and Nick Jones, distinguished Analyst at Gartner will provide us with a look at mobile business and technology from 2015 to 2020.

Finally, we are delighted that our closing keynote speaker will be Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, former wheelchair racer, now parliamentarian and television presenter.

Not only a line up of excellent speakers, but very relevant to the issues and challenges we are all facing. There will be a wealth of opportunities for delegates to meet with their peers and partners and for our exhibitors to present some of the most up-to-date technology and services available to the sector. As universities and colleges increasingly turn to technology to provide agility, transformational efficiencies and competitive edge, we believe we have put together a conference which will help to address those needs.

The social programme is an important aspect of any event, and we will again be having an informal, fun event on Wednesday evening, whilst the formal Thursday night dinner will be held in the spectacular surroundings of the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland.   

I look forward to seeing you in March.

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