Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of the Office for Students, Confirmed as Keynote Speaker for IHE Annual Conference – 27 & 28 November 2017

We are delighted to announce Nicola Dandridge, the Chief Executive of the Office for Students, and formerly of Universities UK, as the first keynote speaker at this year’s conference. Nicola will speak on the first day of the Independent Higher Education Annual Conference on 27 November 2017.


The focus of the 2017 Conference, which will take place over two days for the first time (27-28 November), will be around the transition into the newly created Office for Students, which will represent a huge change for all independent providers of higher education. The Conference will cover every critical aspect of the changes, from student data systems, featuring senior speakers from HESA and HEFCE, to governance, featuring LFHE, to the practical aspects led by senior figures within the Office for Students including Chief Executive, Nicola Dandrige.

The OfS is a new public body, established in law by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. The OfS will be the regulator for the Higher Education sector and will put the student interest at its heart. Once fully operational in April 2018, the OfS will replace the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

Nicola was in post as Chief Executive of Universities UK from September 2009 until July 2017. She was previously Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, a higher education agency that works with the sector to promote equality for staff and students. Before joining the Equality Challenge Unit, Nicola was a lawyer, qualified in both England and Scotland and working in private practice. Nicola was named as the first CEO of the new Office for Students on 5 July 2017.

We’re also very pleased to announce that the 2017 Conference will include panel sessions on Teaching for Industry, featuring Philippa Lloyd, Director General of HE and FE, Department for Education; and Social Mobility, chaired by Rt Hon David Laws, Executive Chairman of the Education Policy Institute (and former Minister for Schools). The conference will also feature sessions on developing academic staff; international and transnational education; and presentations from IHE members on innovative and exemplary practice. The drinks reception, dinner and awards on Monday evening will also provide a relaxed atmosphere to network, while hearing some more best practice from across the sector. Full programme to be announced soon.

Click here to find out more about the 2017 Independent Higher Education Annual Conference.

  • On 2nd October 2017