The amazing city of Glasgow, Scotland was the location for this year’s AMOSSHE national conference, Breaking Boundaries. The conference is the highlight of the AMOSSHE calendar, and Breaking Boundaries was an inspiring opportunity for delegates to learn, network, strategise and find out about the amazing work of Student Services in the UK and worldwide.
The conference started on 6 July with a compelling keynote from Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, expertly interviewed by her former colleague and AMOSSHE member Rotimi Akinsete (Head of Wellbeing, University of Surrey). Doreen spoke about her personal journey, including how her university studies helped her to cope with the death of her son. She gave fascinating insights into the organisation of the House of Lords, and talked about the importance of equality in government representation. It was an honour and a pleasure to hear Doreen speak about higher education and access opportunities for black and minority ethnic people. At the end of her keynote, delegates gave her a standing ovation. Find out what people were saying on Twitter at the time here: Breaking Boundaries day 1.
The city of Glasgow gave our conference a very warm welcome, including a drinks reception at the beautiful Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on the first night. The Bailie of Glasgow welcomed delegates in person.
The second day of Breaking Boundaries saw our conference hashtag #amosshe2016 trending on Twitter during the first keynote session: AMOSSHE was delighted to welcome Annie Clark and Andrea Pino from EROC (End Rape on Campus) to talk about their work tackling sexual violence in higher education. Having come all the way from the USA, Annie and Andrea spoke about the statistics of sexual violence in their home country, but also discussed the UK context in detail.
Their practical suggestions and perspectives were truly inspiring, while their sincere message to all survivors of sexual violence – “we believe you” – was extremely moving. Take a look at the social media buzz here: Breaking Boundaries day 2.
Our gala dinner on Thursday night was a fantastic celebration of all the hard work Student Services leaders have undertaken this year.
In spite the ceilidh and disco dancing, however, there was still plenty of energy left on Friday morning for our final keynote Smita Jamdar (Head of Education at Shakespeare Martineau LLP). Smita combined thoughtful and witty insights into the current state of higher education with practical advice from a legal perspective. Naturally, the impact of Brexit was on everyone’s mind, and Smita gave useful insights about the legal implications for higher education. Here are the tweets from the final day of Breaking Boundaries: Breaking Boundaries day 3.
Breaking Boundaries was a truly international conference, with session leaders sharing their expertise from the USA, Canada, Australia and the Republic of Ireland.
The core strength of Breaking Boundaries, however, was the input of AMOSSHE members, leading sessions and taking part in discussions to share knowledge and good practice. Highlights of the sessions included the outcomes of this year’s AMOSSHE Insight projects.
You can find another roundup of Breaking Boundaries by AMOSSHE’s social media champion for the event Eric Stoller, here: Student Services in the UK: Reflections and Tweets from Breaking Boundaries.
Breaking Boundaries supporter Guidebook provided a app for the conference. Find out more about it here: Guidebook provides mobile app for AMOSSHE national conference.
A huge thank you to everyone who took part and helped to make Breaking Boundaries a success: our speakers, session leaders, supporters, organising team, and especially our Breaking Boundaries delegates!
Conference photography by Richard Meftah Photographic (07990 528 451 firstname.lastname@example.org).