Adopting a more inclusive and extensive approach to supporting students

Professor Geoff Layer, University of Wolverhampton

Tuesday 12 February
Pippard Lecture Theatre
South Kensington Campus

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There is an increasing focus in the higher education sector on the role that universities should be playing in supporting students throughout the student lifecycle and a particular focus is needed on what we should be doing to better support our students with specific learning differences, disabilities and mental health issues. This presentation will discuss policy issues around inclusivity for disabled students and the essential need for universities, and regulators, to change the nature in which they support those students by moving to a more holistic approach. It will also bring to the fore the challenges that the sector is currently facing with increasing numbers of students declaring disabilities and mental health issues and propose practical solutions for enhancing support.

Geoff LayerGeoff Layer has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton since August 2011. Before joining Wolverhampton he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Bradford and prior to that, after years of teaching and researching in Sheffield Business School, he became the Professor of Lifelong Learning in 1996 and Head of Access and Guidance at Sheffield Hallam University.

Geoff has always been active regionally, nationally and internationally. He is a Board Member of Advance HE, the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. He was Chair of the Department for Education’s Disabled Students Sector Leadership Group and is currently Chair of the Student Loans Company Stakeholder Forum. He is also a governor for the Telford College Corporation and a Trustee of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning.

Between 2000 and 2006 he was the Director of Action on Access, an agency established to advise HEFCE on its Widening Participation Strategy. He was also Director of the HEFCE Innovations Co-ordination Team from 2000-2002 and has researched and published widely on Inclusive Education.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, A Fellow of Leeds College of Music and was awarded the OBE for services to Higher Education in 2003.

Current related projects at Imperial