Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews and Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland President will be joined by our keynote speakers Professor Elspeth Jones and Professor Dragan Gasevic in a lively panel discussion involving conference delegates as they explore the topic of what constitutes excellence in the Scottish student experience.
Sally Mapstone became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews in September 2016. Her academic career before that was spent at the University of Oxford, where she read English Language and Literature and where she gained her doctorate on Older Scots literature. She most recently served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education (2011-2016), and was also Professor of Older Scots Literature in the Faculty of English Language and Literature. She was a Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Previously she was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel and Equality at Oxford, and maintains a strong interest in equality issues. Professor Mapstone has a long-standing engagement in European issues and has served on the steering group for the League of European Research Universities community of Vice-Rectors for Teaching and Learning and is also a member of the international advisory board for the University of Helsinki.
Her research considers literature in Scots and in Latin before 1707, with political literature, and with book history. She is Honorary President of the Scottish Text Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, and a Fellow of the English Association.
Vonnie Sandlan is NUS Scotland President for 2016/17, having previously served in the role during 2015/15, and as NUS Scotland Women’s Officer in 2014/15. Vonnie studied an HNC in Early Education & Childcare at Langside College, during which time she served as President of Langside College Students’ Association, before moving to the University of the West of Scotland to study BA Childhood Studies. Vonnie’s priorities are improving access to education, particularly for those from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds, and the role of education in securing social justice.
In addition to her role at NUS Scotland, Vonnie is also a Director on the board of Who Cares? Scotland, a national voluntary organisation providing advocacy, advice and support services across Scotland for children and young people with experience of care. Recently, Vonnie was a member on the board of the Commission on Widening Access, as well as serving on the advisory group for Scotland Stronger in Europe.
The panel discussion will be chaired by Professor Ruth Whittaker who is Director of Academic Quality and Development at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). Ruth’srole at GCU is to lead and support quality enhancement and assurance; academic and professional development; enhanced approaches to learning and teaching and educational research and evaluation. The role also includes leading and engaging in policy and strategy development as well as institutional, national and international research and development, in relation to learning and teaching, quality enhancement and widening participation policy and practice.
Ruth’s research and development interests include recognising prior informal learning (RPL); articulation; transition and progression and student engagement. She has led university-wide strategic developments in these fields, including GCU’s RPL policy; the SFC-funded Greater Glasgow Articulation Partnership and College Connect Strategy; and the Strategy for Learning.
She has also directed research and development projects at a national and European level at the policy/practice interface, including the development of the national SCQF RPL Guidelines; RPL in the Social Services sector; QET projects on Supporting Flexible Entry to University and Transition into and through Higher Education. Ruth led the QAA-funded, Streamlining RPL project which resulted in the National Framework for RPL in HE as well as the SCQF Partnership/SDS–funded ‘My Skills, My Future’ RPL profiling toolkit for use in community contexts as well as by young people in schools. She has led and participated in a number of EU funded projects, including the current ERASMUS EQUiiP project: Educational Quality at Universities for inclusive international Programmes, and was a founding Board Director for the Prior Learning International Research Centre in Canada.