ASET is governed as a charity by a Board of Trustees, and our Trustees contribute to the running of our organisation by being members of our Executive Committee. Our constitution allows our Executive Committee to have up to fifteen members who may be Trustees or co-opted individuals, and the Committee is also open to our President and the Development Manager in an ‘ex-officio’ capacity. There are currently three Officer Roles within the committee.
The Executive Committee meets five or six times a year in London or Sheffield to conduct official business of the organisation, but also to plan for member activities, projects and new developments. If you are interested in how we are run please see our page on Governance. Our current Executive Committee is made up of fourteen Trustees :
ASET Executive Committee :
Ms Sarah Flynn – University of Hertfordshire – (Chair)
Sarah is Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the School of Engineering and Technology and a Learning and Teaching Specialist in the Learning and Teaching Innovation Centre. She joined the University of Hertfordshire in 2003, and has worked in a number of roles; development of foundation degrees, employer engagement, supporting access courses in science and most recently in learning and teaching. She is currently responsible for learning, teaching and assessment strategy in the School, plus student engagement including surveys, placements and graduate careers, and continues to undertake research in equality, professional identity and early career development. Sarah has been an active member of the ASET Committee since 2002, and was elected as Chair in September 2013.
As the Placement Development and Employability Manager at the University of Kent, James works across academic disciplines in supporting both students and staff in placement learning and the sharing of best practice. His active involvement with ASET from 2008, led to being co-opted onto the ASET Executive in September 2013, and he became a Trustee a year later. In September 2015, James was elected to his current role as Vice Chair. In addition to working closely with the Officers and the staff team on ASET strategy, James has responsibility for the development of the Regional Hub network.
Rebecca has been involved in ASET since 2006, and was elected Treasurer in 2011. As Treasurer she works closely with the Development Manager to effectively manage costs and expenditure as well as researching and effectively investing ASET resources to ensure funds are available to support activities which benefit the membership. She delivers ASET staff development workshops on placement management and working with SMEs. At the University of Leeds, she promotes and supports work placement and work experience activity across campus. This involves supporting academic colleagues with the preparation and debriefing of placement students, working with students both one to one and in groups and working closely with employers who wish to develop their placement offerings. Over the past few years she has led the development of the Leeds Internship Programme, which creates paid internship opportunities in Yorkshire for students and graduates, and has worked with colleagues to develop a Careers Centre placement year module which allows students from across the university to undertake a placement.
Brian is currently Employability Manager at Ulster University having previously worked for the Educational Guidance Service for Adults and the Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust. Key areas of responsibility within work experience include managing the Ulster University graduate internship programmes and leading the development of guiding principles for the implementation of Compulsory work based learning at Ulster University. Brian also leads on technology and systems development within Employability & Marketing at Ulster University and co-ordinates and delivers core employability modules within the Ulster University Business School. Alongside these responsibilities Brian is also the manager of the Career Development Centre on two of the four Ulster University campuses. Co-opted onto the ASET Executive Committee 14/15, Brian was elected as a Trustee at the 2015 AGM and is currently co-leading the Staff Development and Events Working Group.
Ms Susannah Day – University of Exeter
As Global Employability Consultant for the University of Exeter, Susannah provides support and advice to the student body in finding work overseas; variously internships, credit bearing work placements or graduate jobs. Her work is focussed on the Erasmus+ programme and increasing the awareness and uptake of EU work placements across the University. She works closely with the Colleges and Study Abroad team to ensure students make informed decisions about their international opportunities. Susannah was co-opted as an ASET Trustee in early 2015; and since joining has reviewed and advised on relevant literature and co facilitated and written new workshops, specifically on Developing Overseas Placements and Supporting International Students with Placements.
Mr Mike Davies – University of Wales, Trinity Saint David
Based at UWTSD’s Swansea Business Campus, Mike is Senior Lecturer in the School of Tourism & Hospitality. As well as teaching business and management modules to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, his responsibilities include being lead for the School’s work placement programme, a mandatory course component of eight separate programmes. This requires discharging the University’s Placement Programme Co-ordinator duties including student preparation for placements in advance through counselling/support/advice, risk assessments of proposed placements, employer engagement both UK and worldwide, recruitment and retention and dispute resolution where required. It involves maintaining a comprehensive record of individual student placement activity, setting milestones, monitoring progress and taking corrective action as required. This also involves managing the Placement Tutor system, ensuring continuity between colleagues working with programme participants
Ms Jo Eaton – University of Hertfordshire
After working at Ravensbourne, a small institution specialising in media and design for the past four and a half years as an Industry liaison and placements and careers advisor, Jo has recently moved to the University of Hertfordshire as a Careers Team Leader.
The Careers, Employment and Enterprise team at Hertfordshire works with their 25,000 students to ensure that they are ready for working in industry when they graduate and Jo is responsible for leading a team of qualified Careers Advisors that support students from across their ten different schools. Jo is currently co-leading the Membership and Communications Working Group.
Ms Becky Jones – HE Consultant
Becky is an experienced leader of Employer Engagement Teams, as Assistant Director of Careers, in both a post-92 and a Russell Group Institution. A passionate advocate of placements, she is currently working as a freelance Higher Education (HE) Consultant, pulling on her extensive knowledge of the sector. Becky is driven to develop and nurture a culture of employment, engaging with employers, embedding them into the curriculum, to the benefit of student education and experience. At the University of York, she originally managed the Careers Consultants team, working with the 28 academic Departments and initiating the sector-leading York Award restructure. She then developed and led a new team, focusing on employer engagement and placements. Throughout her HE career Becky’s focus has been to drive up graduate employment and – key to that success- placements, whether vacation, full year, internships or work experience modules embedded in the curriculum, successfully engaging both large corporate and SMEs. Prior to joining HE, Becky worked in marketing and communications predominantly in Brand Management at Ford and easyJet. Becky co-leads the Membership and Communications Working Group, and regularly co-presents training days.
Amanda is the Employability and Accreditations Manager at Canterbury Christ Church University. She has been involved with the work of ASET over many years and is currently co-leading the Staff Development and Events Working Group.
Ms Vianna Renaud – Bournemouth University
Vianna Renaud is a Placement Development Advisor within the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University. Supporting third year students during their sandwich placement out in industry, located both in the UK and internationally, she serves as an independent coach for students and employers to ensure a quality placement experience. Involved with related coaching and mentoring initiatives on campus such as Placement PALs and the BU Staff Coaching Programme, she is currently undertaking the Doctorate of Education in Creative and Media Practice at the BU Centre of Excellence of Media Practice, focusing on peer coaching within the HE context.
Vianna was co-opted as an ASET Trustee in 2015 and has presented at the subsequent annual ASET conferences. She is on the Research and Publications committee and has contributed to the Regional Hub programme.
Emily is Employability Business Development Manager for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Leeds. In this role she is leading the strategic direction of the faculty employability agenda – which includes establishing systems and processes to support student placements, the development of a new engineering internship programme, embedding employability in the curriculum and enhancing industrial links. The aim is to see the entire student population graduate with some form of relevant work experience. Having previously gained experience in the private sector, other Russell Group Universities and 1994 Group and University Alliance Mission Groups, she has developed a sound understanding of differing approaches to placement education. Emily is currently co-leading the Research and Publications Working Group, taking a lead on the delivery of the ASET bursary programme.
Professor Colin Turner – Ulster University
Colin is Head of the School of Engineering and Professor for Engineering Education at Ulster University. His main interests are in the developments of technology to assist Teaching and Learning, for which he has twice been awarded the University of Ulster’s Distinguished Learning Support Fellowship. Colin has a particular interest in technologies that impact upon Employability both within the University environment and outside and has led several successful consultancy projects. He has also had a key involvement in Ulster’s strategic response and implementation of the Key Information Set (KIS) and the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR), as well as in curriculum management systems to ensure all appropriate information is captured. Over the last year with ASET Colin has not only assisted with the Staff Development programme, but played a key role in the development of the new website. He continues to bring his understanding of academic management within Universities and how it relates to Employability to bear, as well as his knowledge as a practitioner and developer of IT systems to support teaching and learning, and his experience as a researcher and Principal Fellow of the PFHEA.
Ms Francesca Walker – University of Central Lancashire
Francesca is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Management at UCLan, teaching a range of students from undergraduate to post-graduate. She has a specific commitment to providing them with the best possible employability experience, including research informed teaching. Francesca is also a member of the Institute of Directors, the Chartered Management Institute, the Federation of Small Businesses (she has one) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Francesca is passionate about work-based learning, which has been a key driver in her working life. She knows students who engage with the offer will transform, often beyond their wildest dreams.
Francesca has been involved with ASET over the last 6 years and, having personally benefitted from the help, support and guidance available, was keen to join the board of trustees to support the development of Research and Publications. Francesca was awarded the ASET Research Bursary in 2014, and is now co-leading the Research and Publications Working Group, where she is taking a lead on the development of the ASET Research Network.
Over eight years at Salford, Tim has experienced the work based learning needs of students from several angles, from working within academic Enterprise on student led projects with SMEs, to PDP projects within the Business School. He has been a Work Experience Advisor in the Careers and Employability Service since 2009 where he helped to design the graduate gateway, which provides employability skills development, career management and placement opportunities to undergraduates, and unemployed graduates. He is a keen advocate of encouraging students to use the widest range of technologies available to develop a personal branding, enabling them to stand out from the crowd in the highly competitive graduate job market. Tim has been actively involved with the delivery of the ASET Annual Conference over the last few years and is now Conference Lead.
ASET is also very pleased to have a President, whose role it is to advise the Trustees of the Charity but who remains an independent voice, to ensure the needs of the membership are being met. Our current President is Dr Geoffrey Copland, CBE.
Dr Geoffrey Copland – (President)
Geoffrey was the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of Westminster from 1996-2007. He held the positions of Chair of the England and Northern Ireland Council and Vice-President of Universities UK 2003-7, Chair of Universities and Colleges Employers Association 2002-6, Chair of Coalition of Modern Universities 1997-2003, Vice Chair of London Higher 2003-7 and Foundation President of World City Universities 2007-8. Now retired, he is Chairman of Thomas Wall Trust, Vice President of Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities, Chair of the HEFCE Sustainable Development in Higher Education Steering Group, and President of ASET. Geoffrey also holds several other trustee and board positions including International Student House, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Helena Kennedy Foundation, Quintin Hogg Trust, and Learning from Experience Trust. Geoffrey is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Arts, Honorary Fellow of Goldsmiths College and Trinity College, London and Honorary Doctor of the University of Westminster.
ASET Staff Team
The ASET Executive Committee is supported by a small staff team managed from the ASET Offices in Sheffield.
Ms Debbie Siva-Jothy, Development Manager
Debbie runs the ASET office and manages the organisation’s operations. She started working for ASET in 2009 having previously worked in retail head office management and in recruitment.
Ms Nicola Bullivant-Parrish, Learning and Development Advisor
Nicola was previously Placement Manager in the Business School at Aston University, and has been a long-time supporter and champion of ASET. As Learning and Development Advisor, Nicola is co-writing and developing staff development workshop material with the ASET trustees and takes a lead on delivery.
Ms Janet Aspinall, ASET Administrator
Janet works alongside Debbie in the office assisting with all aspects of administration, and with a key focus on Membership.