Reflecting on industrial action and the MAB - lessons for the future

Reflecting on industrial action and the MAB - lessons for the future, taking place on Tuesday 31 October is UCEA’s annual communications conference, bringing together HR and communications specialists to consider shared communications challenges within the sector.

This year’s in-person conference takes place against a background of unprecedented industrial action, changes and challenges. The blend of presentations and case studies reflects on recent industrial action and specifically the UCU’s marking and assessment boycott (MAB). These speakers will share communications challenges with sector-specific issues and beyond. 

The conference will be chaired by Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire, Deputy Chair of the UCEA Board and Chair of UCEA’s Communications Strategy Working Group.
Raj Jethwa, UCEA Chief Executive will update us on the sector pay disputes, the potential of future industrial action and other challenges in support of our members. 

We are also pleased to welcome case study presentations including:

Reflections and perspectives on the MAB for universities in the headlines 
In this session Communications Directors from four Russell Group Universities will share their reflections on leading institutional communications with staff, students and media during periods of industrial action, disputes on pay and USS pensions, and in particular the recent marking and assessment boycott. They will explore how national positions and local approaches to managing industrial action influence communications approaches, alongside the challenges of maintaining engagement with staff and students in challenging times. The presentations will be followed by both panel and round table discussions.

100% Graduated on time: Communications’ central role 
Jane Britton, Pro Vice Chancellor Communications and External Affairs, University of Worcester

Social media challenges – when to and when not to engage
Jon Street, Associate Director of Communications and Stephanie Allen, Head of Media (Interim), University of Sussex

Improving engagement during challenging times
Jane Embley, Chief People Officer, Northumbria University 

This in-person conference will take place at a central London venue between 10.30 am and 3.30 pm (registration from 10.00 am)
A fully timed programme will be found below.
 Reflecting on industrial action and the MAB - programme

Who should attend

This annual event provides the perfect event for HR and communications colleagues to plan internal and external communications together.

Attendance fee and how to book

The full price fee is £425.00 place or book two for £610.00.
When booking a place, you now have the option of paying online by credit card (note our online booking system indicates the ticket as £425 or £610 (VAT free). You can of course be invoiced for the £425 or £610 (VAT free) attendance fee (note our online booking system indicates the invoice ticket as £0, you will be invoiced for £425 or £610) 

Book places via Tickettailor

If you don't work at a UCEA member HEI then please contact us about booking places via
If you have any queries about the workshop or to register your interest in attending future dates please contact