Written by Rosie Neill

Product Marketing Manager

It’s been wonderful to see our online briefings for university staff prove so popular this year! 

Staff across the sector (not just Blackbullion partners) with an interest in student support and outcomes have joined us, and with the help of some truly brilliant sector experts and guest speakers, the community has come together regularly to stay up to date on all things financial wellbeing and support for students. 

Here’s a reminder of what we’ve learned from this term’s speakers. We’ve also got you covered with links to the recordings, in case you missed a session.

How to engage students in financial wellbeing activities

Student Money Mentors from King’s College London (KCL) joined us to spread the word about the inspiring and innovative ways they’ve engaged students in financial wellbeing activities.

While Covid has shifted the majority of financial awareness campaigns online for now, the KCL Money Mentors have found that the core principles for engaging students haven’t changed.

They shared these 5 principles, along with the details of campaigns that have proved successful with KCL students. 

Check out their ideas and get inspired for 2021.

The impact of money worries on student and staff wellbeing

Pete Quinn is a consultant to UK and HK universities with well-being initiatives as one of his main focuses under the umbrella of inclusion. 

In a year where student finances have been tested perhaps more than ever before, Pete highlighted the latest research regarding the impact of money worries on both student and staff wellbeing. 

He also made practical suggestions for how universities and staff can address these.

Suggestions for addressing student money worries.

5 key focuses for universities in 2020/21

Jim Dickinson, Associate Editor at Wonkhe and Former Director at the National Union of Students, spoke to staff about the many higher education headlines, news and developments of late.

Speaking with a wealth of sector expertise, he also highlighted 5 key themes for universities to prioritise throughout this academic year.

Learn more.

The latest on the USS pension scheme

For our final staff briefing of the term, our guest speaker was Dr Sam Marsh. As well as a Teaching Fellow in the School of Maths at the University of Sheffield, Sam is also Senior Vice-President for the University of Sheffield University and College Union (UCU) and the elected national negotiator for UCU on the USS pension scheme.

Sam gave a great overview of the USS, including the history of the scheme, what’s happening now, who’s involved, and suggestions for what may happen next.

Watch the recording.

More guest content

Supporting estranged students

Susan Mueller is HE Director at Stand Alone, a charity supporting and campaigning for adults estranged from family.

She provided us with special guest content this term. In her blog, she shares the challenges that estranged students face and suggests 5 ways HE providers can support them now, during trying times like the festive period, and throughout their student journey. 

Read Susan’s blog.

The future of edtech and online education

Martin Hamilton, a British computer scientist with thirty years’ experience working at the global digital forefront, attempted to peer into the future for us and offered his expert opinion.

Reflecting on what 2020 has meant for edtech, Martin also offers his predictions for what the sector may expect to see from online teaching and learning in 2021, and beyond. 

See Martin’s predictions.

3 ways to improve accessibility of your funding application process

In this guest post, Pete Quinn discusses the important topic of accessibility challenges with universities’ traditional funding application process. 

He also suggests 3 ways universities can make the process easier for staff, as well as for students who need funding support.

Check out Pete’s advice.

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