A Knowledge Exchange with the Higher Education sector

Date: Friday 21st August 2020
Time: 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Webinar - joining details sent closer to the time, , ,
Cost: Free
SME Club

The Knowledge Exchange is a discussion series aimed to give you access to leading figures in different sectors each week. The focus will be on sharing insight and expertise about how we emerge and navigate the evolving climate during and post Covid-19 and how businesses and sectors can best adapt, renew and recover. The discussions will feature experts with a focus sector or challenge covered each week.

This week's Knowledge Exchange is with higher education sector experts, discussing the effects that COVID-19 has had on the sector and looking at:

- How will universities open safely for the start of term in September? What will attending university look like post covid-19?

- How can the GM universities help level up the skills gap in the city and North of England?

- How will universities reconcile the ever shifting landscape they are facing at a local, national and international level?

About the Speakers:

Christopher Peacock Director -

Chris has a decade of working in political and community communications. He specialises in providing support for clients who operate in the north of England having spent most of his career in the region. Chris has work on community engagement projects across the private and public sectors from generating support to conveying complex issues to the community.

Prior to joining, he was a local councillor at Bolton Council where he was the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Sport. As Cabinet Member he led community engagement activities across his departments where he had to explain complex service changes to both proactive and unengaged members of the local community through various methods.

Chris has worked with key clients such as Transport for the North, Cadent Gas, and Peel.

Professor Nalin Thakkar Vice President - University of Manchester

Nalin Thakkar is Vice President for Social Responsibility and Professor of Molecular Pathology at the University of Manchester and Consultant Histopathologist at the Manchester Universities NHS Foundation Trust.  As part of his remit at the University of Manchester, he oversees compliance and risk together with social responsibility and currently chairs the Campus Reopening and Corporate Support Group.  Nalin previously served as Associate Vice President for Compliance & Risk for nearly 10 years and is a member of the University’s Board of Governors.  He is also currently a Non-executive Director of the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and previously served as a Non-Executive Director of the Health Research Authority.

Jo Purves Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Development - University of Salford

Jo joined University of Salford in April 2017 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor International and Regional Partnerships after predominantly international roles at the University of Sheffield and Northumbria and Durham Universities. Her role encompassed the industry collaboration and enterprise activity of the University and the development of the University’s international presence. As of August 2020, she has moved into the new role of Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Development. This maintains the international aspects of her previous role but she now has line management of the Deans of the four Schools at Salford. She also has responsibility for the growth and development of the academic portfolio at all levels in line with the current and future demands of industry, with a particular focus on apprenticeship and Level 4/5 advanced technical skills provision.

Craig Gaskell Principal and CEO - University Academy 92
Professor Jennifer Watling Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International - Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Jennifer Watling is Pro-Vice Chancellor for International at Manchester Metropolitan University, and a member of the University Executive Group.

Professor Watling leads on the long-term international vision for the university. This includes developing global partnerships, enhancing Transnational Education (TNE) activities, attracting international students, increasing staff and student mobility, and engaging international alumni. In addition, Professor Watling contributes more broadly to the overall leadership of the university.

Prior to working at Manchester Metropolitan University, Professor Watling was Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) at Northumbria University from 2015 – 2016 and held a range of senior leadership roles at the University of Adelaide in Australia, including: Associate Dean International, Associate Dean Research and Head of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She continues to hold visiting Professor status with the School of Biological Sciences, at the University of Adelaide.

Professor Watling is an internationally recognised plant scientist and has published widely on photosynthesis, plant respiration, climate change, and plant responses to environmental stress. Her research has taken her to many parts of the globe, collaborating with colleagues in the UK, USA, Japan, China, Canada, Mexico, Africa, and Australia.

Interested In The Event?

If you’re interested in attending, you can book online here.