Back in November 2020 we hosted our first ever virtual event.

Back in November 2020 we hosted our first ever virtual event with Planning Leaders from across the Higher Education sector. It’s safe to say that at the time we didn’t realise the impact that it would have in the industry and the valid talking points we opened up for many aspects within University Planning, post COVID-19.

Now that we have the platform, we wanted to review the talking points and publish some of the data that we found from the event. We also thought we should share the full video link for anyone who missed it (Scroll for video link).

We were extremely lucky to have such amazing speakers on board for the event who were very passionate about the planning space. Below are abstracts from all of the speakers on the areas that we touched within the roundtable.


Anthony Mansfield, Senior Strategic Planning Manager at University of East London

“A key challenge in Academic & Financial Planning at a post-92 institution is managing and understanding the rate of attrition between years on courses. Attrition is acutely prominent among undergraduate, home fee and full-time students who depart HE, pause their studies or even transfer to another institution. The outbreak of COVID created a new level of uncertainty around our returning population and required processes to be developed and deployed. This returner projection needed to provide sufficient insight to give the senior leadership team confidence over the summer in ascertaining resourcing requirements.


Dean Stokes, Director of Planning at University College London

“It is unquestionably true that 2020 has been a year like no other in most people’s professional and personal lives. For universities, annual business planning cycles supporting longer term strategies have given way to crisis management and the rapid introduction of blended and hybrid teaching for students and remote working for many staff. National and international research efforts directed towards COVID-19 have moved with extraordinary speed, while evidence emerges of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on early career researchers, particularly those with caring responsibilities.”


We also had HESPA (Higher Education Strategic Planners Association) onboard who completed a Q&A with all of our 163 attendees. Here are some of the polling results:


How many times a year do you regularly engage with other Planners outside of your organization?

1-3 times per week – 53%

4-6 times per week – 14%

6-9 times per week – 18%

10+ times per week – 16%


Have you attended an organised training event to developer your skills/knowledge/networks in the last 18 months?

Yes – 69%

No – 31%


Post COVID, would you prefer online, in-person or a mixture of training & networking events?

Online events – 4%

Face to face events 8%

Mixture of both 88%


Interested in hearing more? Watch the full roundtable below: