We use cookies on this website. If you continue to use the website, we will use cookies to maximise your experience and help us to improve.

To find out more about cookies, how we use them and how to remove them, see our privacy and cookies statement.
safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Student Engagement Advisers

​​​We put students at the heart of everything we do to help them be active participants in shaping their our own education. For us, student engagement is about giving all students the opportunity and encouragement to get involved in quality assurance and the enhancement of higher education..

QAA is undertaking Higher Education Review at over 180 UK universities and colleges over the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16. Many of these reviews are at further education colleges with higher education provision. In order to support the diversity of student engagement at these colleges, QAA launched the Student Engagement Adviser Scheme in March 2014.

The Student Engagement Adviser Scheme is designed to help improve student engagement in quality assurance, specifically the student engagement elements within Higher Education Review, with the ultimate aim of improving UK higher education.

We have recruited and trained 12 Student Engagement Advisers who are based across England and Wales who can support students, students' representatives, students' unions or support staff with:

  • Finding and supporting the Lead Student Representative
  • Producing the student submission
  • Student involvement in the team visit
  • Engaging the broader student population in review.

If you are a Lead Student Representative or Facilitator going through a review in the next few months and would like the support of a Student Engagement Adviser, contact us​​ and we’ll put you in touch.

You can also request the support of a Student Engagement Adviser through your Review Manager. 

Our Student Engagement Advisers

Oliver Birrell

Oliver BirrellMy name’s Oliver Birrell and I'm lucky enough to have a range of experience working closely with students that should help me to help you. I was Students' Union President shortly after graduating from Cardiff University and helped represent students at all levels in the organisation. To do this I had to speak with students regularly, and engage with as much of the student body, no easy task as many will agree! I still work in higher education, now alongside students and find myself constantly trying new ways to engage with students from all backgrounds, so hopefully my experience can help you out.

Jo Caulfield

Jo CaulfieldI'm enjoying working in the higher education sector and have an interest in a variety of HE-areas. I'm particularly passionate about quality and recent developments in making students active partners in that process. I’m currently the Student Engagement Officer at Bangor University, where I work with senior management, academic departments and the Students' Union to increase student involvement in the enhancement of teaching and learning and quality assurance. I am also an external trustee of UCLan Students’ Union

Bethan Foweraker

Bethan FowerakerMy name's Bethan and I currently work for Cardiff University as their Student Voice Officer, working on Student Academic Representation and wider Student Engagement projects. In 2010, was Education Officer for Aberystwyth Students' Union where I represented students on academic issues and began preparation for their upcoming Institutional Review. I have recently completed my time as a Student Reviewer, during which time I did an Institutional Review and a Review of Foundation Degrees.

Sarah Ingram

Sarah IngramHaving been a sabbatical officer at Cardiff University Students' Union and re-developed the course rep system, I then continued to work in student engagement for Cardiff University. I now work in Student Cases dealing with discipline, unfair practice, fitness to practise and exam appeals. In the last couple of years I have been workstrand leader for the HEA Wales Students as Partners workstrand and I have been a student reviewer for the QAA.

Matthew Kitching

Matthew KitchingI am currently the Membership Services Manager at Bucks Students’ Union where I am responsible for representation, research, campaigns, sport and societies, volunteering and the Advice Centre. In addition I am a trained reviewer on a range of QAA methods including Higher Education Review. Prior to my current role I spent two years as President of my Students’ Union.​

Aaron Porter

Aaron PorterI am a higher education consultant working with a range of institutions and bodies in the higher education sector, and have undertaken research projects for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). I was previously President of the National Union of Students in academic year 2010-11, and have served on a number of boards including HEFCE, the HEA, the OIA, UCAS and Endsleigh Insurance.

Hannah Reilly

Hannah RiellyMy name is Hannah Reilly and I currently work as the Training and Development Manager at Cardiff Met Students' Union. Before this I was Vice President, Education and Welfare Officer for two years at the University of Wales Newport, where my interest in assuring and enhancing quality in HE began. I have now seen QAA reviews from several different angles, firstly as a student, then a Lead Student Representative and more recently as a Student Reviewer. I bring this experience to the role of Student Engagement Adviser to help others through the review process.

Laura Seward

Laura SewardHi, I’m Laura Seward I am currently on the final year of my course studying BA Business Management with Accounting full-time at the University Centre Grimsby. Alongside my studies I am the part-time Students' Union President at the University Centre where I am establishing the first Students' Union at my campus. I am also a student governor at my Institute as I am passionate in making students' voices heard at every level of my Institute. I also have various roles within QAA as I want to share my experience with others. I am currently on the Student Advisory Board, I am a student reviewer and also this - a Student Engagement Advisor.

Emma Hedges

Emma HedgesHi, I’m Emma and I currently work at Keele University Students' Union as a Student Activities and Representation Coordinator. My role involves a wide and varied range of student engagement work such as societies, democracy and course reps, which I lead on. I was Keele University’s Lead Student Representative in 2012 and subsequently became a Student Reviewer for QAA. Prior to this I was an Elected Officer at Staffordshire University Students' Union, serving two years in office

Sarah Halpin

Sarah HalpinI’m Sarah and I currently work at King’s College London as their Education and Student Experience Coordinator, working on student representation, quality assurance and educational enhancement projects. I used to work in the Student Engagement Team at QAA where I gained lots of experience of supporting students and staff through a QAA review. Before that, I was also a sabbatical officer at Cardiff University Students’ Union, representing healthcare students.

Jacqui Scott

jacqui ScottMy name is Jacqui and I currently work at Riverside College in Halton. I am an Education Lecturer and in my role as HE Advocate I have played an active role in our preparations for Higher Education Review and I am involved in coordinating learner voice and other engagement activities. I am a Student Reviewer and very much enjoy the national context of my work with QAA.

Caroline Dangerfield

Caroline DangerfieldI am an Executive Officer in the Vice Chancellor's Office at the University of Bath and am studying part time towards a Master's in Public Administration at the University of York. I was previously a Higher Education Policy Adviser at the Higher Education Funding Council for England and prior to this was a Vice President and then President of the University of Salford Students' Union. I am a QAA Student Reviewer and a former member of QAA's Student Sounding Board.