Aspiring to excellence

Aspiring to excellence

The HE crowd gathered at this year’s CUBO Summer Conference and Awards to explore the hot topics in running Universities. University Business Editor Hannah Oakman went along to learn some new lessons… 

If you want a University campus to truly inspire, you couldn’t do much better than the fabulous Royal Holloway College, University of London. Based out in the Surrey countryside, the sun shone for the entire College and University Business Officers (CUBO) event, highlighting the amazing Founder’s Building at the heart of the campus.

This year’s event, which promised to promote excellence by ‘driving individual and business performance’, welcomed more than 80 delegates to a packed schedule of keynote speakers, panel sessions and workshops, along with a lively tradeshow featuring all of the top companies in the business of supplying universities today.

From panel sessions on Impacting the Student Experience (looking at catering, accommodation, safety and security and technology), to helpful coaching sessions on ‘The mindset of high performance’ and how to tailor your communication to increase influence and impact, along with how to handle challenging conversations, the sessions were practical and fun for attendees.

Chair of Cubo since 2013, Frances Stone commented: “I thought that the range of speakers for this year’s event was excellent and that there was a real buzz about the conference. There seemed to be a very positive vibe and delegates felt that we are entering a new and exciting era. I was impressed by the great sense of engagement with our business partners.

“The venue provided a spectacular setting for the conference. It was particularly fitting that the building had been a hall of residence for female students in the year that CUBO elected its first ever female chair.”

Plans are now well underway for the next 12 months at CUBO, culminating in the next annual conference in July 2015, (which will include the 4th annual CUBO Awards). As Frances added: “A major priority in the next year is to encourage wider membership and participation in CUBO activities. I am very keen to open CUBO up to the universities that currently don’t have any CUBO members.

“It’s also on my agenda to forge links with other interest groups working in similar areas within the sector so that we can share information and becoming more effective in working towards similar goals. With changes to funding within universities, the pressure on commercial activities will increase and any help that CUBO can give to its members in becoming more effective must be welcome.

“As far as the agenda for next year is concerned, the programme is being planned and I am confident it will be an inspirational conference focused on the issues of the greatest relevance to the sector and CUBO members.”