Student Engagement Symposium | Dublin

Held on Thursday 21st September

For practitioners and senior management responsible for student engagement, success and voice

evasys student engagement Symposium Dublin ireland 2023 graphic free event2

Download slide decks

Andy Clegg Portsmouth – Slide Deck

Dave Kilmartin TUD – Slide Deck

Duncan Berryman and Eimear Gallagher QUB – Slide Deck

Hannah Kelly and Niamh Murtagh NStEP – Slide Deck

Helena Lim evasys – Slide Deck

Dr Kay Hack (PFHEA),
Advance HE – Slide Deck

Learning and sharing at the evasys Student Engagement Symposium

The evasys Student Engagement Symposium in Dublin saw a wide range of student engagement professionals come together to hear from higher education experts from both Ireland and the UK who specialise in student engagement.

Attendees were able to network with peers, share experiences and insights and discuss best practice across student engagement, student voice and student success.

The symposium was an all-day event, featuring a range of speakers from the Irish and UK HE sectors. There were multiple opportunities for informal networking throughout the event, and at the social gathering afterwards.

Symposium themes

The Student Engagement Symposium showcased a range of work, activities and innovative ideas around student engagement. Topics covered included:

  • Enhancing student engagement

  • Empowering the student voice

  • Graduate Outcomes Survey

  • Being, Belonging, Becoming

  • Closing the Feedback Loop

evasys student engagement Symposium Dublin cdr
  • Themes: Student engagement, Graduate Outcomes Survey, closing the feedback loop, Being/Belonging/Becoming

  • Date: Thursday 21st September

  • Start:     9.15 am for 9.45 am
    End:       4.00 pm                                Social:   4.00 pm – 6.00 pm

  • Location: University College Dublin – University Club

  • Cost: There is no charge for this event

Speaker biographies

Keynote Speakers:

prof marie clarke keynote speaker student engagement symposium 2023

Professor Marie Clarke

UCD and Director of the UCD Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University College Dublin

Prior to working in UCD she was a teacher in Liberties College, City of Dublin VEC. Joining the UCD School of Education in 1998, she lectured in the areas of curriculum studies, mentoring studies, followership, education history/policy and quantitative research methods. She served as Head of the School of Education from 2007 to 2011. In 2015 she was appointed Dean of Arts and commenced her current pan university role as Dean of Undergraduate Studies in 2017, where she has specific responsibility for overseeing undergraduate educational programmes and is a member of UCD Academic Council Executive Committee. She is leading at university level on the implementation of the Student Feedback System, Academic Advising, Academic Integrity and Ethical Practice, Online Assessment and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Standards.

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Dr Kay Hack (PFHEA)

Lead Consultant (Education) for Advance-HE

Kay leads a team of senior consultants to deliver a range of services to the HE sector to support strategic leadership and change in HEIs. She has worked with a diverse range of UK and international higher education providers on key themes which aim to improve student engagement and outcomes.


Dr Andy Clegg

Dr Andy Clegg, SFHEA, NTF, IFNFT

Associate Professor in Academic Innovation and Enhancement, University of Portsmouth

Andy utilises over 30 years of Higher Education (HE) and industry experience to bring currency, legitimacy, and credibility to the student experience. As a Senior Fellow, National Teaching Fellow and Associate Professor in Academic Innovation and Enhancement, Andy has a demonstrable track record of leading strategic change and delivering real enhancement to learning and teaching through innovative approaches to curriculum design and crafting creative solutions to contemporary agendas and ‘wicked’ problems across the HE sector. He has a number of pedagogic specialisms including active blended learning, technology enhanced learning, employability, transition and student communities, assessment and feedback, and education for sustainable development. Andy is an advocate of creativity and play in HE and is a certified trainer for Lego Serious Play (LSP).

Aisling McKenna speaker

Aisling McKenna

Director of Quality and Institutional Research, Dublin City University

Aisling’s work is focused on promoting, supporting and facilitating continuous quality improvement activities across academic and administrative units throughout the University.  Her office also leads the university’s approach to applying an evidence informed methodology to institutional planning, strategy development, and quality enhancement at Dublin City University.  She has worked within the higher education sector since 2007 and, prior to her current role, was Institutional Research and Analysis Officer for Dublin City University.

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Oisín Hassan

Policy Executive for Lifelong Learning and Skills, Irish Universities Association (IUA)

In his role, Oisín advocates on behalf of eight Irish universities to government and state bodies to ensure Ireland meets its ambitions to offer diverse learning experiences in our ever-changing society and world-of-work. Oisín has responsibility across a range of policy areas, including micro credentials, recognition of prior learning and apprenticeships, as well as flexible and part-time learning. Prior to joining the IUA, Oisín was Programme Manager of the National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP), a partnership programme of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).


Professor Celine Marmion

Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Celine took up a lecturing position in Chemistry at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1997, was promoted to senior lecturer in 2003, to Associate Professor in 2013 and to Full Professor in 2018. She is currently Deputy Dean for Student Engagement within the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences. Her contribution to RCSI was recognised in 2016 when she received the highly prestigious RCSI Dean’s Academic Award for ‘Endeavour, Innovation, Collaboration and Service’ to RCSI. As an educator, Professor Marmion is deeply committed to nurturing excellence in the education, learning and assessment of students. She was the recipient of a ‘Teaching Hero’ award in 2016 (as voted by students). This is a national award presented by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in partnership with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).

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Sean O’Reilly

Academic Affairs and Data, Technological Higher Education Association

Sean O’Reilly has worked with the national representative association for Ireland’s technological higher education sector since 2012 in a number of roles supporting the rapidly evolving Technological Higher Education sector in strategic, data-driven decision-making, change management and quality enhancement. Initially, Sean managed the development and implementation of the Irish Survey of Student Engagement. In his current role, Sean works particularly with Registrars / Vice-Presidents of Academic Affairs, but also other key networks, and represents member institutions on several national groups. He is also a member of the Programme Steering Board for a major national programme transforming learning, developing staff capabilities, and enhancing the digital ecosystem across seven partner technological higher education institutions.

Hannah Kelly NStEP

Hannah Kelly

National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP)

Hannah (she/her) is the current Manager of the National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP). NStEP is a joint initiative of QQI, HEA and USI and aims to promote and encourage student engagement in HEIs through the Steps to Partnership Framework. As part of her role, she also has responsibility for the new Student Engagement, Wellbeing and Belonging project which looks to strengthen student and staff wellbeing and sense of belonging through authentic student engagement and student-staff partnership. Before beginning her role with NStEP, Hannah worked with AHEAD with her work there focusing on disabled student engagement. Outside of her work with AHEAD, Hannah is a board member of Dublin Lesbian Line and is a public speaker, particularly in the areas of intersectionality and inclusion.

Niamh Murtagh, NStEP

Níamh Murtagh

National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP)

Níamh (she/her) is the Development Coordinator for the New National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP) project on Student Engagement, Belonging and Wellbeing in collaboration with Healthy Campus. The project aims to develop student-staff partnerships at the programme level, and to produce resources aimed at supporting (in particular) programme teams, academic staff, institutional leaders, Healthy Campus Coordinators/ Implementation groups and student representatives to better understand and model authentic student engagement in decision-making and student-staff partnerships. Prior to taking up this role Níamh worked as the Head of Student Engagement and Support in Griffith College focusing on policy development, delivery of Consent and Mental Health framework deliverables, learner resources and support services.

Patricia Maguire

Patricia Maguire

Director of Quality and Institutional Effectiveness, National College of Ireland

Patricia took up her role at NCI in December 2021. Patricia has more than twenty years’ experience as a professional manager in HE institutions, including Ulster University (UU), University College Dublin (UCD) and the central offices of the federal National University of Ireland (NUI).

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Nina Sachau

Executive Director Suas (STAND Programme)

Nina (she/her) took up the role as Executive Director of Suas in 2021. The organisation’s STAND programme engages third-level students and recent graduates from around Ireland in non-formal Global Citizenship Education. STAND’s awareness raising and education programmes are currently delivered on 16 campuses and aim at mobilising students to stand up for global justice and sustainability. With the STAND programme Suas is the Irish Aid’s strategic partner for providing non-formal GCE in the Higher Education Sector. Nina has worked with a focus on civil society engagement for almost 20 years; including working for the German International Cooperation Agency GIZ in Vietnam, Goal Global and Claiming our Future in Ireland and the Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance on EU-level.

Theresa O'Leary UCD in the Community StudentVolunteer

Theresa O’Leary

UCD in the Community,

Theresa (she/her) coordinates UCD’s community engagement initiative – UCD in the Community, engaging members of the UCD community with the wider community for mutual benefit. Prior to joining UCD, she worked and volunteered in the community and voluntary sector, leading a number of national community initiatives and campaigns. She sits on a national working group for higher education student volunteering under Campus Engage in the Irish Universities Association, made up of representatives from across Irish HEIs that engage students in volunteering. This group manages the platform, a free interactive online platform for higher education students, HEIs and community organisations, which tracks, records, and reports on HE student volunteering.

Dr Duncan Berryman

Dr Duncan Berryman

Student Surveys Officer, Queen’s University, Belfast

Dr Duncan Berryman has recently been appointed as the Student Surveys Officer in Queen’s University Belfast and he has worked with student survey data for several years. He also has an academic background, having taught and lectured in archaeology.


Eimear Gallagher

Business Operations Manager, Queen’s University, Belfast

Eimear Gallagher is the Business Operations Manager in Queen’s University Belfast, leading on Careers Service Systems and Survey. She also has previously experience as a Senior Careers Consultant, Principal Lecturer in Further Education and Biotechnology/Pharma production management.

Bryan O'Mahony

Bryan O’Mahony

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Deputy President, Union of Students in Ireland

Bryan O’Mahony is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Deputy President in the Union of Students in Ireland. He was elected as the Vice President of Education and Deputy President for SETU Waterford’s Students’ Union for the 2022/2023 academic year before being elected to the Union of Students in Ireland.

Lisa Basquel university of galway

Lisa Basquel

University of Galway

Lisa is a MSc Economics student in Trinity College Dublin and recently graduated from University of Galway with a Bachelor of Arts in Government (Politics, Economics, & Law).

Lisa will be sharing her journey with the national Volunteering and personal development medal GOLD Gaisce, about the opportunities for learning that it has presented as well as the supports that have been put in place for her to succeed.

David Kilmartin

Dave Kilmartin

Senior Manager, Student Success, Technological University, Dublin

Dave has recently been appointed Senior Manager for student success in the Technological University, Dublin (TU Dublin). He has responsibility for the Academic Writing and Learning Centre, The Career Development Centre and student success initiatives, including student volunteering awards. He has over twenty years experience in career coaching and career development learning. Dave is also responsible for overseeing the Graduate Outcomes Survey on behalf of TU Dublin and will present his experience this year of working with evasys.

Student Engagement Symposium | Dublin

Thursday 21st September