The Chartered ABS Professional Managers Annual Conference (PMAC) is the yearly gathering of professional services teams working in, and for, UK business schools. The conference is a supportive environment in which common challenges can be discussed, new networks formed, and fresh ideas created.

PMAC 2021 will be a fully online event and will take fully advantage of the opportunities afforded by technology. The programme is in development and alongside the high-level keynote sessions, the interactive breakout sessions, and networking opportunities that are a hallmark of the conference; there will be a range of international speakers and valuable asynchronous content.

Early Bird Discounts available: Register Now

Join us to explore:

  • The future direction of business & management education and the role of professional services teams in finding the right balance between online and face-to-face delivery
  • Addressing digital poverty among students and better supporting students from disadvantaged groups
  • Recruiting and inducting new staff during a pandemic and creating resilient and supportive teams
  • Creative ways to optimise the use of physical assets and exploring the sorts of buildings that business schools will need in the future
  • Tackling racial inequality and creating cultures of diversity and inclusion among staff and students
  • The role of professional services in driving organisational change initiatives during a period of uncertainty and unrest
"A fantastic opportunity to network with like minded people - a good reminder that we all experience similar issues and can overcome them with innovative solutions"

Feedback from PMAC 2020


Day One: 28 April 2021

13:00 - 14:00

Keynote panel discussion

Operating in extraordinary times

In this opening session a high-level panel will reflect on how business schools have responded to the challenges of Covid-19; on the new opportunities that the pandemic has created for learning & teaching, research and business engagement; and on the strategic priorities for business schools in the months ahead. Particular attention will be paid to the role that professional services staff play in delivering business school strategy in these extraordinary times.

14:00 - 14:30

Breakout Session i. Marketing & student recruitment

Recruiting international students during, and after, a pandemic

Reflecting on the experiences of recruiting international students in 2020-21 and exploring the prospects for international student enrolments for 2021-22.

Breakout Session ii. Student experience

Supporting student mental health and wellbeing

A candid discussion between business school staff and students about the effectiveness of the provision that is being given to support student mental health and wellbeing and what institutions need to do to ensure students are supported in future.

14:30 - 15:30

Breakout Session iii. Leaders and managers

Recruiting and onboarding new staff

Exploring the challenges that have been faced in bringing new professional services staff on board during an extended period of remote working; and what team leaders and managers can do to embed new staff whilst working remotely.

Breakout Session iv. School administration

Managing the health and safety of staff working on campus

Exploring the various approaches that are being taken to support the health and safety of staff when working on campus; and the longer-term priorities to create safe working environments for business school staff.

16:00 - 17:00

Roundtable discussions. School administration, Student experience, Marketing & student recruitment, Learning & teaching support, Leaders & managers

Enabling and delivering the strategic objectives of our business schools

The purpose of these discussions is to explore the role professional services staff play in enabling and delivering strategic objectives. The discussions are an opportunity for those with common interests to have in-depth discussion in a relaxed and supportive environment. Each discussion is limited to a maximum of 18 participants and everyone will be expected to have their camera/microphone enabled and actively contribute to the discussion.

Day Two: 29 April 2021

9:00 - 10:00

Keynote panel discussion

Responding to the climate emergency

In this session we explore the pressing need for business schools, and their parent universities, to take meaningful climate action. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which professional services teams can enable change through a school’s operational strategy, student/alumni action, teaching and research.

10:30 - 11:30

Breakout Session i. Leaders and managers

The mental health and wellbeing of professional services teams

Exploring the impact of the last 12 months on the mental health and wellbeing of business school professional services staff; and how leaders and managers can best support their teams through to the summer and into next academic year.

Breakout Session ii. Learning & teaching support

Addressing the challenge of digital poverty

How business & management educators and learning & teaching teams can support the progression and attainment of students disadvantaged and marginalised by online learning.

10:30 - 11:30

Breakout Session iii. School administration

Professional services as ‘change managers’ during reorganisations and restructuring

The role that professional services team play during institutional reorganisations and the management of associated issues such as redundancies.

Breakout Session iv. Student experience

Employability: supporting students into jobs

Exploring the challenges facing students entering the graduate jobs market in 2021/22, how Covid-19 has impact opportunities for internships and placements, and what business schools are doing to boost student’s employability.

12:00 - 13:00

Keynote panel discussion

Tackling racial inequality and improving inclusion

Exploring the challenges facing non-white staff and students and the ways in which business schools through individual and institutional action can become more culturally nuanced and diverse.

13:30 - 14:30

Breakout Session i. Student experience

Engaging with students and encouraging the student voice

Reflecting on how best to engage with students on sensitive issues and areas of complaint, and how to engage with students in a meaningful way so as to reflect the ‘student voice’ in business school strategy.

Breakout Session ii. School administration

Managing changing needs: utilising space and physical assets post-pandemic

Exploring how Covid-19 has influenced the way in which business schools use their buildings and new ways in which to monetise physical assets.

13:30 - 14:30

Breakout Session iii. Leaders and managers

Working in partnership with Deans and senior leadership teams

Assessing the key ingredients for a successful relationship between professional services teams, senior academic colleagues and business school Deans.

Breakout Session iv. Marketing & student recruitment

Student recruitment and admissions: Looking ahead to September

Exploring the latest trends in business school student recruitment, and on what needs to be done between now and September to prepare for new cohorts.

15:30 - 17:00

Professional Development Workshops

The final part of PMAC 2021 will be given over to professional development workshops designed to help professional services staff build critical skills and behaviours.


Early Bird Rates

Book before 19 March to take advantage of the Early Bird Rate!

  • Members £60
  • Non-members £80
  • Groups of six or more £360 (Members only and up to a maximum of 15 participants after which each ticket is priced at the individual member rate.)

Not sure whether your institution is a member? Full list available here.

Note to non-members: Commercial organisations who are not sponsoring PMAC 2021 are not eligible for more than one pass. If you are from a non-member business school and you would like to purchase multiple passes please contact Pritika Pau (

View the Chartered ABS policy on cancellations, transfers and substitutions.

Who should attend?

Designed in consultation with members of the Chartered ABS Professional Managers Committee and experts from across the business school community, the two-day programme is designed for the full community of professional services staff working in, and for, business schools. It will be of value to:

  • Faculty Managers
  • Heads of Administration
  • Heads of Operations
  • Accreditation Managers
  • Business Partners
  • Admissions Managers
  • Education Managers
  • Administrative Managers
  • Marketing & Recruitment Managers
  • Programme Managers
  • School Managers
  • Student Services Managers

Practical information

Professional Managers' Annual Conference (PMAC) 2021 will take place on 28-29 April.

You can log in to as many sessions as you wish throughout the two days, enabling you to fit your attendance around your other commitments, and create personalised schedules based on your interests, development needs and availability.

PMAC 2021 takes place online on the platform 'Hopin'. Your unique login details will be shared with you ahead of the conference. Detailed guidance on how to access the platform and FAQ's will be available soon.

Sponsor PMAC 2021

Sponsoring PMAC 2021 is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationships with senior professional managers working in, and for, UK business schools.

For information about sponsorship opportunities please contact:

Oliver Lowe, Head of Conferences & International, Chartered Association of Business Schools
Direct: +44 (0) 207 634 9581  Email:

Feedback from PMAC 2020

"I found it highly valuable, I have come away with many good ideas having listened to others in my role."
"It was my first PMAC and I really valued and enjoyed the opportunity to share and learn with peers in other schools. I went back to work with some new resolve and ideas, plus a sense of comfort that we are all facing and working to address the same challenges."
"Overall, I had a very positive experience of the conference. It was enjoyable, informative and I would thoroughly recommend it."