Perspectives On: Dynamic Conversations

‘Perspectives On: A Dynamic Conversation’ is a special edition collection of ‘Perspectives On’. It provides a framework to support topical debate on contemporary issues in learning and teaching. Each issue will collate varied opinions in a curated format and pose thought provoking questions for wider discussion at an associated panel event that will take place after the release of the special edition.

We are now calling for submissions for the next edition of Dynamic Conversations, on the subject titled Reimagining student partnerships for a sustained future of learning. 

The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way that students are choosing to engage with their universities and their interactions on campus.  The importance of listening to students and involving them in decision making processes has never been greater, yet we are aware of low engagement levels in a range of activities, with traditional student representation systems being less effective in today’s learning environment. Similarly, an expectation of co-creation with students can be hard to achieve when relationships are more fragmented and the cost of living significantly impacts the time students can realistically invest in the activity.  Ethical dilemmas associated with appropriate levels of reward also perpetuate in this space.

Whilst the pandemic has undoubtedly presented new challenges for student partnership, it has also generated innovation in the ways that we collaborate and communicate with students and highlighted the importance of adaptability and empathy in working together effectively.

This dynamic conversation is therefore focussed on hearing about innovation in the partnership space.

  • How representative is the student rep system? Has the traditional model had its day and is it time to influence a different, more inclusive, model of student representation?
  • Hearing the hidden student voice is more crucial than ever, but how do we know which voices are missing and how do we reach them?
  • Is student partnership in enhancement a token gesture or is co-creation genuinely achievable?  How should co-creation and meaningful partnership activity be recognised and rewarded?

Join the conversation to share your challenges and triumphs.  As this issue of Dynamic Conversations is about partnership, we would be really keen to profile some submissions that have been created jointly with students.

Please use the form below to submit your abstract - the deadline for submissions is Friday 7 July 2023.

The last Dynamic Conversation on the theme of data literacy generated a lot of interest and can be accessed here.

Further themes for the Dynamic Conversations will be released within forthcoming Chartered ABS Newsletters. If you have a suggestion for a future theme, please contact the Editorial Board at


Editorial Board:

CHAIR Dr Cathy Minett-Smith, Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and the Student Experience, Faculty of Business and Law, University of the West of England (UWE).

Professor Gillian Armstrong, Director of Business Engagement, Ulster University Business School.

Professor Monika Foster, Head of Sunderland Business School, University of Sunderland.

Professor Helen Williams, Professor in Organisational Psychology, Cardiff Business School.

Dynamic Conversations take place twice a year in September-October and March-April. A conversation will be launched in the Chartered ABS community with an invitation to submit an opinion piece. The submission window will be open for a month with an indication of the date for the concluding panel conversation.

The Dynamic Conversation enables you to be part of a reflexive dialogic action research approach to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. It supports authentic conversations which are reflexive and ontological permission for agency, voice and dialogue of educational practitioners in Business Schools. If you have a thought-provoking question or opinion on a Dynamic Conversation topic we would encourage you to submit your contribution.

A Dynamic Conversation submission needs to be concise, relevant to the topic of conversation and pose a question or opinion for debate.  A breadth of contributions are encouraged ranging from fully formed opinions resulting from completed research to nuggets of an idea or a dilemma that contributors are grappling with.  Submissions can be made in a variety of formats (text, video, podcasts etc) via the submission portal.

For more detail of the ‘Perspectives On: A Dynamic Conversation’ collection including the submission guidelines click here.

Chair | Dr Cathy Minett-Smith

Dr Cathy Minett-Smith is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a National Teaching Fellow reviewer and has extensive teaching experience in Higher Education. Cathy is currently the Associate Dean Learning Teaching and Student Experience in the faculty of Business and Law at the University of the West of England.

Prior to this she was the Associate Dean Student Experience in the University of Bedfordshire Business School where she successfully led the Education Impact strand resulting in Bedfordshire Business School being the first school in the UK to be recognised under EFMD’s Business School Impact System (BSIS).  In both of these roles she was responsible for developing and enhancing all aspects of the student experience, working with colleagues in the business school and wider university to actively link the functional areas of the student learning experience, including administrative, learning support and academic delivery, to creatively and effectively develop the learning experience for students.

Cathy has extensive experience of strategy development and implementation at both an institutional and faculty level. Cathy also has strong connections with the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS), is Vice chair of the CABS Learning, Teaching and Student Experience committee and a regular speaker on the CABS Leaders in Learning and Teaching development programme. Cathy’s research interests are in team-teaching, developing teaching expertise and the language of learning.

Professor Gillian Armstrong

Gillian Armstrong is a Professor of Business Education, an Associate Dean (Development and Partnerships – Domestic) and the Director of Business Engagement at Ulster University Business School’s (UUBS). She has been with Ulster University and Higher Education for almost 25 years and has been actively involved in the development and management of academic excellence within the business school.

Deeply committed to supporting the growth and development of the regional economy, Gillian has sought to ensure that the business school works closely with priority sectors to actively support the supply of skills and the attractiveness of Northern Ireland as a location to do business. She has been actively involved in the development of work based learning and innovative educational models to support employers in securing talent and in upskilling and retaining graduates in a range of sectors. She has worked in partnership with several corporate employers to develop a range of higher level apprenticeship programmes within the region and has led various Business School initiatives to support Future of Work requirements.

Gillian directs a Business Engagement Unit, focusing on supporting business and employers towards a sustainable future, whilst actively supporting pedagogy practice and dissemination. She also Chairs the Higher Level Apprenticeship Steering Group for UUBS and is a Council member of the NI Chamber of Commerce (NICC). Gillian was an active member of the CABS Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee (LTSE) between 2012 – 2020 and has contributed to related conferences.

Professor Monika Foster

Professor Monika Foster is the Head of Sunderland Business School. She's National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Monika has worked in business schools in the UK, Europe and Far East for 30 years.

Monika has championed innovation on programmes of study at university level by developing a strategy to embed internationalization in the curriculum. Monika was responsible for developing a joint learning, teaching and assessment strategy with international partners in Europe, China, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore. Working with students as partners, Monika has had a transformational impact on student experience including enhanced transitions for mature and international students in the UK and internationally.

Monika is a member of the Chartered ABS Learning Teaching and Student Experience Committee and has contributed over the years to LTSE conferences and to Perspectives On. Monika's research interests lie in cross cultural management, internationalization of higher education, leadership and change management. Her latest volume commissioned by Routledge is on Building Intercultural Learner Relationships: Towards a critical pedagogy.

Professor Helen Williams

Helen is a Professor in Organisational Psychology at Cardiff Business School and is a British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Psychologist.  She has been a member of the CABS Learning Teaching and Student Experience Committee since 2016.

Between 2014 and 2020 Helen served as Associate Dean Learning and Teaching at Cardiff Business School leading on developing and implementing learning and teaching strategy within the School, and she also actively contributes to learning and teaching activities at an institutional level. Helen is committed to both assuring and enhancing educational provision and is driven by a passion for supporting and empowering students to fulfil their potential.

Helen is currently on a year of research and scholarship leave, working within Cardiff University’s Centre for Education Support and Innovation on institutional projects linked to the Education and Students sub-strategy.   Her research expertise is in diversity, team working, and the relational context of work, and more recently this interest has been focused on higher education as both as place of work and study.

  • About You

  • This is a standard text format for all submissions and will be used in the curated pdf in a consistently formatted approach.
  • Your submission

    This is the substance of your 5 min submission. You are encouraged to use a variety of formats including text in the form of a blog, video, podcast, narrated Powerpoint, digital story or other format.

    Guidance for the structure of your 5 minute submission is:

    1. What is your opinion on the dynamic conversation topic?
    2. What is the justification or rationale for this opinion?
    3. What is the key question for debate?

  • You can upload document(s) support your submission.
    Maximum file size is 40MB. If your submission exceeds this, please email for a dropbox link.
    Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 40 MB.
    • By completing your submission you are agreeing to our terms and conditions. The Chartered ABS can provide you with information relating to your submission and other Chartered ABS related products or services via email, direct mail, fax or telephone. Please click here for a copy of our full terms and conditions.
    • Any questions?

      Please contact:

      Dr Cathy Minett-Smith
      Associate Dean, Learning, Teaching & Student Experience
      University of the West of England