SaHOOTS Project

This page will tell you about the SaHOOTS project’s activities.

To view the project outcomes see SaHOOTS Resources.

SaHOOTS – Students at the Heart Of Our and Their System

The SDF is pleased to announce a series of 3 free mini conferences to explore how Staff Development/HR and OD can best support the Student Experience in HE.  This is a major topic on the staff development agenda at the moment: how does the Staff and OD Community help develop exemplary practice amongst University staff in delivering  holistic, joined up and consistently excellent professional services to students.


The student experience has become a key priority for HE staff, and developers are increasingly being asked to provide a wide range of support to different groups.  The concept of ‘service ethos’ in HE is moving beyond provision of ‘Customer Skills‘ training to consideration of cultural change, structural adjustment, incentivisation and other developments to bring about systemic attitudinal and behavioural change within HEIs. Against this backdrop SDF have commissioned a sector wide project with the following aims:

  • To review current good practice in staff and organisation development in HEIs aimed at supporting the student experience and compile an inventory of good practice;
  • To identify any current gaps in development support in the sector and consider ways to fill these
  • To gather and share examples of best practice and case study materials
  • To explore ways in which Organisation Development philosophy, thinking  and practice can be utilised to develop a holistic approach to enhancing the student experience
  • To inform the SDF and wider HE community regarding the issues and equip the community with the relevant tools to advance the student agenda in their HEIs
  • To produce a good practice resource guide for the sector on supporting the student experience through staff and organisational development approaches
  • To disseminate the project findings and outcomes to our affiliates and networks

SDF SaHOOTS   project team and e-mail contact details (please feel free to contact us)

The Project Team currently includes the following people:

As part of the Project we have planned a series of 3 mini-conferences for January 2013 to share experience, exchange ideas, discuss good practice and develop a UK SDF strategy for taking the issues forward. The events are aimed at HE colleagues in OD and Staff Development roles. We would also welcome attendance from those colleagues who whilst not staff developers have a substantial student experience and student facing role within their institutions and who are interested in contributing ideas for development.

Colleagues are invited to attend whichever session is most convenient for them and sessions are not limited to any regional networks or organisation – the timings are intended to enable wide participation and ease of travel

Venues, dates and timings

The events will take place at:

University of Hertfordshire on 17th January 2013 – Up to 35 Places
Room W040, Law Court Building, de Havilland Campus
Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9EU
Download SaHOOTS Hertfordshire Event Programme

University of West of England on the 24th January 2013 – Up to 25 Places
Botertort House, Bristol Business Park,
Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane,
Bristol, BS16 1QY
Download SaHOOTS UWE Event Programme

University of Manchester – 29th of January 2013 – Up to 25 Places
Final venue to be confirmed – will be within easy access of Piccadilly Railway Station
Download SaHOOTS Manchester Event Programme


These are SDF events including lunch and refreshments.


We are seeking to attract local involvement from students and staff.

Additional activity

In advance of the sessions we will be working on gathering suggestions, information, tools and case study materials. Initially this will be done via the SDF JISCMail discussion list, if attendees are not currently subscribed this will be arranged. Contributions to JISCmail discussions should have ‘SaHOOTS’ specified in the email Subject line. Use of JISCmail will allow discussion and a free exchange of ideas/materials. Selected content from these discussions will be placed on our SaHOOTS Resources page as the material becomes available.

An example of practice can be found on the 1994 Groups innovative practice report on the Student Experience.

We will follow up the workshop with our findings and conclusions and if there is a demand for further activity in this area will seek to develop appropriate events on line or face to face.

Booking procedures

On a first come first served basis through the SDF Administrators Wendy Mason or Louise Taylor – (

Your contribution as participants

We would ask that you contribute materials that you are prepared to share with workshop colleagues and others either from your own personal experience or your institution (providing permission is given) in advance of the event so that we can hone and tailor appropriately. Information will be provided participants at the time of booking on how to  do this.


This is an SDF supported event! SDF is generously sponsored by our colleagues at the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

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