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Meet the UWE Unicorns: how we set out to create our student data community

Presenter: Esther Williams, Deputy Director (Student Data and Systems)

Institution: UWE Bristol


Second Presenter

Petter Lovehagen (


It’s hard to effect change in a large University environment when you feel like the ‘lone voice’ in your part of the organisation. This breakout session will use some of the strategies that we have adopted at UWE to develop our community of student data practitioners, engendering a sense of pride and agreeing common principles. Organisational boundaries can still thwart us at times, but we have moved to a shared ‘identity’, and we are the UWE Unicorns!

We will explore:

  1. Finding friends and establishing a ‘critical mass’ of colleagues passionate about student data
  2. Targeting the influencers, bringing them to the cause!
  3. Developing a suite of job descriptions, setting up career paths and valuing the contributions of staff in roles that are (for the most part) ‘unseen’
  4. Creating a ‘student data manifesto’ that we all have signed up to
  5. Cultivating relationships, both formal (mentoring/buddying) and informal
  6. Contributing collectively to institutional projects that advance the data cause (like the UWE Data Dictionary and our information governance agenda)


Student data staff, anyone interested in working across insitutional boundaries