Events > Conference


UHR Conference 2019, Manchester, 21-24 May



We are delighted that the 2019 UHR Conference and Exhibition will take place in Manchester from 21 to 24 May.

As in previous years the conference will be the place for HR professionals working in higher education to meet their peers and listen to a great mix of plenary speakers. Workshops, legal sessions, social time and an exhibition will also feature in a packed programme rounded off by our Gala Dinner and UHR Awards for Excellence.

It goes without saying that Manchester is a great city whether you think of that greatness in terms of its sporting heritage, its amazing music and cultural impact, or its industry. The bee has long been known as a symbol of the city and was first incorporated into the Manchester city coat of arms in 1842. The industrious teamwork of the bee hive – well we know all about the work ethic in HR teams, and we’re proud to have adopted the bee as a symbol of UHR2019.

The conference will be held at the Hilton, Manchester Deansgate, right in the heart of the city.



Conference theme - Transforming Culture: Challenging Times

We recognise the extent of cultural change within our society and our higher education institutions. Cultural shift can be challenging enough to manage within our own teams – what role do we play as HR professionals in adapting to such movements within universities, and in responding to change within wider society? How can we succeed in HR’s key role as shapers of organisational culture in response to current and anticipated sector changes?

We’ll be thinking about transformation in many ways:

  • The student funding regime and pressure on increased value for money
  • Adapting our organisational cultures in response to the changing expectations among stakeholders, not least of them the Office for Students
  • Increasing globalisation, and the impact of Brexit
  • Sustainable operational models and new skill sets needed in response to digitalisation, the impact of social media and the growing influence of Artificial Intelligence
  • Enhancing the receptivity and resilience of staff in embracing change, some of which may be unpopular, while ensuring we provide support to our own HR teams
  • Maintaining trust and staff engagement in an environment of rising levels of reported stress amongst staff, and disaffection with the sector
  • Ensuring our organisational cultures are truly diverse and inclusive in light of the issues raised by #MeTooWhy is my professor still not black? and Thriving at Work.


Contributor call

Our call for contributors has now ended.


Contact us with conference queries

Please email us at with any delegate, exhibitor or sponsor enquiries. Alternatively, you can call us on 0161 428 1250.



UHR Annual Conference 2018


22 - 25 May 2018

The 2018 Conference took place in Bristol, with an exciting line up of plenary speakers including Margaret Heffernan, Matthew Syed and Professor Moira Clark, as well as workshops, legal sessions, evening social activities and fantastic Gala Dinner and the UHR Awards. 

With over 35 exhibitors and sponsors from across the sector on hand to offer useful advice and services throughout the event, and afterwards, there was lots of information and knowledge shared.

To watch the highlights video and find details of the programme, visit the 2018 conference page.


Previous UHR Annual Conferences

2017 - To find out about the conference in Newcastle, click here.

2016 - To find out about the conference in Brighton, click here.

2015 - To find out about the conference in Leeds, click here.

2014 - To find out about the conference in Warwick, click here.

2013 - To find out about the conference at York, click here.



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