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February 27, 2023


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AUCSO reveals theme of ‘changing face of security in higher education’ for Annual Conference 2023

The Heriot-Watt University Conference Centre, in Edinburgh has been announced as the backdrop for this year’s 37th annual AUCSO (Association of University Chief Security Officers), Conference. With a theme of ‘The changing face of security in higher education’, the Conference will take place on Tuesday 18 April 2023 until Thursday 20 April 2023 and is open to both members and member institutions. 

AUCSO, an organisation for security professionals working in higher and further education around the world, announced that registration for the Conference is now open.

Last year the Conference saw ‘record attendance’ of over 230 delegates including AUCSO members and guests and 45 industry exhibitors, its largest exhibition to date. This year, new suppliers and AUSCO partners will be supporting the Conference with an exhibition of products and services.  Suppliers and AUSCO partners are encouraged to sign up early if they would like to exhibit at the Conference this year. Delegates will be able to visit the exhibition in between workshops and talks.

There will a welcome event and exhibitors fair on the Tuesday evening in the Conference Centre and a networking evening is planned for the Wednesday evening, held at Edinburgh Castle. The Castle is hundreds of years old, forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still has soldiers from the British Army garrisoned there.

The Black Tie Gala Dinner and Awards Evening will take place on the Thursday evening at the Signet Library in Edinburgh’s ‘historic’ Royal Mile. The Signet Library dates back to 1822 and is home to the Society of Writers to His Majesty’s Signet and holds the reference library for the Scottish Legal System. The winners of the AUCSO Awards will be announced at the Gala Dinner.

‘The changing face of security in higher education’

This year’s theme will be centred around the changing face of security, specifically in a higher education setting.

Commenting on the Conference AUCSO Chair Elect, Oliver Curran, said: “Like many other sectors of the security industry, those of us who work in the higher education sector are being asked to provide more and more services in order to protect our communities. This is why our conference theme will focus on the Changing Face of Security in Higher Education, where we can both discuss our new challenges as well as have our expert speakers provide us with some key insights in adapting our service.”

Confirmed speakers for the conference include:

  • Professor Mark Briggs, Vice-Principal and Provost, Heriot-Watt University
  • Keynotes from Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans, Scottish Government and Cory Davie, Vice President Asia/Pacific, Control Risk
  • Presentations and a workshop from representatives from Homeland Security Group, UK Home Office and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) who will talk about defining Martyn’s Law for Higher Education
  • Breakout sessions will cover topics such as:
    • Student vulnerability to organised crime influence
    • Initiatives to tackle county lines and the associated violence and exploitation
    • The rise of ‘virtual kidnips’ in UK universities
    • The benefits of third party certification for HE security managers
    • Hate crime in higher education

Conference, exhibition and networking opportunities

Commenting on the Conference, AUCSO Chief Operating Officer, Julie Barker, says: “We are very much looking forward to our 37th annual Conference – it will be great to see colleagues and friends – and meet new ones too.

“We are also keen to hear from businesses and charities who would be interested in exhibiting at the Conference as it’s a great way to promote your products or services to a targeted audience of university and security specialists.

“We particularly look forward to the Gala Dinner and Awards Evening on the Thursday evening when we will announce the winners of the 2023 AUCSO Awards. It will be wonderful to see delegates, business partners, shortlisted colleagues and special guests come together to celebrate the amazing work security teams have achieved within their institutions during 2022.”

The Conference is open to AUSCO members and non-members.

Registration includes:

  • Attendance at all Conference sessions, refreshments, and lunches
  • Attendance at all social events including the Welcome Reception Tuesday 18 April, AUCSO Dinner Wednesday 19 April and the Gala Dinner Thursday 20 April
  • Accommodation at the Conference hotel (Check in Tuesday 18 April, check out Friday 21 April)

There is also a Day Delegate Rate of £200. Day delegates can also attend the AUCSO Dinner on Wednesday 19 April for £99 and the Gala Dinner and Awards on Thursday 20 April for £160 (both events subject to availability).

Registration for this year’s Conference closes on Friday 17 March.

For further details and to register your place at the conference, visit the AUSCO website.


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