Our mission

We are driven by a purpose: to make higher education more accessible to all. We are educationalists to the core.

To this end, we know how vital it is for students to meet their peers, future tutors and support network during the application process.

We build responsible technology to facilitate this. We embrace privacy and safeguarding by design. We understand the motivation for many students isn’t purely academic, it is finding that sense of belonging.

Our team

Our senior team has over 90 years’ collective experience in technology, events and marketing across Times Higher Education, CASE, The Financial Times, Tes Global and independent events consultancy. This experience provides the perfect foundation for creating a new platform ready to meet the new challenges which universities must overcome to support their virtual recruitment and engagement efforts.

Emma Darwin

Co-Founder and CEO

Previously Times Higher Education’s Content Director and CASE Europe’s Head of Educational Programmes until establishing Assemble Events in 2019. Approaching a decade of delivering international events in higher education, Emma has become a true advocate for taking events beyond their face value. They inspire collaborations, build communities and can transfer knowledge across borders.

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Emma Dawin - Union Spaces
Chris Smith - Union Spaces

Chris Smith

Co-Founder and CTO

Chris has been developing world-class digital products for 15 years: first at Orange (now EE), then at the Financial Times, and most recently as Chief Product Officer at Times Higher Education, before taking a break from the office to be a full-time dad. If you’ve used a THE data product or institutional content subscription, read an article on the FT, or used an Orange Wednesdays cinema ticket (remember them?), then you’ve benefitted from his work already.

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Dan Skinner

Director of Design, Brand & UX

Dan has been designing digital products since the early days of the Web in the late 90s. He has led the design teams at the Financial Times and the Daily Mail as well as at companies ranging from online estate agencies to major charities. He has designed numerous award-winning websites and apps for phones, tablets, TVs, watches and cars.

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Dan Skinner - Union Spaces
Terra Schultz - Union Spaces

Terra Schultz

US Sales Director

With twenty years in leadership roles in sales and marketing within higher education, Terra is passionate about helping universities fulfill their mission. She’s spent the last year bringing her higher education street cred to the classroom while pursuing her Masters in Urban Higher Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

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Peter Sigrist

Head of Engagement

Peter has worked at the leading edge of brand and corporate communications for 20 years in fields as diverse as finance, technology, media, consumer brand and education. He was head of communications at Tes Global, responsible for engagement with teachers, school leaders, universities and governments in the UK and worldwide.

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Pete Sigrist - Union Spaces
Liz Appleyard-Hutchings, Marketing Manager

Liz Appleyard-Hutchings


Marketing Manager

Liz recently joined the Union Spaces team as Marketing Manager. She has 15 years marketing and events delivery and strategy experience in the local government, higher education and not-for-profit sectors. Liz attended university as a mature student and is a passionate advocate for access to higher education for everyone.

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Adam Zayee

Marketing Executive

Adam is a third-year media production student at Nottingham Trent University, balancing his studies with working in the marketing team at Union Spaces. Adam has developed his marketing skills through a previous internship at Global Savings Group, where he helped develop and launch ‘Pouch Points’ loyalty reward scheme.

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