The National Co-ordination Team for Widening Participation and Access to Higher Education



WP Events for your diaries


1 June 2015:  SPA Event: Supporting College HE Admissions, Maple House, Birmingham

This free event for the College HE Admissions Community will provide HE admissions practitioners in colleges with the opportunity to identify and discuss key issues, share good practice with colleagues and evaluate processes within their own colleges.

Participants will hear from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) about its recent advice on consumer protection in HE admissions and discuss meeting college responsibilities to HE applicants under consumer protection law. The afternoon will focus on improving the applicant experience into HE and build on the College HE Admissions Issue Review Plans which were compiled at last year’s event:

Further information:

2nd June at 12.30pm (BST): Student monitoring and information to enhance student retention and success, free 60-minute webinar
Student engagement in the curriculum and belonging to their academic programmes are crucial, preferably involving a mainstream and inclusive approach, but it does need to be underpinned by data: in particular knowing which students are not engaging, using a range of engagement indicators. The webinar will talk about the issues and demonstrate Starfish tools which provide institutions with a means to connect together different information and data sources, and to proactively follow-up and engage with students.

Further information:

9 June 2015: University of Leeds Teachers’ and Advisers’ conference 2015, The Strand Palace Hotel, London WC2R 0JJ

A free conference designed to provide those working in the post-16 sector with an update on developments at the University and key issues affecting students applying to higher education.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with academics, admissions tutors and widening participation/outreach staff. The conference will include sessions covering: Post-16 qualifications; A level reform; The graduate job market; Specialist admissions workshops covering some of the University’s most competitive courses including; Dentistry, Design and Law. Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS Chief Executive as our keynote speaker will provide delegates with an update from UCAS focusing on the changing trends in Higher Education applications and the future landscape for 2015 onwards, of interest to Heads of Sixth Form, Sixth Form/FE Tutors, Careers/Higher Education Advisors.

To register your interest in this London conference, please email Sarah Stephenson at or phone 0113 343 4072, providing your full name, job title, organisation and contact details (email, postal and telephone). To view the full conference programme:

10 June 2015: Peer Education, University of Manchester

Peer Education has seen significant growth in the UK with many innovative models of practice using higher year students to support the development of lower year students. Following the Peer Led Academic Learning event in November the University of Manchester is delighted to be hosting an event exploring the variety of Peer Education (including pastoral and academic support models).

The programme for the day (attached) will provide an opportunity to hear from a number of practitioners as well as allowing time for discussion and consideration for how we can continue to work together and develop our peer education models. There is a small fee of £75 to attend the event. Places will be limited and will go on a first come, first served basis with the last day for registration being Wednesday 20th May. Further information:

10 June 2015, 9.00 to 1.30: Unite Students Insight Report, Goodenough College, Mecklenberg Square, London

Wonkhe in association with Unite Students is offering this morning of data, debate, discussion to mark the launch of the Unite Students Insight Report, and help to interpret this data  and further debate on key issues affecting the sector. Further information:

11 June 2015: Helping student carers access and succeed in Higher Education
York St john University

Carers Trust and The National Network of Universities have developed the resource ‘Supporting students with caring responsibilities: Ideas and practice for universities to help student carers access and succeed in Higher Education’.

Drawing on this resource, this event will highlight the challenges that student carers face and provide practical examples of what you can do to support them through the student lifecycle – from outreach, through to applications and admissions and student support.

Carers Trust, in partnership with York St. John University and The National Network of Universities Supporting Young Adult Carers, have orghanised this event, ‘Helping student carers access and succeed in Higher Education’

There are approximately 375,000 young adult carers in the UK aged 14-25, who are providing unpaid support and assistance to family and friends who have an illness or disability, mental health condition or who misuse drugs or alcohol. For a young person who has caring responsibilities, trying to transition to, through and beyond university, can be extremely challenging and for some a barrier.

Young adult carers will also be there to discuss first-hand their experiences and what changes they would like to see.

Further information:

22-23 June 2015: ‘Does data matter? Can evidence improve practice?’, NEON 2015 Summer Symposium, University of Sussex

The conference will consider a number of questions round the application of research and data and welcome papers/workshops which focus on this topic –

There will be roundtable discussions as well as you having the opportunity to network with other colleagues, share practice and participate in a range of workshops. Keynote speakers will include: Bill Rammell, Professor Clare Mackie, Dr Claire Crawford, Sarah Howls, Helen Thorne. Further information:

23 June 2015: Challenges and opportunities for increasing outward student mobility, Central London

Guests of Honour: Anne Marie Graham, Head of Programme, Outward Student Mobility, UK HE International Unit; Brian Johnson, Head of International Higher Education, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Rebecca Hughes, Director of International Higher Education, British Council

As the final stages of the UK strategy for Outward Mobility are implemented, delegates at this seminar will consider the progress of the strategy so far, along with the future priorities and funding options following the end of the programme in 2016. The seminar also comes a year into the new Erasmus+ programme and will evaluate its performance as well as the key priorities that should be addressed for the next five years.

At this early stage planned sessions focus on the effectiveness of the strategy in promoting student and institutional engagement with outward mobility, and the potential for a joined up approach. Delegates will discuss how to address obstacles – including financial barriers, particularly for those targeted by initiatives to widen participation – as well as how to encourage students outside of modern foreign language courses to consider international placements, including outside of the EU. Further information:

24 June 2015: Supporting Care Leaver Well-being: Practical solutions for education and training professionals, Kent

This conference, organised by the Care Leaver Progression Partnership, offers an opportunity to gain a fresh insight into supporting the mental health and well-being needs of young people in care and care leavers, alongside practical solutions and tools to apply in everyday practice. The event is aimed at education and training professionals, as well as the wider support network.

The event will be chaired by the Earl of Listowel, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Looked after Children and Care Leavers. Delegates will have a chance to hear from a range of national and local leaders, learn more about changes being planned by central government through the Young People’s Mental Health and Well-being Taskforce, and consider the implications of new research from the NSPCC. There will also be an opportunity to hear from young care leavers themselves.

Delegates will also be able to choose from a selection of workshops, offering insight and creative solutions from a range of professional perspectives, including frontline social care, therapeutic practitioners, Virtual Schools and voluntary sector organisations. Further information:

24 June 2015: AoC College HE Research and Scholarship Conference, London

The first national AoC Conference on College HE Research and Scholarship will showcase the work already done by college HE practitioners and students, present and discuss emerging models of scholarship and how AoC is supporting change through the HEFCE Catalyst Fund. The conference will give you the opportunity to; Discover how colleges are using scholarship policies and practices that you can implement at your college; Find out how AoC are supporting this new journey / sector change; Gain knowledge from an international context and what colleges are doing elsewhere; Hear from key agencies who are leading on co-learning approach.

Call for Abstracts. We welcome contributions and abstracts in the form of papers, posters or workshop sessions. For further information and to submit an abstract please visit The deadline for submissions is Friday 22 May.

25 June 2015: International approaches to preparing WP students for HE study, OU Online Seminar

The Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships at the Open University series of seminars relating to Widening Participation. For further details, booking a place or to discuss speaking at one of these events, please contact:<>

1st – 3rd July 2015: FACE 2015 Annual Conference, University of South Wales, Treforest campus.

Closing the Gap” will be a platform for academics, trainers, practitioners and students to participate in plenary sessions and workshops, giving extensive opportunities to network with like-minded colleagues in a friendly and professional environment. The five conference themes are:

  • Crossing boundaries through partnership working.
  • Routes out of poverty through lifelong learning.
  • Learning journeys and careers.
  • Lifelong learning for local, regional and national developments.
  • Part-time and full-time learning.

Keynote speakers include: Dr John Butcher from the Open University,  Dr Cerys Furlong from The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), Nick Davy from the Association of Colleges,  Sarah Howls from the HEFCE, Neil Surman from the Welsh Government.

The conference also has a social programme, including a Welsh folk and cultural evening – and a visit to the National Museum of Wales in the heart of Cardiff’s Civic Centre. We welcome further enquiries from colleagues who are interested in attending either as delegates, or as facilitators of papers, posters, and workshops. Extended Deadlines: With 60% of delegate places for this year’s conference already booked, and the conference already attracting a large number of excellent abstract papers, the 2015 Planning Team have decided to extend the published deadlines for Abstract Submission to 6th May 2015. And the Early Bird Discount Fee extended to 6th May 2015. Further information and to register:  Or contact 00 44 1443 482002. Email: or

7 July 2015: Improving Outcomes for Young Care Leavers, central London

The Care Leaver Strategy (October 2013) sets out the steps the Government is taking – from housing to health services, from the justice system to educational institutions – to support care leavers to live independently once they have left their placement. This Public Policy Exchange symposium offers an invaluable opportunity for local authorities, children’s services, social/health services and other key stakeholders to discuss the Government’s latest policy initiatives and analyse their impact on young people leaving care. The symposium will examine how support can be better provided to care leavers in order to maximise their educational attainment and employment opportunities. Further information:

7 July 2015: The Wider benefits of lifelong learning: The way forward in the current political climate, UALL Conference, London:
The argument lifelong learning has seldom been more urgent in modern times but recent policies have militated against universities, colleges or students making further study a reality.
This conference will give participants the opportunity to: consider the wider social and economic benefits of lifelong learning; review recent policies and their effects; analyse and assess the new Government’s statements; develop a ‘Manifesto for Lifelong Learning’ to inform future policies
Keynote speaker: Professor Sir Peter Scott, UCL Institute of Education and a variety of workshops will explore recent policies and develop ideas for the future to provide the basis for a ‘Manifesto for ‘Lifelong Learning’
Further information:

8th July 2015: ‘Where can we find solutions to break the link between household income and admission to the UK’s highly selective universities?, King’s College, London

Event by the Brilliant Club annual conference, in conjunction with King’s College London. Lessons from the UK education sector, university and school practice internationally, and industries beyond education. For anyone with an interest promoting fair access to higher education. More information will be available soon or contact:

8 July 2015: First in Family, OU, Milton Keynes

The Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships at the Open University series of seminars relating to Widening Participation. For further details, booking a place or to discuss speaking at one of these events, please contact:

8-10 July 2015: AMOSSHE, annual conference ‘All Change’, Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel

AMOSSHE, the UK Student Services Organisation, is hosting its annual conference from 8 to 10 July 2015 in Newcastle, England. The conference is the largest annual gathering of Student Services professionals in the UK, and this year the theme is ALL CHANGE: exploring how Student Services can lead and inspire positive change for the benefit of students, staff and the wider community. ALL CHANGE features a full programme of practical workshops and presentations led by AMOSSHE members and other organisations in the higher education sector, covering all aspects of student support and wellbeing. There will also be inspiring keynote speakers, networking and social events. Further information:

20-24 July 2015: ‘Working for disability equality in Higher Education – the global
perspective’, NADP International Conference,

The conference will provide a global perspective, focusing on disabled student support from pre-entry to University or College and onto successful transition into employment. Support systems and services around the world are often recognised as being of a high quality, however, there is still much to learn and develop.

The programme is now available on the NADP website together with session descriptions for workshops. Speakers from 10 countries will be contributing to the conference programme across a range of themes – Inclusive Practice and Universal Design for Learning; Service Development and Support Strategies; Transition and Employability; Technology and Disability Specific topics.

This conference will enable delegates from the global community to come together and share knowledge, practical skills and good practice in the provision of support for disabled students. Keynote speakers include: Scott Lissner (Chair of AHEAD), Ann Heelan (AHEAD Ireland) and Nicole Ofiesh (Independent Learning Consultant and Stanford University). NADP wishes to invite submissions for workshop presentations based on the conference theme from any interested parties. Further information:



Access to Higher Education Summit, 23 October 2012
Access to Higher Education Summit, 28 November 2011