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



WP Events for your diaries

27 November 2014: Fourth Access to HE Summit: Building the Access and WP Consensus, Woburn conference centre, London

Action on Access and Universities UK’s fourth Access to HE Summit takes a focused look at establishing Consensus and working Collaboratively.

‘Consensus’ means a ‘general or widespread agreement’ and ‘an opinion or position reached by a group as a whole’. Synonyms include: agreement, like-mindedness, common consent, unity, unanimity, solidarity. Are our views and does our work show a true consensus and display the ‘more coherent, collaborative and coordinated approach’ asked of us by the OFFA-HEFCE National Strategy document?

Speakers from OFFA, HEFCE, UUK, the NUS, Grant Thorton, Net Natives and Continuum at UEL; and expert-led, practice-focused discussion workshops led by colleagues from Universities UK, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, HELOA, and the HEFCE including policy and research experts on themes such as building evidence for a sustainable and fair funding regimes; collaborative and sustainable outreach networks; building the evidence base in data research and use; the role of HE in the delivery of Information Advice and Guidance; and college and HEI relationships with a focus on part-time study – all exploring consensual and collaborative approaches in HE’s contribution to increasing social mobility.

Nicola Dandridge (Chief Executive UUK) and Professor John Storan (Director Research Centre for Widening Participation Policy Studies at the University of East London, and Action on Access) are jointly chairing the Summit, which will ask the questions and stimulate the debate on how we can all, together, build this consensus; underpinned – if not by unanimity – then by unity, comment consent and solidarity. Only a few places left:

26 November, Student Engagement Partnership regional event, Birmingham City University Students’ Union

The Student Engagement Partnership regional event to explore how higher education institutions engage with students.

27th November 2014: Innovative approaches to curriculum design and delivery in Higher Education, Westminster Higher Education Forum Keynote Seminar, central London

This conference focuses on innovative approaches to curriculum design and delivery in Higher Education. Areas for discussion include: the latest thinking on curriculum development and implementation; incorporating developments in technology into teaching and learning – and the impact on campus and infrastructure development; creating more flexible learning hours – and resources to accommodate part-time students and mature students; engaging with employers in course design – and increasing the number of in-course work-based learning opportunities; greater use of student feedback for course design – and reacting to student expectations; and challenges posed by curriculum re-design - particularly the effects on student assessment and pedagogy.

Speakers include: Professor Ron Barnett, Lead Consultant, Flexible pedagogies: preparing for the future, Higher Education Academy and Emeritus Professor of Higher Education. The seminar follows the HEA report on Flexible pedagogies: preparing for the future - and includes a keynote presentation from the project’s lead consultant, Professor Ron Barnett. This event is CPD certified. Further information:

27 November 2014: Fourth Access to HE Summit: Building the Access and WP Consensus, Woburn conference centre, London

Action on Access and Universities UK’s fourth Access to HE Summit takes a focused look at establishing Consensus and working Collaboratively. Speakers include: Nicola Dandridge, Les Ebdon, Madeleine Atkins, Bill Rammell, Megan Dunn and Norman Pickavance, Grant Thornton UK LLP, John Storan Continuum at UEL and Action on Access.

Workshops include: Building evidence towards a fair funding solution; Building the evidence-base for widening participation; Collaboration, outreach and partnership through National Network for Collaborative Outreach; Coherent, cross-sector Information Advice and Guidance and the HE role; Part time college HE: trends and institutional responses

27 November, Student Engagement Partnership regional event, London, NUS Macadam House

The Student Engagement Partnership regional event to explore how higher education institutions engage with students.

2 December, Student Engagement Partnership regional event, London, NUS Macadam House

The Student Engagement Partnership regional event to explore how higher education institutions engage with students.

3 December, 2014: Developing young people’s skills: vocational education, partnerships and modern apprenticeships, Scotland Policy Conferences Keynote Seminar, central Edinburgh

The agenda focuses specifically on issues in Scotland, and focuses on next steps for preparing Scotland’s young people for the work place but the content might still be of interest to you or others in your organisation.

The agenda is being structured to bring out latest thinking on the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce final report and the £12million funding announcement from The Scottish Government to take forward its recommendations on tackling youth unemployment. Delegates will consider the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations, as well as what more can be done to fulfil the Scottish Government’s ‘Opportunities for All’ commitment.

This event is CPD certified. Further information:

4 December 2014: Successful students: enhancing employability through enterprise education, Cardiff

Professor Andy Penaluna, who will deliver the keynote, is Professor of Creative Entrepreneurship at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He is a leading international expert on entrepreneurial education and currently a Visiting Professor at University of Leeds and Distinguished Visiting Professor at American University in Cairo.

As well as attending the keynote, delegates are able to tailor the rest of the day to their specific CPD requirements by choosing to attend two from a selection of five workshops including: improving employability through developing digital literacy; managing the transition into employment; communities enhancing the learner experience.  Further information:

4 December 2014: Postgraduate Research – funding, accessibility and career progression,

Westminster Higher Education Forum Keynote Seminar, central London

This CPD certified event, chaired by Dr Julian Huppert MP, Member, All-Party Parliamentary University Group will assess the future for policy relating to postgraduate research – focusing on funding and access, development of research skills during PGR study and progression into careers.

Areas for discussion include: access to postgraduate research courses including the current funding streams available and how institutions can increase the number of researchers from disadvantaged backgrounds; available training and support for researchers in their early careers and typical destinations; and wider developments including the impact of the Research Excellence Framework on early career researchers.

Further information:

9 December 2014: Inspiring future generations: embracing plurality and difference in higher education, Newer Researchers Conference, Newport, Wales, UK

Invitation to participate and a call for Abstracts. Submission deadline: Friday 11th July 2014
The SRHE Newer Researchers’ Conference provides a unique space for newer researchers in higher education to share and discuss their on-going work with peers in the international higher education research community in a stimulating but supportive environment. This year, echoing the theme of the SRHE Annual Research Conference, we invite you to contribute to the critical discussion around Inspiring future generations; embracing plurality and difference in higher education from the perspective of the Newer Researcher. This will involve exploring patterns of plurality and difference in and across higher education and asking how these are influencing those who study and work in the sector. This Conference provides the opportunity to present your own work whilst learning more about topics other newer researchers in higher education are exploring from a wide range of perspectives. As part of our commitment to promoting the development of higher education research and researchers, we welcome papers or posters reporting on on going research as well as pilot or completed studies and work of a conceptual, theoretical or empirical nature. All submissions are peer-reviewed, resulting in a broad range of high quality presentations.
Please see the link below for further details about the conference theme and how to submit your abstract for a paper, poster or symposium. We look forward to welcoming you to Celtic Manor for what we know will be another stimulating and inspiring Conference.
Further information:

10 December 2014: A New Deal for Students,

This one day conference will showcase expert best practice case studies and furnish you with the knowledge to help develop the student experience offering of your institution: Map out the fast changing landscape for the student experience; Look at the active student partnership; Hear from alternative models of higher education; Hear what students and employers are looking for from Higher Education; Look at the elements of personal development, professional development and employability; Learn how to grasp opportunities from data and research to make continuous improvements; Develop strategies for improving student academic satisfaction; Understand the challenge of alternative student HE experiences and differentiation in FE and Part time options; Understand new choices, a new deal for developing partnership between students and their academics and institutions.

Speakers include: Stephen Isherwood, Director, Association of Graduate Recruiters, Professor Stuart Brand, Director of Learning and Teaching, Birmingham City University; Professor David Boughey, Associate Professor in International Business History, Director of Student Engagement, University of Exeter Business; Andrew Crisp, Director and co-founder, CarringtonCrisp. Further information:

16 December 2014: Second annual National Network for the Education of Care Leavers conference, De Montfort University, Leicester

The programme for this free event is still in the planning stages.

14- 16th January 2015, Celebrating and Exploring Self-Improvement, North of England Education Conference, Manchester

In its 111th year the North of England Education Conference (NEEC) – the UK’s leading annual education conference – is heading home to Manchester. It will focus on celebrating and exploring self-improvement through the key themes of Innovation, Sustainability and Employability. The conference will showcase best practice, innovation and research in education. It will promote self-improvement from the perspectives of the individual pupil, the educator, the institution and the system as a whole; and it will link education to positive life chances and the employability of young people. Further information:<

24 February 2015: The Future for undergraduate and postgraduate taught tuition fees,

Central London

With Higher Education funding expected to be a major point of debate at the coming General Election, this seminar will be a timely opportunity to bring together key policymakers and stakeholders to discuss the future of arrangements for tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses in England. It will be informed by the recent outcomes of the House of Commons BIS Select Committee Report into student loans which called for Government to urgently review the student loans system.

Further information:

25-27 February, 2015: The Social Dimension in European Higher Education, Vienna

The conference aims at creating a discursive forum for peer learning in the field of the social dimension, fostering interchange between 3 spheres – researchers, policy makers and practitioners who will share and exchange their experiences and knowledge, in order to create a fruitful mutual learning environment. Expected 500 participants from various countries within the Bologna area.

Two of the main data providers on the socio-economic situation of students, will present their most recent results: EUROSTUDENT a Synopsis of indicators, comprising results from the fifth round of the project with comparisons of student data from 30 EHEA countries; PL4SD the enhanced database of measures as well as results from 3 PL4SD Country Reviews. Our conference is the ideal place to make efforts for the improvement of the social dimension visible in a broader European context.

Please find our call for contributions, including present measures and activities you undertake to improve the social situation of students, so others can learn and benefit from your experience and knowledge as you may from theirs. Please submit an abstract of around 500 words to until September 15, 2014 presenting your contribution and the relevance of the topic to the conference.

Further information:

5 March 2015: Women in the workplace – next steps for policy and best practice, London

This timely conference will examine the further action that can be taken – including options for policy in the next Parliament – to maximise women’s contribution to the economy, and to further improve gender equality in the workplace. Delegates will also consider the impact of key reforms including flexible working and the introduction of shared parental leave, and possible future developments. Further areas for discussion include careers education, particularly how best to increase female participation in apprenticeships and STEM subjects, and steps that can be taken to increase the number of women in senior positions and on company boards.

Key speakers include: Jo Swinson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women and Equalities; and Sharron Pamplin, HR Director, UK & Europe, Atkins; Sally Brett, Senior Equality Policy Officer, TUC; Gillian Howard, Employment Lawyer; Carole Kitching, Principal, Newcastle College and Professor Simonetta Manfredi, Director, Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice, Oxford Brookes University. Further information:

5th March 2015: Tackling student welfare issues and improving student retention, Westminster Higher Education Forum, Central London

Delegates at this seminar will discuss ways that universities can tackle student non-continuation rates, focusing particularly on tackling welfare issues. It follows the release of the HEFCE and OFFA joint National Strategy for Access and Student Success, which called for universities to increase their focus on retention as part of a move towards support throughout the ‘whole student lifecycle’. This event is CPD certified.

Professor Les Ebdon, Director, Office for Fair Access; Mark Fiander, Strategy and Innovation Director, Money Advice Service and Colum McGuire, Vice President, Welfare, NUS have agreed to deliver keynote addresses at this seminar. Further information:

21 May 2015: Developing the higher level vocational education system and the next steps for Higher Apprenticeships, London

This conference will provide a timely opportunity to discuss the future for higher level vocational education in England. It follows the Government’s call for engagement in the creation of elite National Colleges, intended to help the development of high level technical skills in those industries or sectors where there is an identified skills gap. Delegates will examine key challenges for creating these colleges and the steps that can be taken to encourage further engagement from employers in the development of their workforce’s skills. Further sessions will assess the future for Higher Apprenticeships and the role that universities can play in the delivery of higher level vocational education, including the lessons that have been learnt from the UK Commission for Employment and Skill’s report Forging Futures.

Keynote speakers include: Professor John Coyne, Vice-Chancellor, University of Derby and Commissioner, UK Commission for Employment and Skills; Neil Bates, Group Chief Executive Officer and Principal, Prospects College of Advanced Technology and Peter Seddon, Senior Policy Adviser, Knowledge Exchange & Skills Policy, and Helen Thorne, Director of Policy and Research, UCAS. Further information:

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

The 22nd FCE Annual Conference provides a platform for its members, non-members and students to participate in plenary sessions and workshops, with an opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues in a friendly and professional environment. An important role for FACE is to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information and practices in Lifelong Learning and Continuing Education. By promoting collaboration and innovation between providers and practitioners FACE aims to support and encourage a socially inclusive framework for Lifelong Learning, challenging exclusion and fostering full participation. Conference themes include: Crossing boundaries through partnership working; Routes out of poverty through lifelong learning; Learning journeys and careers; Lifelong learning for local, regional and national developments; and Part-time and full-time learning.

The University of South Wales (USW) is a leading provider and proponent of Widening Access and Lifelong Learning opportunities in Wale, formed in 2013 by the merger of the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport and now has 33,000 full and part-time students.  This includes 6141 enrolments within FE colleges in England and Wales – one of which (Merthyr College) is integrated within the University.
Further information:

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

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.  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. To submit an abstract for consideration, please complete the submission form attached to this email and return to no later than Friday 30th October 2014
Further information:




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