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



WP Events for your diaries


6 July 2015: The Higher Education Journey of Young Londoners, Mary Sumner House, London, SW1P 3RB

The Higher Education Journey of Young Londoners’ – third annual report launch event

Aimed at: local authority 14 to 19, education and research officers; Higher Education Institutions; Further Education Institutions delivering HE.

London Councils with Continuum, the London Borough of Newham and the University of East London have been collaborating for the past three years to examine the Higher Education journey of young London residents. The launch of this third annual research report will highlight changes in participation, attainment and progression to the London labour market at London and local authority level. Information on the Home Counties is a new feature of this years report.

This report, and its predecessors, provides a developing picture of the different higher education journeys of young Londoners. The research aims to not only provide a commentary on such journeys, but also to evidence the value of higher education to young people in London in terms of their early graduate employment six months after completing their higher education studies. Local authority colleagues will receive a copy of their individual borough report at the launch event. A networking lunch will be available following the launch.

Further information:

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.

Further information:

To register:

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:

8th July 2015: Aimhigher: Advisers and Teachers Conference, 2015, University of Birmingham
The FREE regional conference for everyone involved in careers guidance, aspiration raising, social mobility and higher education. “Clear, down-to-earth, passionate and humorous”, “Very well organized”, “Lots of interaction, questions and answers”. “Really good day…I feel inspired!”
This year’s exciting conference includes: Deidre Hughes, OBE, UK Commissioner for Employment and Skills, National Careers Service West Midlands, UCAS; Student Loans Company; NHS Trusts; regional universities; Oxbridge representatives; Aimhigher’s Annual Awards and more!
Further information:

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:

13 July 2015: AUA-SPA Network: The Applicant Experience and Consumer Protection, King’s College London

We aim to bring together admissions and other staff involved in departmental administration, student recruitment as well as other related areas contributing to the applicant experience.  We will explore the implications of the CMA consumer protection advice to HE and share good practice in terms of implementation and the impact on the applicant experience.  Our agenda includes input from two legal experts from Eversheds in the area of consumer protection.

SPA would be pleased to hear from one or two HEPs attending the workshop as to how they have been addressing consumer protection issues at their institution with a particular emphasis on the applicant experience. If you are happy to share your experience please indicate on your booking form and we will be in touch.

Please use the booking form for this free event:

15 July 2015: Widening Participation in Student Mobility Programmes workshop, GO International, Rembrandt Hotel, SW7 2RS
The UK Strategy for Outward Mobility aims to increase the proportion of UK domiciled students that access international experience as part of their higher education. To support this, the International Unit’s Go International programme is organising a workshop for higher education practitioners on widening participation in student mobility programme. Attendees will discuss HE current policy context, hear examples of the progress individual institutions have made in increasing participation in mobility from underrepresented groups, and enable practitioners working in the field to explore new approaches to widening participation as well as discuss the challenges faced.
The event also aims to create a sector wide action plan to enable the sector to continue to increase participation in outward mobility programmes from underrepresented groups. Speakers include:
·       Professor Les Ebdon, Director of the Office for Fair Access
·       Bill Rammell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Bedfordshire
·       Fiona Waye, Senior Policy Lead, Equality and Diversity, Universities UK
·       Susan McGiffen, Director of Admissions and International Partnerships, Glasgow Caledonian University
·       Niru Williams, Academic Registrar, University of East London
·       Sharron Blumenthal, Senior Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University
·       Pauliina Keinanen, #DMUglobal Officer, De Montfort University
·       Raegan Hiles, Head of Programme – HEGlobal, UK HE International Unit
·       Anne Marie Graham, Head of Programme – Outward Student Mobility (Go International), UK HE International Unit
·       Leo Boe, Policy Researcher, Outward Student Mobility (Go International), UK HE International Unit
Recent HESA statistics confirm that UK HE students are accessing a range of outward mobility opportunities ranging from one week to a full academic year. Despite this, the proportion of the overall student population that goes overseas remains low, and the participation rate of certain student groups, such as those from low socioeconomic backgrounds is even lower.

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:

15th September: Supporting Student Mental Health & Wellbeing, London

This conference will examine the current state of student mental health provision in Higher Education and discuss how to best support students. We will focus on a joined-up approach to mental health and wellbeing and furthering the mental health and wellbeing agenda at all levels of your institution. Key issues to be covered:

A comprehensive approach to student mental health in your institution; HEIs’ responsibilities with regard to mental health and well-being; promoting the independence of students with mental health issues; working with other organisations to support students. Further information:

22 October 2015: Next steps for SEND: implementing the Code of Practice, broadening provision and improving outcomes from 0-25 years, central London

The focus for this conference will be the future for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) policy and follows the introduction of the new SEND Code of Practice in September 2014. Delegates will consider the impact of the Code of Practice and the range of new support available to families, including the ‘Local Offer’ and personal budgets. Interested parties will also reflect on how the reforms are working in practice, as well as implementation issues such as the transition from SEN statements to Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, which will provide wrap-around support up to the age of 25.
Further planned sessions examine wider issues related to support into adulthood, including measures to improve post-16 provision and widen access to further education, university and employment. Further information:

22nd October 2015: The future for Postgraduate Taught education: funding, choice and student experience, Westminster Higher Education Forum Keynote Seminar, central London

This conference comes as the HE sector prepares for the introduction of student loans for taught postgraduate students in 2016, and as those in receipt of HEFCE’s interim bursaries begin their programmes. The discussion is also timed to consider HEFCE’s forthcoming PGT Choices tool - due to be launched later this year; and will examine competition and choice in PGT provision, along with the potential of the PGT Choices tool to address this.

Further, areas for discussion include: Key factors influencing individuals’ choices about undertaking PGT study; Improving access to information for potential PGT students; Best practice in providing a high quality student experience for PGT students; and How careers services can best support PGT students into employment. Further information:

11th November 2015: Where next for Apprenticeships?, Westminster Employment Forum Keynote Seminar, Central London

This conference will discuss the future for Apprenticeships policy in England. It follows the recent commitment from the Government to create three million more Apprenticeships by 2020. Jennifer Coupland, Deputy Director and Head, Apprenticeships Unit, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department for Education and Ofqual will deliver keynote addresses at the conference and key areas for discussion include: Next steps for the Apprenticeship Trailblazer initiatives; Priorities for qualification design and ensuring quality; Improving employer engagement; The future funding arrangements for Apprenticeships – including discussion on the level of the employer contribution; and Careers advice – increasing awareness amongst young people of Apprenticeships as a career pathway and raising parity of esteem with higher education.

Further information:

17-19 November 2015: the AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition 2015, The ICC, Birmingham

This year’s theme is ‘Powering the Economy‘ because we believe colleges are at the heart of this country’s future, providing skills and opportunities in all sectors – what our students learn today, powers the economy of tomorrow. Bringing together the further education sector under one roof, the conference combines keynote speakers, plenary sessions and breakout sessions to inform and stimulate debate on the issues facing further education. Five reasons why you should attend this year’s Annual Conference and Exhibition:

Learn from national and international education and business experts

Network with peers and exhibitors

Question high-level politicians and policymakers

Share best practice with colleagues

Celebrate the achievements of colleges and students in our award

The AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition is now open for bookings,; the main website will be open from 13 July to find out more about the conference. Further information:

3 December 2015: The future for careers education, advice and guidance in England for schools and for adults, Westminster Employment Forum Keynote Seminar, central London

This conference will discuss the further steps that can be taken to improve careers advice and guidance in England, both within schools and for adults. Areas for discussion include:

  • Careers advice in schools - improving quality, face-to-face guidance and the role for school governance in raising standards;
  • Improving employer engagement - including a keynote address from The Careers and Enterprise Company
  • The future for the National Careers Service - with a keynote address from Joe Billington, Director of the National Careers Service, Skills Funding Agency;
  • Labour Market Information - latest trends and sharing best practice; and
  • Career development challenges for adults - helping people get back into work or progress in their career.

Further information:

27/28th April 2016: HE:  Transforming lives through life-wide learning, Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships at the Open University
Themes for this biennial widening participation conference include: Alternative routes into HE; Moving from access to widened success; Flexibility and technology; Employability; Shoe-horned and side-lined: The crisis facing mature part-time students.
Further information including the call for papers will be published on the conference web page: