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


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go to site 27-28 March 2018, Boundaries in student tutoring and support: working together to enhance student wellbeing, UK Advising and Tutoring – Conference 2018, University of Derby, United Kingdom
The conference will focus specifically on partnership working across student support systems and the impact that this working can have on the student experience. The conference aims to explore new research, innovative practice, and contemporary discussion on student support through advising and tutoring.
Keynote Speakers* include: Brett McFarlane, Ed.D., Board of Directors Member at NACADA (National Academic Advising Association) and Executive Director of Academic Advising
at University of California Davis; Sam Grogan, Ph.D.,* Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience, University of Salford, Principal Fellow of the HEA and Director of the University
Alliance Teaching Excellence Alliance.
Further information:
5 April 2018: Supporting the Transition to Higher Study,
Access to HE Conference 2018, Royal Berkshire Conference Centre, Reading

Our keynote speaker is Janet Ryland, Head of Technical Education (Funding and Programmes: apprenticeships and adults) at the Education and Skills Funding Agency. The event will challenge participants to consider how Access to HE Diplomas can continue to: support adults transitioning to higher study as changes to technical education are introduced; address the skills agenda; manage greater use of technology in pedagogy; manage funding changes.

Workshops on: addressing barriers to higher study; developing independent study through technology – distance learning and social media; developing aspiration – overcoming barriers to lifelong learning; evaluating success – making use of data effectively to inform enhancement. By running the event during the Easter break we hope to maximise attendance from Access to HE course tutors as well as giving everyone the opportunity to consider how they can build new ideas into the new teaching year.

Further information: 6 April 2018: Peer Assisted Learning (PAL): What works and what does not, SEDA conference, Woburn House, London

Peer Assisted Learning has gained widespread deployment in the UK and globally over the past 30 years. It can take the form of student led mentoring, teaching or pastoral support. The schemes can be managed by fully embedded University units or by ‘local’ initiatives delivered at Faculty/School/Department or even programme level. Surveys and reports acknowledge the benefits of PAL to students who participate as leaders or as recipients. However, they also indicate significant challenges both in terms of support from senior management, buy-in from academics and uptake from the students themselves. The aim of this SEDA one-day event is to share experience and practice, both positive and negative, and in particular to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of PAL schemes. Our aim will be to consider what works and what really does not. The guest speakers represent the diverse delivery pattern sketched above and have had very different experiences of offering PAL.

The day is aimed at people who have a particular PAL issues they are trying to resolve, or for people who have a successful system and who want to share the secrets of their success. It is for anyone who is trying to start a scheme, breathe new life into a failing scheme or just contemplate the maintenance of a healthy scheme. Anyone involved in, or interested in, PAL schemes is encouraged to join the discussion about what works and what does not. Further information:


follow 23 April 2018, ‘Credit transfer and social mobility’, SEEC seminar Friends House, Euston Road, London

SEEC’s next event programme will include presentations on the post-18 HE review in the context of social mobility, the impact of credit on student mobility, opportunities for social mobility through lifelong learning, and progression agreements.

Further information:


can you take ciprofloxacin for kidney infection 24 April 2018:Partnerships for Change, Causeway Education Inaugural conference, London

Partnerships – between schools, universities, and the third sector – are becoming increasingly important to successful widening participation in higher education and to making a real difference to young people’s lives.  The conference will focus on one central question: how can universities, schools and third sector organisations work together to ensure the best outcomes for students and their teachers?

The day will include keynote speeches from Professor Lord Winston; MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis; Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students, and Natalie Perera, Causeway Education Trustee and Head of Research at the Education Policy Institute, who will be chairing the panel discussion on “Working in partnership in the field”: panellists include: Anand Shukla (The Brightside Trust), Femi Bola (MBE FRSA), Sarah Young (Impetus PEF), Simon Pedley (Ormiston Academies Trust) , Nikki Lane (East Coast College, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft).

Participatory workshops: Effective teacher CPD for widening participation to higher education; E-mentoring for widening participation to higher education; School partnerships and the challenge of attainment raising; Making the link from school to higher education, with contributions from Doug Jennings (University of Bristol), Hannah McAuley (Ark Academies), Sue Wisbey (Allen & Overy) and Samantha Dangerfield (Causeway Education).

Tickets are free but registration is necessary. Places are limited so we encourage you to register to secure your place as soon as possible. Further information:


source 26 and 27 April 2018: ‘Is widening participation enough?’, 5th Open University Widening Participation conference, Hilton Hotel, Kents Hill Park, Milton Keynes source site

Academic and innovative practice papers invited on the following five themes: Digital inclusion; Progression – the social mobility conundrum and access to postgraduate studies; Skills gaps; Widening participation through informal learning and the recognition of prior learning; Ethical dilemmas of targeting widening participation students – policy and practice. source

Further information: 30 April 2018: price of amoxicillin per pill Supporting BTEC Students’ Success Symposium, Brunel University

Over the past few years, the success of students with non-traditional entry qualifications at university has been at the forefront of research and interventions on transition.

This symposium aims to bring together university, college and school staff to share collaborative approaches to transition support that are being piloted in response to the increasingly diverse student body entering higher education.

The symposium will be of interest to:

  • Staff working in the field of transition, success and progression in HE
  • Academic staff working with students holding a BTEC qualification
  • Staff working in widening participation and outreach
  • Staff from Further Education colleges and schools interested in bridging transition into higher education for their students

Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis and there is limited availability.

Further information:


watch 3 May 2018: How can Higher Education providers ensure we are offering students a
‘value for money’ experience?,
Student Experience Conference 2018: University of Derby
The conference will be centred around the theme of ‘value for money’. The HEA’s Student Academic Experience Survey (Neves and Hillman, 2016) shows that student perception of receiving a value for money experience has decreased year-on-year since the tuition fee increase in 2012. This conference invites delegates to share best practice and experiences in
understanding and providing a ‘value for money’ student experience.
There will be two keynote sessions in the day – one to be delivered by Professor Liz Thomas, of Liz Thomas Associates and the other to be delivered by students from the University of Derby.
We welcome submissions based on the following themes: Student Voice; Employability; Student Engagement. This conference has been developed with students and to continue the ethos of students as partners we ask that all presentations are co-delivered (or exclusively delivered) by students. Submissions will need to be sent to: by 14 March 2018. We welcome submissions from students or staff in Higher Education, as well as partnership organisations. If your proposal is accepted, you must register as a conference
delegate (cost of £50 per delegate) – registration details will be
circulated in March. Further information:

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9 May 2018: HEA Surveys Conference 2018, Cloth Hall Court, Leeds,

The insight from student surveys, metrics and other research enables us to get closer to the student experience and understand their needs. Doing so provides a valuable opportunity to evaluate the student experience, our assumptions, and our provision, as well as helping to engage staff. However, the real value of surveys, metrics and research findings depend upon the extent to which they are used to shine a light on issues affecting the sector, inform decisions, and drive enhancement at the institutional and sector-wide levels.

Within a highly competitive, student-driven sector, institutions face the challenge of enhancing excellence within teaching, supporting student engagement and measuring student satisfaction. HEA Surveys Conferences provide an opportunity to discuss and debate the potential of insight from surveys, metrics, qualitative research and wider methods of capturing the student voice for driving excellence and enhancement within higher education. The conferences also facilitate a forum in which to move the debate on to the specific issues that are being tackled, and discuss how surveys are helping to solve them.

Each HEA Surveys conference showcases how surveys are making a difference, and facilitates the sharing of innovative practice between professionals across the sector, both in measuring but also addressing the key issues affecting the student experience.

Further information:


17 May 2018: Next steps for tackling the London skills gap – training and guidance, funding and the Mayor’s skills strategy, Policy Forum for London Keynote Seminar, Central London

This seminar will consider the future for skills policy in London – looking at priorities and next steps for the Mayor’sSkills for Londoners agenda, which aims to develop a city-wide strategic approach to skills policy, as well as its long-term implications for the capital’s economy. Issues also include the challenges for skills policy in light of the UK’s departure from the European Union, as well as the steps that can be taken to tackle skill shortages - although the primary focus will be policy in London.

Overall, areas for discussion include: Findings from the Skills for Londoners Taskforce; Aligning skills provision with the needs of London’s economy; Developing London’s post-16 educational offering; Preparing for Brexit; Supporting Londoners to progress in-work.

Speakers include: Anthony Impey, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Optimity and Member, Skills for Londoners Taskforce; Marilyn Hawkins, Associate FE Commissioner, Department for Education and Member, Skills for Londoners Taskforce; Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Executive Member, City Development, London Councils; Emily Chapman, National Union of Students; Joe Dromey, IPPR; Janette Welton-Pai, Construction Industry Training Board; Sarah Sturrock, South London Partnership and Jill Whittaker, HIT Training.

Further information:


17 May 2018: Creative Approaches to Lifelong Learning, Universities’ Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL), University of Liverpool London campus
Engaging and supporting mature, part-time and widening participation learners in higher education. The conference will focus on the journey of part time, mature and widening participation learners, from outreach initiatives through to graduate prospects.  We will share creative ideas, experiences and good practice around the main conference themes of Engagement & Recruitment; Support & Retention and Achievement & Progression.
Full details will be available in due course.  To register your interest and automatically receive updates about the conference, please leave your contact information here:


17 May 2018, Graduate Employability and skills: designing and implementing your Institutional Strategy, Universities UK, Woburn House, London
National one-day conference discussing the policy landscape surrounding graduate employability and skills, and the wider skills agenda. The day will be a chance to examine the impact of policy developments on your institution and to discuss your strategy with policy makers, influencers and colleagues across the sector.​

Our understanding of employability and skills is pivotal to successful higher education delivery. With the LEO dataset released in June 2017, universities have made use of this information to target their efforts to where they’re most needed.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the Higher Education and Research Act also throw a spotlight on employability and skills, as universities will be judged on the graduate outcomes of their students and the impact they have on their local and the national economy.

All this in the context of the governments industrial strategy means employability and skills is at the forefront of the agenda. Further information:


4 June 2018: Next steps for transgender equality - inclusion, rights and services, Westminster Social Policy Forum Keynote Seminar, central London

This timely seminar will consider policy priorities for transgender equality. Sessions will focus on key issues for transgender equality in education, employment and other settings, as well as transgender coverage and representation in the media.

Speakers include: James Palmer, Medical Director for Specialised Services, NHS England; Ben Wilson, Executive Director, Equalities and Human Rights Commission and Megan Key, Equalities Manager, National Probation Service;

Helen Belcher, Trans Media Watch; Dr Polly Carmichael, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Jane Hamlin, Beaumont Society; Mark Landon, Weightmans and Julia Neal, National Education Union. Chair:  Baroness Barker, Liberal Democrat Lords LGBT Spokesperson. Further information:


12 June 2018, Improving student retention, Universities UK, Woburn House, London

This one-day conference will give delegates a full understanding of the policy landscape surrounding retention, as well as the knowledge you need to approach the challenge of student retention in your own institution.​ Delegates with strategic responsibility for student retention will hear from policy makers, experts in retention, and a range of best practice case studies.​

The focus on student retention has been sharpened over the last 18 months by the changes to the higher education landscape. The removal of student number caps, the discussion around the metrics that will feed into the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the changes to the architecture of the sector has brought student retention to the top of institutions’ agendas. Further information:


3-5 July 2018: Teaching in the Spotlight: Learning from global communities, HEA annual conference, Birmingham

Following last year’s highly successful conference, which which welcomed over 800 delegates across 400 sessions,

3-5 July 2018: Teaching in the Spotlight: Learning from global communities, HEA annual conference, Birmingham

Following last year’s highly successful conference, which which welcomed over 800 delegates across 400 sessions,

Taking place on in Birmingham the focus this year is putting teaching in a global context, sharing best practice and innovation to benefit the student learning experience around the world. The conference is split into five strands over three days:

Day One: Arts and Humanities, Health and Social Care

Day Two: Sector priorities

Day Three: STEM, Social Sciences

The call for papers is open for this year’s annual conference.

Further Information:


4-6 July 2018: FACE conference 2018: Transformative Impact, University of Worcester

The main theme of the 2018 FACE conference is Transformative Impact. The conference will explore the following: Innovation in community approaches to widening participation activity; Universal approaches to learning and Teaching – challenging approaches to traditional practices; Learning partnership, the personalisation of the post compulsory learning journey; Students as specialists – Peer to peer student support, how are students facilitating new models of learning; and Beyond HE- how graduates take the inclusive aspects of learning into the world of work and their communities. Proposals accepted to 6 April 2018.

Further information:


17 July 2018: Equality of Opportunity through Arts Education The Second Widening Participation in the Arts Conference, University of Brighton

The second Into the Arts conference provides a valuable space to develop discussion about widening participation in the creative education sector. The conference provides a national platform for school, college and university teachers and researchers, community stakeholders and creative industry professionals to explore the relationship between the Arts and Education today. Aims of the conference: – Encourage practical and scholarly discussion of new methods and techniques to promote diversity, equality and inclusivity in arts education – Identify ways of increasing access and retention in FE and HE – Enhance the ways in which the arts can celebrate diversity, inclusivity and equality. – Advance understanding and promotion of the role of arts contribute to a n­ourishing and vibrant culture, society and economy. The conference organisers are currently looking for a diverse range of contributions that further explore the impact and direction for Widening Participation in Art and Design Education and the impact this has beyond education. Selected papers, testimonials and manifestoes will be published on the University conference website.

Further information: from Sarah Lord Soares, Community21 Project Manager, School of Architecture and Design, University of Brighton


5-7 September 2018: Working better together: collaborations in student engagement, Sheffield Hallam University

The annual conference for Researching, Advancing & Inspiring Student Engagement (RAISE).

The major theme of this conference is celebrating our collaborative approaches to student engagement. That might refer to how students and staff work together in partnership, how institutions work with colleagues beyond their institutions on shared student engagement projects and initiatives, and/or how we work with partner organisations to explore new opportunities and dimensions to student engagement. We look forward to hearing about a variety of ideas, practices, and areas of research and development, through a range of papers, participatory workshops, posters, Pecha Kuchas, panel discussions and keynote addresses; not to mention plenty of time for networking and establishing new contacts.

RAISE is a network of academics, practitioners, advisors and student drawn from the Higher Education sector who are working and/or interested in researching and promoting student engagement. Further information: