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


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____________________________ Note re Action on Access’s 7th annual Summit…….. see full information further below 21 November 2018: Access to Higher Education and Student Success Summit 2018, Woburn conference centre, London

Organised by Action on Access and Universities UK in partnership, examining the key institutional and operational issues currently surrounding access, participation and success in UK universities, and exploring the implications of recent and upcoming changes in the sector. Programme designed to give insight and tactical information to successfully plan and manage institutional practice and strategy.

The programme will include keynote lectures, panel discussions and breakout sessions giving delegates the opportunity to listen to, learn from and engage with speakers and colleagues. Further information:


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go to link 18 September 2018: Framework Approaches for Evaluating Widening Participation and Equity Initiatives – NERUPI Members’ Event amoxicillin 500 mg tablets

The Network for Evaluating and Researching University Participation Interventions (NERUPI) is holding its first members’ event on Tuesday 18th September at the University of Bath in London 83 Pall Mall London SW1Y 5ES from 10am. It’s not too late to become a member if you haven’t already. Details can be found by clicking through to ‘Become a member’ at

We will concentrate on framework approaches for evaluating widening participation & equity initiatives and the programme is attached. Guest speakers include:Professor Penny-Jane Burke (Director, Centre of Excellence for Equity in HE, University of Newcastle, Australia), Professor Jaqueline Stevenson (Head of Research, Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University) and Dr Anna Mountford Zimdars (Director of the Centre for Social Mobility, University of Exeter).

Following the event will be a book launch for all to join (regardless of membership) at 4.30pm. Evaluating Equity & Widening Participation in Higher Education Edited by: Penny-Jane Burke, Annette Hayton and Jacqueline Stevenson. Published by: Trentham, London, 2018

If you’d like to attend or require any further information please email 24 September 2018: Journey to Medicine: Widening Participation, Woburn House conference centre, London

This one-day conference is to support outreach staff who are advising and engaging with students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to study medicine.

It comprises: Workshops and talks from the Medical Schools Council, medical school admissions staff and medical students; Advice on medical schools, alternative entry routes and admission practices across the UK; An introduction to the resources and support available; An opportunity to ask questions and find out more.

The conference will be of interest to: Outreach staff working in central widening participation teams; NCOP staff, supporting a range of students; Staff from organisations working in the field of widening participation and access.

Registration and information:


source 8 October 2018: SCIP Alliance Annual Conference 2018, source From Evidence to Action

This Service Children’s Progression Alliance conference will bring together those with an interest in making sure that Service children are supported in their education and empowered to make an informed choice about their future; school/FE/HE based professionals, local and national government practitioners and policy makers. The SCiP Alliance (Service Children’s Progression Alliance) is a UK wide partnership of organisations which brings people together to improve educational outcomes for children from military families so that they can make informed and confident transitions through further and higher education into thriving adult lives and careers.

Leading research, policy and practice contributions include: Office For Students; Ofsted; Armed Forces Covenant team; University of Northumbria (Map of Need project); University of Winchester; York St John University. Further information:


go here 12 October 2018: Academic credit and its use at HE level – an introduction, SEEC Webinar

This online event is designed for academic or administrative staff working in HE, FE or alternative providers who are new or relatively new to academic credit, credit frameworks and their uses. Dr Mark Atlay, past Chair of SEEC and of the UK Credit Forum, will introduce credit in an HE setting and explore terminology, transferability and sectoral practices around its use. Participants will also be able to ask questions and take part in discussion. The webinar is free of charge to staff of SEEC and NUCCAT member institutions – further information:


can you take antibiotics with blood pressure medication 16 October 2018: Women and the tech sector – skills, career progression and workplace culture, Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar, central London

This seminar will examine latest progress and next steps for attracting and retaining women in the technology sector, and supporting their progression. Delegates will assess priorities for the development of a diverse talent pipeline – looking at what more might be done to address barriers to entry, encourage more women to study STEM, and improve links between education, policy and industry. They will also consider the future role of women in the development of cutting-edge tech and driving the UK’s international competitiveness.

Overall, areas for discussion include: Skills; Recruitment; Career progression; Workplace culture and Competitive edge.

Speakers: Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister, Industrial Strategy, Science & Innovation and Susan Bowen, Chair, Skills & Diversity Council, techUK and General Manager, EMEA, Cogeco Peer 1; Sheridan Ash, Director, Technology and Investments and Women in Tech Leader, PwC; Peter Finegold, Head of Education Policy, Institution of Mechanical Engineers; Katherine Mathieson, Chief Executive, British Science Association and Lauren Sager Weinstein, Chief Data Officer, Transport for London.

The Westminster eForum is strictly impartial and cross-party, and draws on the considerable support it receives from within Parliament and Government, and amongst the wider stakeholder community. The Forum has no policy agenda of its own.

Further information:


source site 16 October 2018: Supporting Care Leavers at University: Closing the Gap in Access and Participation, central London

With the new Office for Students receiving direction from Government to focus on care leavers as a group with stubbornly significant gaps in access and participation, now is the time for Universities and their partners to be taking a deeper look at how they engage and support that group, give an update on the Office for Students’ plans in this area, plus the latest on the Care Leaver Strategy.. The morning session will look at the current policy landscape and examine individual HEIs’ responsibilities, including what more can be done to build links with partners. The afternoon session will focus on sharing experiences and examples of successful practice, specifically around peer-mentoring and addressing drop-out rates. Key Issues to be Addressed Include: the role of Office for Students: care leavers as a target group for Fair Access; the Government’s care leaver strategy & the responsibilities of HEIs; meeting commitments in access agreements; pro-active steps to reducing non-continuation rates; creating smooth and supported pathways to HE; giving care leavers a voice; addressing barriers to student success; successful peer-mentoring programmes; inspiring children in care to apply to HE. ?Further information: 18 October 2018: Student-Generated Induction: A Social Identity Approach, York
The workshop will introduce new theory and a belonging-based practice for inclusive learning applied to student induction and transition. You will gain first-hand experience of a structured, interactive and scalable approach to student-induction based on social science research at University of Glasgow. This measurable approach has already adopted by a variety of universities and colleges across different disciplines. This workshop has become an established event for sharing innovative practice with the aim of improving student retention, inclusion and widening participation.
Further information:


amoxicillin 500mg capsules 18 October 2018: Disability and health in the workplace – next steps for bridging the employment gap and improving support for employers, Westminster Employment Forum Keynote Seminar, London.

Thi s seminar will considersteps that can be taken by employers and policymakers to improve support for those with a disability or long-term health condition, with a discussion on the measures that can be taken to reduce the disability employment gap.

The seminar will be an opportunity to assess initial progress in implementing the Government’s plan to transform the employment prospects of those with a disability, as well as what more might be done to join up support across the welfare system, the workplace and the healthcare system. Overall, areas for discussion include: Increasing representation in the workplace; Routes into employment; Creating inclusive workplaces; Mental health and work; Developing local networks of support.

The agenda also includes keynote contributions from Tabitha Jay, Director of the Joint Work and Health Unit, Department of Health and Social Care and Department for Work and Pensions; Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Disability and Member, House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee and Philip Connolly, Policy and Development Manager, Disability Rights UK; Mark Duddridge, Chair, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.

Further information:


19 October 2018: Higher Education Admissions Fair for Access to Higher Education Students, Middlesborough

One Awards’ annual HE Admissions Fair is designed exclusively for students enrolled on QAA recognised Access to HE courses across the North of England. Several employers will be attending making this a unique opportunity for students to collect information and discuss employment opportunities in addition to HE advice and guidance. The fair brings together universities and colleges so stdents can: speak directly to representatives from HE providers about their courses, and discuss what they offer mature students; speak directly with employers about career opportunities available and progression routes after graduation; find out how HE providers handle applications and what they are looking for from Access to HE applicants; attend free workshops on writing personal statement, student finance and funding, through to subject specific courses. The event is free to Access to HE students and their tutors. Further information:


22 October 2018: Disabled student recruitment event, BlackRock Investment Management and Investment Services, Blackrock offices, London EC2N

Date for your diary. This Evening event (likely 5pm – 8pm) is targeted at disabled students from all courses and universities in the UK, graduating between 2019 and 2021 and having less than 18 months of full-time work experience

The event will cover: introduction to BlackRock and different types of roles; how to apply and when, including internship and graduate opportunities; information from disabled employees currently working at BlackRock and the Ability Network employee network at BlackRock to offer support to and increase the awareness about the challenges that disabled colleagues and colleagues that care for disabled family members are facing; a session on self-identification, how to apply, candidates will be asked to submit an online CV before being formally invited to attend the event (This page expected live in August: closer to the event there will be more material available). BlackRock will cover travel expenses particularly for students travelling from outside of London.

More about Blackrock Inclusion and Diversity programmes:


30 October 2015; Widening Participation in Education Conference: Improving access and social mobility, University of Salford, Manchester

Delegates will: learn about the latest policies and techniques for widening participation and gain the essential skills to help students stay in higher education; discuss the impact of recent reforms and the new regulatory framework for higher education; determine how universities can engage with and support schools to raise pupil attainment and aspiration; consider ways to improve provision of and access to higher education information, advice and guidance to target learners; understand the importance of equalities data to help universities benchmark their performance in widening participation and identify gaps related to gender, disability, race and socio-economic status; examine the struggle of disadvantaged students and barriers that face them throughout post-16 education; assess the current state of low social mobility in the UK and the disproportionate representation of students in top universities and professions; explore concerns such as financial difficulties and mental health issues preventing potential students entering higher educations; share best practice in improving access, wellbeing, progress and outcomes for BAME, disabled, LGBTQ+ and mature students.

Further information:


31 October – 1 November 2018: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference, Advance HE, ACC, Kings Dock, Liverpool

Advance HE will be holding it’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference on Wednesday 31 October and Thursday 1 November 2018, at ACC in Liverpool.

At this year’s conference we focus on ensuring a strong and resilient culture of learning, professionalism and pride in EDI work: celebrating your successes, pushing for progress, and equipping you for challenges ahead.  The conference will focus on the theme of Practice and Progress.

2018 will see sweeping changes to the higher education sector: how it is regulated, how it is supported, and how it fits into “Brexit” Britain.  ECU has changed too. As Advance HE we continue to support the professional practice of those in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Further information:


8 November 2018: Stand Alone conference: Celebrating Change: 2 Years of the Stand Alone Pledge – and what’s next, Kings College, London

50 higher education institutions have now taken the Pledge across England, Scotland and Wales.  Two years on the Pledge has made a significant difference to support for estranged students in individual higher education institutions. 50universities and colleges across the UK have now taken the Stand Alone Pledge: data from SLC indicates that their support will reach around 30% of all officially recognised estranged students in English and Welsh HEIs. Data for Scottish HE institutions will be available next academic year.

This conference is a celebration of the sector’s achievements across the UK over the past 2 years. We will be showcasing institutional examples of best practice, new projects and progress made in supporting estranged students and you will receive a copy of our Impact Report 2016-18. You will also hear from institutional researchers on the experience of estranged students in higher education.

Speakers include: Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation, OfS, Anne-Marie Canning, Director of Social Mobility and Student Success, King’s College London. Stand Alone will be launching their new research report on family capital. Suggestions for best practice presentations/workshops welcome. Further information:


14 November 2018: Moving from Access to Success, University of Birmingham

Free conference taking place from1pm to 4.30pm, hosted by the University of Birmingham in association with the Accelerate and Access Foundation. Please join us for an afternoon of stimulating discussion and opportunities to share best practice on the equity of experience and opportunity of First Generation Students in Higher Education.  Please do forward this invitation to other colleagues in your institutions who have the remit for success and progression.

Access and Participation Plans, with the Office for Students, require increased focus on the successful progression of under-represented students that we have supported to access our institutions. The ambition of the conference is to accelerate conversation as to how we can best support and empower these students to achieve their full potential and make the best of the academic and extracurricular opportunities available.

Our keynote session will be from two leading American practitioners in this field, both from Ivy League universities – Dr Khristina Gonzalez, Associate Dean for Access and Inclusion, Princeton University and Jay Davis, Director of First Year Student Enrichment and Kings Scholars Programmes, Dartmouth College. This will be followed by a UK perspective, a question and answer session with an expert panel including First Generation Students, and the chance to share best practice with colleagues. There is no cost for attending however places are limited. We ask that you please confirm attendance by Wednesday 31 October.

Further information:


15 November 2018: Priorities for STEM in higher education and skills for the UK economy, Westminster Higher Education Forum seminar, central London

This seminar focuses on the future of STEM in Higher Education, widening participation, meeting the demands of industry, designing interdisciplinary university curricula, and supporting progression to higher-level study and employment. Delegates will also consider how to adopt a cohesive, cross-sectoral approach to develop sufficient supply in the STEM sector workforce, following the recommendations of the National Audit Office report ‘Delivering STEM skills for the economy’.

The discussion will centre on the latest thinking on strategies for tackling the current shortage of STEM skills in the UK, in light of the heightened focus by policymakers on the issue and the additional investment of £406m in maths, digital and technical education set out in the Industrial Strategy White Paper.

Key areas for discussion include: diversity; industry needs; curriculum design; support for HEIs; graduate employability; addressing skills mismatches.

Further information:


Universities UK BME attainment gap sessions.

Universities UK are holding evidence and discussion sessions across the country for practitioners and others to join student union representatives to discuss existing practice and ways forward:

  • Aston University, 18th October
  • UWE Bristol, 30th October
  • Glasgow Caledonian University, 14th November
  • Leeds Beckett University (date tbc but towards the end of November)

Further information on the project so far:


20 November 2018: Additional Learning Needs in Wales: priorities for shaping, implementing and monitoring the ALN Code, Policy Forum for Wales Keynote Seminar, Central Cardiff

The agenda focuses specifically on issues in Wales, the seminar is bringing together key policymakers and stakeholders to discuss the development and implementation of the Additional Learning Needs Code – focusing on governance, funding and regulation.

It is timed as the Welsh Government conducts its public consultation on the ALN Code which will set out procedure and best practice – including for disagreement resolution, increased collaboration and remits of responsibility.

Speakers: Charlie Thomas, Head of ALN Transformation, Welsh Government; Huw Davies, Additional Learning Needs Transformation Lead, South West Wales and a senior speaker confirmed from Estyn - together with further speaking contributions from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board; Cardiff and Vale College; SNAP Cymru; Swansea University; Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru and Ysgol Y Deri, Vale of Glamorgan.

Those attending will also consider the potential challenges for implementing the Code, other areas for discussion include: Shaping the draft ALN Code: avoiding disagreements, promoting collaboration, and supporting best practice; Driving change: the role and responsibilities of the new regional transformational leads; Ensuring smooth implementation of the ALN Code: workforce training and development, funding, and parental involvement; Monitoring and adjudicating ALN provision: and implementing the changes brought about by the Code. Further information:


21 November 2018: Access to Higher Education and Student Success Summit 2018, Woburn conference centre, London

Join us at this national one-day conference organised by Action on Access and Universities UK in partnership. We will be examining the key institutional and operational issues currently surrounding access, participation and success in UK universities, and exploring the implications of recent and upcoming changes in the sector. Programme designed to give insight and tactical information to successfully plan and manage institutional practice and strategy.

Key themes will include:

Access and Participation Plans – where are we and what’s to come?

The Office for Students – plans for progress and change

Understanding and adapting to the changing regulatory landscape

Tackling ethnicity attainment gaps; Re-attracting mature students

Discussion and review of successful university case studies

Engaging in meaningful and effective collaboration; Engaging students.

The programme will include keynote lectures, panel discussions and breakout sessions giving delegates the opportunity to listen to, learn from and engage with speakers and colleagues. This conference is essential for staff who have responsibility for or play a part in improving attainment, retention and student success. Further information and to book:


28 November 2018: NNECL annual conference, Conference theme: Wellbeing and Belonging, University of Birmingham

Please note in your diary this NNECL annual conference which will take place on 28 November. More information to follow and online booking will commence in October.

If you would like to submit a workshop proposal for the NNECL 2018 conference please send information including the title of workshop, Presenter(s), and Brief abstract to Melissa Page, by 24 September


28 November 2018: Next steps for widening access to further and higher education in Scotland: strengthening pathways, admissions and student support, Scotland Policy Conferences Keynote Seminar, Central Edinburgh

The agenda focuses specifically on issues in Scotland and will provide a timely opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss next steps for widening access to further and higher education in Scotland.

Delegates will examine The Scottish Government’s recent response to Jayne-Anne Gadhia’s Independent Review of Student Financial Support in Scotland. They will also consider how to strengthen data sharing between relevant agencies, following publication of the Commissioner for Fair Access’ 2017 Annual Report, and on priorities for the effective implementation of the Framework for Fair Access, ahead of its expected publication later this year.

Speakers include: Dr Dee Bird, Assistant Director/ Head of Policy (Brexit, and Student Experience), Scottish Funding Council and Rob Phillpotts, Managing Director, Statutory, HESA; Dr Neil Croll, Head of Widening Participation, University of Glasgow; Rebecca Gaukroger, Director, Student Recruitment and Admissions, The University of Edinburgh; Ben Jordan, Senior Policy and Qualifications Manager, UCAS; Yvonne MacDermid, Chief Executive, Money Advice Scotland; Liam McCabe, President, NUS Scotland; Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of St Andrews and Member of Main Committee, Universities Scotland; Vonnie Sandlan, Senior Policy Officer, Colleges Scotland and Jamie Szymkowiak, Co-Founder, One in Five.

Further information:


10 December 2018: Small-scale ‘experimental’ innovation projects: Dissemination event, Office for Students, London venue

The OfS will be hosting a dissemination event for the 67 small-scale ‘experimental’ innovation projects in learning and teaching. Projects will showcase and discuss the extremely positive lessons learned, both in terms of the processes and outcomes of innovation and the impact on students’ broader learning and self-development. It will be a chance to hear how projects were executed, how the results are making positive changes to practices and how this has contributed to developing learning and best practice within institutions

The event is open to those in the wider higher education sector with an interest in innovative learning and teaching practices.

Further information:


mplementing the local offer and integration into employment, further education and training, Westminster Education Forum Keynote Seminar, Central London

This seminar will examine the priorities for improving provision for care leavers in England, including discussion on the transition of care leavers to higher education, and the role higher education institutes can play in this process. Planned sessions will focus on the development of a multi-agency approach in supporting care leavers, as each local authority in England implements its local offer for care leavers and introduces personal advisers for care leavers up to 25.

Delegates will assess progress and look ahead to implementation with local authorities required to publish their local offers by December 2018 - and amid concerns surrounding the funding burden as they take on increased responsibility for care leavers until the age of 25.

Those attending will also discuss the integration of care leavers into further education, employment and training following the announcement of three Social Impact Bond Projects by Government and the confirmation of a delivery partner for the Care Leaver Covenant, which aims to increase opportunities for care leavers to access practical support such as apprenticeships and work experience. The seminar includes a speaking contribution from Matthew Gordon, Chief Executive, Spectra First – the Government’s delivery partner for the Care Leaver Covenant;  Mark Riddell, National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers, Department for Education; Councillor Garry Bridges, Manchester City Council (subject to council business); Matthew Gordon, Spectra First and Mark Walker, Oxfordshire County Council. Further information:


30-31 January 2019: STEM conference 2019: Delivering next generation teaching in STEM, Advance HE, Millennium Point, Birmingham

This two-day conference, featuring a mix of peer-led workshops, presentations and respected keynotes will provide a forum for each of the individual STEM disciplines as well as opportunities to learn from cross-disciplinary practice.

The call for papers is now open until 31 October 2018 and our 15% early bird discount will apply. We are asking for proposals that address one of five propositions, which explore themes around covering topics such as: interdisciplinary approaches to learning and teaching in STEM; innovation; technology; equality, diversity and inclusion; and leadership.

The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2018. Further information: