Universities are under intense financial constraints. Under these circumstances, how can we ensure that access and student success remains on the agenda, and make the most of existing networks and resources? This conference will give you the opportunity to receive up-to-date briefings on the current issues and regulation surrounding widening participation and student success, as well as an opportunity to discuss with experts and colleagues on how best to drive student access and success. Topics we will cover include:
This conference will be held online over the course of two days. Alongside eight hours of informative, timely content from the most pertinent speakers on the topic, we will also be providing a wide range of opportunities to network, discuss, and make connections with colleagues within the sector.
You will also be able to access the recordings of all sessions after the event, including breakout sessions which you were unable to attend.
This conference is essential for staff who have responsibility for or play a part in improving attainment, retention and student success. Anyone with an interest in the topic is welcome to attend, however particularly relevant job titles include:
If you have any questions about this or any other of our events, please contact us on email@example.com or 07500 441505.
We also have a range of sponsorship opportunities available at this event. Please contact Esther Dudley, Head of Events and Engagement for information. tel: 020 7419 5412; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to stay up to date with our events, news, and publications, you can sign up for our newsletters here.
Professor John Storan, Director, Continuum, University of East London and Principal, Action on Access
Michelle Donelan MP, Universities Minister – Invited
Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, University of Bath
Dr Andrew Ross, Head of Widening Access and Participation, University of Bath
More speakers to be announced
The admissions cycle for 2020/21 intake would have been one of the biggest challenges that the UK Higher Education sector has faced. We take a first look on how Bath University responded to the impact of Covid-19, what actions they took to support their most disadvantaged applicants and how the admissions and widening participation agenda’s work in harmony with each other.
Kate Lister, Manager for Accessibility and Inclusive Practice, The Open University
For many higher education providers, being propelled into a virtual world of distance learning and subsequently blended learning was not even remotely business-as-usual. This session will hear from institutions with extensive experience of providing distance learning with a focus on best practices and top tips on how to successfully deliver online teaching and blended learning which is accessible for all students, regardless of background and borders.
Choose one session to attend. Small group discussions to follow each session.
Rebecca Bowen, Senior Student Recruitment Officer, University of South Wales, and Wales Chair, HELOA
Higher education providers will have been working hard to achieve outreach activities without physical interventions. When we get back to ‘normal’ and can start delivering on-campus activities, it will be too late for some school pupils who may have never even thought about going to University. Our panelists will answer the question ‘Is digital outreach possible?’ and share their experiences of how Universities and Schools have worked in partnership with each other to ensure success in future recruitment cycles.
Dr Kay Hack, Principal Adviser Learning and Teaching, AdvanceHE
Amy Low, Service Delivery Director, Ability Net
Osayuki Igbinoba, Pharmacy Student, Kingston University
Chair: Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton and Chair, Disabled Students' Commission – invited
Higher education providers are experienced in adapting their campuses to be physically accessible; they will also have support services in place to ensure that regardless of the disability or learning difficulty, students have the support they need to academically succeed. However, what happens when we are thrown into a world of virtual learning and the unique challenges that presents? Is the technology and virtual learning environment actually accessible for all students regardless of physical or learning disability? What can we learn from the Covid-19 pandemic to better support students with disabilities in the future?
Stephen Evans, CEO, Learning and Work Institute
Lindsey Fraser, Deputy Director in the Lifelong Learning Centre, University of Leeds
Professor David Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor, London South Bank University
Creating more opportunities for adults to participate in education and lifelong learning poses many benefits. With an increasingly aging population, technology rapidly moving on and an accelerated virtual working environment; how can adults from unrepresented groups be supported and realise their potential.
Paul Wakeling, Head of Department for Education, University of York
Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive, Institute of Student Employers
Ensuring that the future for the UK’s most vulnerable graduates and postgraduates still looks positive in the aftermath of Covid-19 might be a challenge. Higher education providers need to grow their understanding of the current labour market so that they are providing the right careers advice, resources and support to current students and alumni; including options for postgraduate study. Employers need to adjust their practices to the post Covid-19 world without further disadvantaging widening participation graduates.
Katharine Sacks-Jones, Chief Executive, Become
Susan Mueller, Project Director, Stand Alone
Amie Waterman, PhD student, Durham University
Chair: Amy Dicks, Policy Researcher, Universities UK
What have we learnt from the needs of students without any traditional family support throughout this crisis? After a period of detachment, have we seen a spike in dropouts from care experienced students and students who are estranged from their families? Key organisations who have been at the forefront of supporting these students share their findings on how best to support these students now, and what we can learn to inform the future.
Jess Woodsford, Director of SEER (Specialist Evidence, Evaluation & Research), Applied Inspiration
Ross Renton, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Worcester and Chair of the Widening Particpation Network, GuildHE
This session will look at the research into small and specialist colleges with regards to their responses to Covid-19 and the impact on students particularly in respect of Access and Participation Plans and under-represented groups. This session will demonstrate what lessons can be learnt in the wider higher education context and how this can be applied to all institutions.
Debra Humphris, Vice Chancellor, University of Brighton
Kellie McAlonan, UWS Student Funding Team Leader, University of the West of Scotland and Chair, National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA)
More speakers to be announced.
With the state of the national economy causing concern, this session will explore how this impacts the Student Finance system and the direct effect on students. There is a risk that with more students experiencing financial hardship, that there is a greater need for support for a larger number of students.
Gurnam Singh, Associate Professor of Attainment, Coventry University
Omar Khan, Director, TASO – invited
Franklin Jacob Babu, Black Students Officer, NUS Scotland
Our panellists explore how Covid-19 has impacted BAME students and endangered the progress that has been made to close the BAME student attainment gap. With so much disruption in the sector and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests that have taken place across the world, what should institutions be learning and how should they be adapting to ensure an inclusive student experience?
Professor Gavin Brown, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool
Rosie Holden, Director of Student Services, University of Kent – invited
When the UK was forced into lockdown, higher education providers were able to make decisions with astonishing speed and success for their current and prospective students. Did this support work equally for all students? How was the communication with students? What have we learnt and what can we change to inform not only our response to any future lockdowns, but also help us to better support students especially those from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds?
This plenary will cover issues such as outreach, accommodation, online teaching and support services.
Debra Humphris, Vice Chancellor, University of Brighton