We promote and list here the major events, seminars, and conferences focused on higher education that are concerned with access, outreach, school liaison, participation, admissions, recruitment, student retention and success, and events which focus on those with particular identities or characteristics.

To promote to your event information to the sector (no cost) send to …


30 September 2021, 9.30-12.30: ‘Intersectionality: how the multiplier effect divides and reduces student success’, Open University

At this seminar we will be sharing examples of good work in practice where two or more protected characteristics meet to amplify the negative impact on student outcomes.

We are very pleased to confirm the following presentations at the seminar:

  • Rehana Awan, John Butcher and Darren Gray – The Open University: How do we talk about race, and mental health?
  • Rebecca Breen and Danielle – University of South Wales: Being a student with Dwarfism and coming from a low income, single parent family – Higher Education from a different perspective.
  • Catherine Pestano – The Open University: Change required to address The Change
  • Andrew Potter, Diane Butler and Afua Acheampong – The Open University: Intersectionality in STEM: Gender and Ethnicity


6 and 13 October 2021: Virtual Teaching, Advance HE

Virtual Teaching forms weeks 4 and 5 of the New to Teaching programme and can be booked separately to the main programme. These weeks explore effective approaches to online or virtual teaching and include a showcase of tools which will be of benefit to those who have experience teaching in HE but are new to delivering courses via online platforms. This course positions the participant as a learner in online spaces and invites them to reflect critically on their experiences in order to enhance their own teaching practices.


7 October 2021: Inclusive Teaching and Learning Workshop Series, Advance HE

This new workshop series is a suite of 5 modules that can be taken individually or as a programme of development covering an introduction to EDI in teaching and learning, inclusive and equitable assessment and feedback, inclusive curriculum, inclusive engagement and leading on inclusive teaching and learning. The workshops focus on providing practical experience of connecting EDI with teaching and learning in the context of post-pandemic pedagogy and creating structural EDI change in teaching and learning. Created as a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning these are aimed at institutions and individuals wanting to build an evidence-based support structure for inclusive teaching and learning. In these workshops we bring together our expert facilitators from both our EDI and teaching and learning teams together with cross-sector learning from our change projects and research.


From 7 October 2021: Introduction to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Teaching and Learning Workshops

Institutions and individual practitioners face new and on-going challenges in providing inclusive teaching and learning. These Advance HE two-part virtual workshops will provide an introduction to the current HE landscape; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) duties and opportunities; and some of the key EDI challenges facing the sector. Delegates will be introduced to different approaches and understandings of inclusive pedagogy, will build confidence in discussing issues of inclusion and equity, and be provided with opportunities to analyse and reflect on their own professional practice


8 October 2021, 10:00-15:00: Study Higher annual access conference: ‘Working with further education colleges and adult learners’.

Following the publication of the government’s white paper, ‘Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth’, and the subsequent ‘Skills and Post-16 Education Bill’ outlining a lifetime skills guarantee, we consider how access and participation work supports different learner journeys into and through further and higher education. Study Higher’s 4th annual conference aims to offer a platform to share research and widening participation practice with adult learners, learners studying in further education settings, and/or effective collaborations between FE and HE. Click here to submit a proposal by 10 September 2021. More information about keynote speakers, presenters and the final agenda will be updated on an on-going basis.


19 October 2021: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education Digital Conference, Westminster insight

Key Points

  • Improving the recruitment, retention and attainment of underrepresented student groups
  • Protecting staff and students from discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Improving staff recruitment practices, retention rates and career progression pathways
  • Reducing pay gaps and addressing the root causes of pay gap issues
  • Creating inclusive university cultures and environments.

Register here.


20 October 2021: ‘Next steps for the Higher Education sector in Ireland’, Policy Forum for Ireland keynote seminar

With some relevance to key issues being discussed to be relevant UK-wide, this conference will consider priorities for meeting the needs of the current HE landscape in Ireland, as well as priorities for the sector in the wake of the pandemic, and how it can best support Ireland’s position globally. Delegates will have an opportunity to discuss the recently published three-year strategy for the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, and the likely outlook for the HE sector, as well as other relevant policy developments such as the North-South Research Programme and the Global Ireland 2025 strategy.

The discussion will also consider the wider context, with discussion on priorities for the sector’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as co-operation between Ireland and the UK following Brexit. The agenda will bring out latest thinking on:

  • priorities for improving the participation of mature students in HE
  • widening access to HE in Ireland, and priorities for diversity and inclusion among staff and student bodies
  • building collaboration and co-operation in the Irish HE sector, between universities, businesses, and FE colleges
  • the role of the HE sector in building Ireland’s position in the international HE landscape
  • co-operation between Ireland and the UK following Brexit

Speakers includes: Paul Kehoe TD, Chair, Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; Mary Canning, President, Royal Irish Academy; Jim Miley, Director General, Irish Universities Association; Professor Andrew Burke, Trinity College Dublin; Professor Maggie Cusack, Munster Technological University (MTU); and Dr Joseph Ryan, Technological Higher Education Association (THEA). Book here.


21 October 2021, morning: ‘Key priorities for apprenticeship funding in England, Westminster Employment Forum policy conference

The agenda will bring out latest thinking on:

  • immediate priorities for apprenticeship funding in the wake of the pandemic
  • the Flexi-Job Apprenticeship scheme and supporting short-term roles in key sectors
  • priorities for increasing business participation
  • the future for apprenticeship funding bands

Including the IfATE examining a proposed new model for apprenticeship funding band recommendations, as well as the Government’s plans for Flexi-Job Apprenticeships, which were introduced in the Budget, it will also be an opportunity to discuss wider developments affecting apprenticeships in England, including:

  • the Skills for Jobs white paper, which is to be implemented in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, and includes £2.5bn to support apprenticeships in 2021-2022
  • the apprenticeship incentive scheme, designed to support workforce investment
  • recent calls for the introduction of a more flexible apprenticeship levy

Speakers include: Jonathan Childs, Deputy Director, Apprenticeships Covid-19 Recovery Team, Education and Skills Funding Agency, Department for Education; Jane Pierce, Head of Technical Education Quality Assurance, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education; Bhavina Bharkhada, Make UK; Mark Cameron, The 5% Club; Alissa Dhaliwal, CBI; Noel Dunne, Creative Alliance and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Training Providers Network; Joanne Harper, Activate Learning Education Trust; Lucy Hunte, Health Education England; Jennifer Kimber, ScreenSkills; Becci Newton, Institute for Employment Studies; and Professor Amit Nigam, Cass Business School, City University of London.

Book here.


25-27 October 2021: ‘Restore, Reset, Rebuild’, THE’s Leadership and Management Summit

The pandemic crisis has forced university leadership to address long-standing issues in their management and structures, but it has also provided an unexpected opportunity to experiment with new modalities of 21st century higher education.

In partnership with the University of Glasgow this year’s Summit theme will be around universities resetting and restoring after the pandemic. You will hear from the likes of Imperial College London, Peter Hill – the CEO of COP26 (the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties) – and the University of Singapore, who will be discussing their strategies for the future.
You will hear from industry leaders such as Microsoft, Elsevier, Huawei and EAB on how they are assisting universities globally with their post-pandemic plans and actions. Last year’s
The 2021 Summit will focus on the next generation of digital university leaders, confronting racism and social injustices in universities, reputation, rankings and the future of internationalisation, along with many other topics and issues that universities are facing as a consequence of the past 18 months.

Over three days, this virtual conference will challenge the current practices of university leadership and explore:

  • the future economic sustainability of higher education
  • how leaders and their management structures can rebuild for future success
  • civic leadership and the role of universities in international diplomacy
  • reputation and the rise of internationalisation of higher education
  • universities and sustainable communities: Leading the green agenda
  • digital leadership and the transformation of online education
  • leading a culture of diversity and inclusion.



1 November 2021, morning: ‘Addressing racial discrimination in higher education’, Westminster Higher Education Forum policy conference

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss the key recommendations from the recent UUK report – Tackling racial harassment in higher education – as well as wider themes surrounding racial discrimination in higher education. Delegates will also consider priorities for developing university-wide strategies for addressing racial harassment, implementing a university culture that actively opposes racial harassment, and addressing the ethnic attainment gap, as well as considerations for the progression of ethnic minority students into the workforce and future HE qualifications and study.

The agenda is structured to bring out latest thinking on:

  • priorities for addressing racism in higher education and progress since the report
  • strategies for preventing racial harassment
  • cultural aspects of addressing racism in HE
  • case studies and perspectives on improving support for ethnic minorities:
  • access, attendance and retention, and improving representation in higher-tariff universities
  • future prospects – earning after graduation and supporting career networking entrepreneurship
  • fostering wellbeing and community, and the impact of racism on physical and mental health
  • next steps for the Race Equality Charter, and improving its impact.

Speakers include: Nona McDuff, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Students and Teaching, Solent University and Member, Universities UK Advisory Group to tackle racial harassment in Higher Education; Professor Frances Corner, Goldsmiths University of London; Professor James Sloam, Royal Holloway (University of London); Professor Randall Whittaker, Leeds Arts University; and Dr Solomon Zewolde, University College London. Book here.


17 November 2021: ‘Equitable access and success through and post the pandemic’, 4th World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED)
The theme for this year is ‘Equitable access and success through and post the pandemic’. As we progress through this most seismic of global events it is crucial that we maintain and enhance commitments and activities from related to equitable access and success. While all work related to extending opportunities from those from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds is welcome to be included under the WAHED banner, we will be focusing in particular via this year’s global WAHED online conference on how we can shape a more equitable future for higher education.
There are a range of ways in which you can become engaged in WAHED and move the global equitable access conversation forward. This includes:

  • organising an event at your organisation
  • launching a social media campaign
  • writing to policymakers
  • making a pledge on how your organisation is going to make access and participation in HE more equitable
  • finding a WAHED partner that can strengthen the work with your students
  • registering your organisations support of WAHED or becoming a premium WAHED supporter.

More information on getting can be found here.


23 November 2021, 09.00-16.00: ‘Leading Together: The Service Children’s Progression Alliance annual conference’

Join the SCiP Alliance community to explore support for children from military families, at The Studio in Birmingham. Young people from Armed Forces families are known to be under-represented at HE and are a recognised OfS group. The SCiP Alliance is a vibrant professional community developing and sharing resources and frameworks to help each other support these young people. This conference will connect schools, colleges, HEIs, local authorities and military charities with each other and with the evidence to help you support Service children’s journeys to thriving lives. For more information please visit, or to register for the conference please go to:

Leading together: the SCiP Alliance annual conference | Winchester Online Store


24-25 November 2021: ‘Moving beyond recovery: are you up for the challenge?’, THE CampusLIVE UK &IE, London

This two-day agenda featuring speakers from the University of Edinburgh, Edge Hill University, De Montfort University and many more, will comprise a broad range of topical discussions, included blended learning strategies, civic engagement, student recruitment, student support, sustainability initiatives and more. The event will be extremely practical in nature, providing our delegates with the toolkit to succeed in their roles and improve university life. Through panel discussions, keynote sessions and case studies, our packed agenda will bring together more than 400 delegates to find solutions to the challenges they are currently facing. More information here.


30 November 2021, morning: ‘Improving student mental health in Higher Education’, Westminster Higher Education Forum policy conference

This conference will focus on priorities for supporting and improving student mental health, and latest thinking on what policy support is necessary, best practice in multi-agency co-operation, and what is needed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agenda in summary:

  • Policy priorities for supporting student mental health
  • Mental health support post-COVID – acting on lessons learned, funding priorities, improving awareness, utilising EdTech, boosting capacity and learning from best practice
  • Mental Health and Suicide prevention – involving parents and establishing a duty of care
  • Improving multi-agency working and response – joining up services, improving data sharing and meeting funding challenges
  • Addressing mental health challenges within specific groups
  • Mental health within careers guidance and supporting the transition to employment
  • Helping disadvantaged students tackle mental health concerns
  • Tackling mental health issues amongst ethnic minority students
  • Next steps for University Mental Health

Following the relaxing of COVID restrictions this conference is timed to consider the impact of the pandemic on students’ mental health, and priorities for mental health support and pastoral care in the wake of COVID-19.

Keynote contributions from key stakeholders on core issues, including:

  • policy priorities for supporting student mental health – Estelle Kane, Senior Officer, Access and Inclusion, Office for Students
  • mental Health and Suicide prevention – Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwell
  • next steps for University Mental Health – Rosie Tressler, Chief Executive Officer, Student Minds.


30 November 2021, morning: ‘Next steps for T Levels’, Westminster Education Forum policy conference

This conference will consider priorities for the rollout of the second wave of T Levels, the lessons learned from rolling out the first wave, as well as wider priorities for improving provision and the outlook post-pandemic. The conference will also be an opportunity to look at the role of T Levels in the wake of COVID-19, and how they can be harnessed to fill the skills gap and support economic recovery following the pandemic. Book here.

The agenda will cover:

  • the second wave of T Levels – experience so far and continuing with implementation
  • improving the provision of T Levels – raising standards and improving co-operation with employers, lessons learned from the first wave and sharing best practice, and adjustments for delivery in the post-pandemic landscape
  • situating T Levels in the FE and vocational landscape – raising awareness amongst employers and students, student satisfaction and the Transition Programme, the future for level 3 qualifications, and progression to further study
  • harnessing T Levels for levelling up regions and post-pandemic recovery – supporting employers with take-up, the impact so far on meeting skills needs, and dovetailing with the Skills for Jobs Bill
  • key policy priorities for T Levels moving forward.

Speakers include: Stella Pearson, Deputy Director for T Level Delivery, DfE; Carmel Grant, Deputy Director, Technical Education Implementation, Institute for Apprenticeships; Zac Aldridge, NCFE; Adam Bird, Priestly College, Warrington; Patrick Craven, City & Guilds; Cheryl Eade, Scarborough TEC; Anne-Marie Francis, Loughborough College; Paul Kessell-Holland, The Education and Training Foundation; Zoe Lewis, Middlesbrough College; Dale Powell, Engie; Chinara Rustamova, Federation of Small Businesses; Catherine Sezen, Association of Colleges; Lucy Wiltshire, Willmott Dixon; and Chris Young, EDF Energy. Chaired by: Toby Perkins MP, Shadow Minister for Further Education and Skills.


1 December 2021: ‘The Care Leavers Event: Improving our Outcomes and fulfilling our Potential’, Government Events

Learn about how policymakers, local authorities and voluntary organisations are implementing innovative strategies to ensure young people are supported when they leave the care system. This live online event will showcase a series of best practice case studies covering the key challenges faced by care leavers, including housing support, access to employment and higher education, and tackling isolation. At this conference you will:

  • hear case studies demonstrating exemplary best practice in supporting care leavers
    hear high level keynotes on current and future policy and challenges
    network with senior colleagues from central government, local authorities and voluntary organisations.

Pricing: Public Sector Rate: £389.00; Private Sector Rate: £575.00; Voluntary Sector Rate: £315.00.


6–10 December 2021: Annual SRHE Research Conference 2021, ‘(Re)connecting, (Re)building: Higher Education in Transformative Times’

The 2021 International Conference on Research into Higher Education 2021

It has never been clearer that connection and community are essential to a thriving higher education ecosystem. The higher education sector engages a wide range of often overlapping communities at local, national, international, disciplinary, and institutional levels. As we move forward into a period of rebuilding and recovery, we now look to identify and sustain the best practices and new insights which strengthen and connect these communities.

The conference programme will be published in due course.


11 January 2021, morning: ‘Key priorities for education recovery in the wake of COVID-19 – raising attainment, student catch up, and improving social mobility’

This conference is looking at priorities for supporting educational attainment in England in the wake of the pandemic and particular approaches needed for supporting disadvantaged families. The agenda in summary:

  • attainment in the wake of COVID-19 and priorities for recovery
  • strengthening early educational foundations and supporting educational attainment in the long term
  • priorities for the early years sector
  • how has COVID impacted on progression?
  • attainment at secondary level
  • the future role of technology in tackling educational underachievement
  • case studies in supporting and improving educational attainment:
  • policy priorities for driving achievement going forward.

Speakers include: Graham Archer, Director for Education Recovery, Department for Education; Paul Finnis, Chief Executive Officer, Learning Foundation and Digital Poverty Alliance; Ben Jordan, Senior Policy Unit Manager, UCAS; Neil Leitch, Chief Executive Officer, Early Years Alliance; Tom Bewick, Federation of Awarding Bodies; Lisa Capper, Nacro; Vanessa Linehan, Sandbrook, Hackney; Frank Norris, Northern Powerhouse Partnership; Dr Alicia Shaw, SHINE: Support and Help IN Education. Book here.


From 11 January 2022: Inclusive Engagement Workshops

These Advance HE virtual two-part workshops will introduce the latest literature, practitioner learning, and sector insights to support participants in ensuring inclusivity for all as they embark on co-production and partnership initiatives with students in relation to teaching, learning and assessment. Participants will also have the opportunity to critically apply their learning to a ‘live’ initiative or proposal within their own institution.


27 January 2021, morning: Priorities for the higher education admissions system, Westminster Higher Education Forum policy conference

This conference will consider priorities for the admissions system in light of the recent confirmation of the Government’s intentions to move forward with post-qualification admissions reform, in collaboration with the sector, as soon as possible, as well as:

  • the recent Government consultation on a move to a post-qualifications admissions (PQA) system with Government expected to formally respond in due course
  • the publication UCAS report, Reimagining UK Admissions, which advocated a move to a post-qualification offer (PQO) system
  • the admissions reviews led by the OfS and the UUK.

This will also be an opportunity for delegates to assess the impact that COVID-19 has had on university admissions, with the OfS ban on ‘conditional unconditional’ offers, and research from UCL which found predicting A-Level grades to be a ‘near-impossible task’, and that it has harmed high achievers from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The agenda is structured to bring out latest thinking on:

  • government priorities for admissions reform
  • the challenges presented by PQA models and how best to overcome them
  • supporting and empowering students throughout reform, and ensuring no one is left behind
  • making sure reform is UK-wide and takes into account priorities for devolved nations, such as timetabling and qualification options.

Speakers include: Dr John Blakeley, Policy Advisor, Widening participation and Student Experience, Department for Education; John Cope, Director, Strategy, Policy & Public Affairs, UCAS; Rebecca Gaukroger, Director, Student Recruitment and Admissions, The University of Edinburgh; Jazreel Goh, Country Director, Malaysia, British Council; Dr Beth Linklater, UCAS; and Professor Graham Virgo, University of Cambridge


8 February 2022: ‘Diversifying Leadership’

Part of Advance HE’s Race Equality in Higher Education programmes and events portfolio for 2021-22, this Diversifying Leadership programme is designed to address the issue of underrepresentation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders in HE institutions in the UK at all levels, particularly at senior levels. The programme does this by exploring themes of power and influence, demystifying leadership, cultural identity and cultural capital, increasing participant visibility and authentic leadership. Participants build confidence, feel empowered and expand their professional strengths.


9 February 2022: Student Retention and Success Symposium, Advance HE

Retention and attainment remains a key issue across the HE sector with providers engaged in a range of approaches and interventions to improve the learning experience and outcomes across different student groups. Based upon stimulus presentations and case studies, the symposium will provide attendees with a space in which they can exchange and disseminate new and different ways of thinking about retention as well as considering structures and culture that support and impact on student retention, transition, and success. The symposium will be preceded by a call for contributions inviting practitioners to submit an abstract on their work as a stimulus presentation or case study to support the discussions.


3 March 2022: Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference 2022, Advance HE

It is increasingly recognised how important mental health and wellbeing is for staff and student success. Universities and colleges are fast developing ‘whole institution approaches’ to mental health and wellbeing, not only to improve academic outcomes and retention, but to provide a holistic and positive experience, even in the most challenging times. This one-day conference, organised by the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Expert Group in collaboration with Advance HE, will discuss new ideas and will aim to provide a boost in motivation and a fresh vision for all delegates. It will explore established and successful examples from the sector, share good practice, discuss the challenges when looking at mental health and wellbeing, and review ways to overcome possible difficulties.


16-17 March 2022: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2022: ‘Inclusive Institutions in Action’

In the last two years, we have seen a resurgence of voices protesting inequality (racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter Movement, the impact of Covid on existing inequalities, sexual harassment and violence) and a growing interest across the HE and FE sectors in responding to and working with this energy to create meaningful and sustainable change. Increasingly, we are asking what it looks like when

  • institutions respond positively to the diversity of voices, energy and scholarship advocating for change?
  • the voices from the margins are welcomed centre stage, and inclusion is at the heart of our approach to institutional culture?
  • our leadership models and practices are truly inclusive?
  • we seek out, develop, value and celebrate change agents from outside traditional hierarchies, talent pools and scholarship?
  • the complexity of identity and intersectionality informs thinking and practice and shapes new approaches to inclusion and building belonging?

This Advance HE conference offers an opportunity to think deeply and creatively about what it means to be an inclusive institution, to explore models of inclusion that challenge traditional concepts of leadership and agency, and to share innovative practice around collaboration, co-ownership, allyship and solidarity.


31 March 2022: Race Equality Colloquium 2022

Part of Advance HE’s Race Equality in Higher Education programmes and events portfolio for 2021-22 this Race Equality Colloquium 2022 session looks at the continuing racial discrimination in higher education. With the sector’s focus on structural and institutional racism, we see growing tensions arising from differing cultural, ethnic and other identities, both on campus and in wider society.

By way of keynotes, panel sessions and workshops, this one-day virtual event will provide a safe space to discuss progress made, the challenges that lie ahead and the next steps that higher education institutions must take to address racial inequality in the sector.


4-6 April 2022: 2022 UKAT Annual Conference

Based on collective recent experiences, and new ways of doing academic advising and personal tutoring, the 2022 UKAT Annual Conference will explore how we might reimagine advising/tutoring so that it is more relevant to students, more effective at helping all students and institutions to achieve their intended outcomes, and more efficient in its operation. The conference will focus on five key themes:

  • digital technology
  • identity
  • community
  • equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • student-Centred Transformation

The Call for Proposals is now open, closing date: 6 January 2022. The 2022 UKAT Annual Conference will be an online conference to make it as accessible as possible to all who are interested in attending. For those who are able to meet in person, we are trying to arrange in-person, one day pre-conference study day to be held on Friday 1 April. Delegate registration for the conference and study day will open early in 2022.


26 April 2022: Employability Symposium, Advance HE

The Employability Symposium will provide attendees with a useful forum to encourage the exchange and dissemination of different ways of thinking about and new approaches to employability. It’s inescapable; employability is a prominent feature of contemporary higher education. Globally, HE providers are examining the methods they use to enhance employability and increasingly there is a desire to strengthen and develop relevant activities due to a range of factors and influences such as graduate destination data, labour market detail, policy impact, and student expectations. This symposium aims to bring together cutting-edge examples of how employability can be embedded at school, faculty/college and/or institutional levels. The symposium will be preceded by a call for contributions inviting practitioners to submit an abstract on their work as a stimulus presentation or case study to support the discussions.


28 April 2022: Surveys and Insights Symposium 2022, Advance HE

Surveys, measurement tools, metrics and insight have a key role to play in helping maximise the reach and quality of provision within the sector. This symposium provides an opportunity to discuss and debate the potential of insight from surveys, metrics, qualitative research and wider methods of capturing the voice of the student for driving excellence and enhancement within higher education. The conference will feature a keynote speaker alongside oral presentations and workshops from HE practitioners, survey officers and academics.

A call for papers for this event will open in December 2021.


12 May 2022: Student Engagement Conference 2022, Advance HE

Student engagement has never been more important or more challenging. This conference will provide an opportunity for the sector to come together to review where we’ve been and to consider where we go next. It will focus on the engagement of students in all aspects of their higher education, from the ‘classroom’ to extracurricular activities including leadership and governance; asking what does it mean to lead student engagement, and how can we continue to improve our vision of student engagement? The conference will consider leadership of student engagement through a 360º lens including the role of all staff, the Student Union, and the community as well as considering how we ensure inclusive engagement and remove all inequalities.