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 …


4 August 2021 from 6pm: ‘The Study in Wales Webinar – Get ready for results day and clearing’, UniTasterDays live university webinar

This is a clearing and results day special – and will feature speakers from five universities in Wales. The content of the event, will include a guide to:

  • University courses in Wales
  • Clearing and Clearing Plus
  • What to expect on results day
  • Student mental health and wellbeing at university
  • Fees and funding for students outside Wales
  • Fees and funding for students in Wales
  • Studying in the medium of Welsh (this session will be delivered in Welsh)


31 August 2021, 16:30 – 17:40: ‘What companies can do now: supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into the world of work’

In this IntoUniversity webinar, you will hear from a range of voices from a variety of professional backgrounds, all with the aim of discussing the key changes that businesses can make right now to better diversify their workplace and provide crucial support to young people from underrepresented backgrounds. The panel will be chaired by a member of IntoUniversity staff and feature contributions from a student alumnus who will outline how the charity’s vital partnerships with companies help young people to succeed.

For more information about this event or any questions, please email or call 020 7243 0242.


1 – 2 September 2021: ‘Student engagement in the context of COVID-19’
This RAISE Network conference will look back at the challenges faced in 2020/1 and look forward to where we go next. Our online conference will offer the opportunity to discuss practice and research, and the future of student engagement and pedagogical practice. There will be a mixture of fantastic and inspiring keynote sessions, online workshops, papers and presentations.
Staff in all roles, students, and others interested in university and college higher education are encouraged to attend. Registration will open in May. Please email any queries to


1-3 September 2021: deferred NET2020 Conference, University of Bath

The leading annual international conference for networking in healthcare education, the deferred NET2020 will address all areas of healthcare education across all healthcare professions. The conference will focus on the following themes:

  • student experience, engagement and achievement: including the sub-themes of Inclusivity in healthcare education; Widening participation; Student support and wellbeing; and Retention and success in healthcare education
  • Educational enhancement: including the sub-themes of Humanising healthcare education; Assessing the impact of pre- and post-registration learning on clinical practice; and Partnership working
  • learning, teaching and assessment strategies: including the sub-themes of Evidence-based learning, teaching and assessment; Inter-professional learning and working; Education in clinical practice and practice development; and technology enhanced learning
  • key challenges in healthcare education: including the sub-themes of Global challenges in healthcare education; Developing the future healthcare education workforce; and Social, economic and policy drivers in healthcare education.

Bookings are currently not open but see conference website for further details.


1–3 September 2021: ‘How powerful is place?’, the THE World Academic Summit 2021

In partnership with the University of Toronto in Canada, this virtual (but with an option to attend, crazy govts’ decisions allowing) Summit focuses on the interrelationship between universities and the places in which they are located. The connections between our digital and physical worlds are rapidly evolving. The power of place in those dimensions is facing re-evaluation. Consequently, the modern university’s status and mission are evolving.

University presidents, world-class researchers, political leaders and senior executives from transnational businesses will gather to examine the complex interrelation between university and place by exploring these agenda themes:

  • universities’ contribution to place
  • place’s impact on universities
  • has the digital classroom replaced the campus?
  • how do global networks complement local success?


8 September 2021, morning: ‘Next steps for asylum policy in the UK’, Westminster Legal Policy Forum keynote seminar

This conference will discuss priorities for UK asylum policy in the context of the recent New Plan for Immigration policy paper from the Home Office, which aims to improve the fairness and efficiency of the asylum system, such as through tackling illegal entry and strengthening legal routes, reviewing refugee family reunion routes, and improving the integration of refugees into UK society.

Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss the policy paper in light of other relevant developments, such as the criticism it has drawn from certain human rights and refugee advocacy groups, the Windrush Consultation Scheme, and the recent reports from the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI).

Keynote sessions form Glyn Williams, Director General, Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Systems Policy and Strategy Group, Home Office; Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, Representative to the UK, UNHCR; Judge Michael Clements, President, Immigration and Asylum Chamber; Dr Peter W. Walsh, Researcher, Migration Observatory, University of Oxford; and Colin Yeo, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers. Book here.


14 September 2021, morning: ‘Next steps for SEND provision in England – reform, inclusivity and access, and priorities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’, Westminster Education Forum policy conference

The conference, focusing on the future for improving SEND provision in England will be an opportunity to assess priorities for the delayed SEND Review expected later this year and challenges faced in the wake of COVID-19. Areas for discussion include:

  • reforming of SEND provision – key areas for improvement and policy priorities going forward
  • in the wake of COVID-19 – mental health needs and recovery, staff wellbeing and workload, catch-up tutoring, and lessons for future practice
  • inclusivity and access to education – educational facilities, assistive technologies and specialised equipment, and policy priorities for the Government’s School Rebuilding Programme
  • next steps for EHC plans, meeting demand, funding, and support for post-16 transitions.

Speakers include: Professor Adam Boddison, Chief Executive, nasen; Professor Brian Lamb, Visiting Professor of Special Educational Needs and Disability, University of Derby; Dr Helen Curran, Bath Spa University; Stephen Kingdom, Disabled Children’s Partnership; Claire Learman, Friends of Kirkleatham Hall School, Redcar; Marijke Miles, National Association of Head Teachers; Neill Oldham, Highfurlong School, Blackpool; Gurvinder Samra, Shoosmiths; and Amy Skipp, ASK Research. Book here.
The launch of This is Us marks a step change in how we work and communicate, and we’re really pleased to welcome Fiona Ellison as our new Director who joins us as we embark on this new stage of our journey. We’re excited for what 2021 will bring.


14 September 2021: NTU TILT Annual Learning and Teaching (Virtual) Conference, Nottingham Trent University

The TILT ALTC 2021 Conference takes as its focus the experience(s) of learning and teaching in the midst of a worldwide pandemic with a view to distil insights, effective practice(s) and lessons learnt. These issues will be explored through the lens of three Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoTL) themes: Active, Collaborative Learning; Teaching, Technology and the Pandemic; and, Learning Community. We will be contact again closer to the time with a full programme.

Keynote speaker Stephen Downes will, as part of the Conference theme, consider how the pandemic has challenged academics to redefine what we mean by a university education. He works with the Digital Technologies Research Centre at the National Research Council of Canada, has taught at a wide variety of institutions and is one of the originators of the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Stephen has published frequently about online and networked learning and, throughout a thirty-five-year career, has pioneered the work of online learning games, learning objects and metadata, podcasting and open educational resources.


21 September 2021, morning: ‘The future of the FE sector and priorities for the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill’, Westminster Education Forum policy conference

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which will legislate for policies announced in the Skills for Jobs white paper on priorities for the FE sector and its role in the national economic recovery.

The agenda in summary:

  • Next steps for developing the FE sector
  • Improving governance and standards in the FE sector – accountability, the future for funding, and developing a responsive approach
  • Supporting flexibility in further education – the future for modular provision, facilitating online learning, funding support and widening access, and supporting upskilling and retraining
  • Ensuring high standards within the FE sector
  • The FE sector and post-pandemic recovery – opportunities in the White Paper, meeting employer needs, plugging skills deficits, and driving local growth
  • Implementing the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill – policy priorities.

Speakers: include: Tom Bewick, Federation of Awarding Bodies; Rebecca Garrod-Waters, Ufi VocTech Trust; Robin Ghurbhurun, Jisc; Graham Guest, Telford College; Tim Pile, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership; David Russell, The Education and Training Foundation; and Paul Warner, Association of Employment and Learning Providers; A senior speaker confirmed from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from the Cabinet Office; CAFRE; the DfE, the Department for the Economy, NI; DIT; DWP; the Ministry of Justice; Ofsted; the Valuation Office Agency; and the Welsh Government – as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons Library. Book here.


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

Date for the diary. Programme content to be announced. Currently (July) seeking expressions of interest to present. Further questions, please contact


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. 

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.


23 November 2021: ‘Service Children’s Progression Alliance annual conference’, The Studio, Birmingham

Do you support young people from military families? Join the SCiP Alliance community at our annual conference, connecting professionals with evidence and with each other to support Service children’s journeys to thriving lives.  The conference aims to:

  • connect professionals with evidence and with each other to support Service children’s journeys to thriving lives.
  • we welcome input on the topic of Service children’s educational progression and will be putting out a call for papers.



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.


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.


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


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.


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.