Skip to main content

Teaching and Learning Conference 2019 - Day 2 - thoughts from behind the scenes

04 Jul 2019 | Dr Celia Brigg Dr Celia Brigg, Associate Director for Conferences and Events at Advance HE, looks back on the second day of the 2019 Teaching and Learning Conference, including revealing the result of the debate motion - the metrification of higher education is ruining the student experience.

The second day of the Teaching and Learning Conference 2019 started with an inspiring keynote presentation from Joshua Sanderson-Kirk, Student Association President at the University of Law. A strong part of Josh’s keynote was discussing how teaching cannot be excellent if it is not inclusive, for example, significant BME attainment gaps, and how this can be taken into account within the TEF.

It was a thought-provoking talk which showed great passion for ensuring higher education is for all and that everyone has equity in being able to attain the outcomes they want while at university, challenging universities to be the great levellers they claim to be.


Practice showcased throughout the day across parallel sessions, workshops, interactive breakouts and oral presentations was exciting and innovative.  We saw plasticine, escape rooms, games, 360 degree immersive video and VR technology.

We also heard about fantastic work on inclusive curricular, strategies for improving BME attainment, student development of pedagogic literacies and digital learning just to name a few. In every workshop and session I attended new connections were made, people drew links between their work and that being presented, value was added and the buzz just built and built.

Feedback from delegates at the end of the day demonstrated the value people had found during the day.

“A thought-provoking day, and an inclusive community from across the globe, thank you.”


“An inspiring day of presentations, workshops and great networking, really sorry not to be there for day 3.”

Head of Department

“Excellent day, so many ideas I don’t know what to look at first.”

Senior Lecturer

“So much stuff to think about from #TLConf19 today. Normally I compulsively live
tweet from conferences, but I found myself needing to devote all my energies to follow up on people to pick the brains of, reflection to do, brilliant day!”

L&T Specialist

As the day turned to evening, 130 delegates moved to the Great Hall for a drinks reception and dinner followed by the Annual Debate. Our four debaters, Dr Diana Beech, Debbie McVitty, Amatey Doku and Joshua Sanderson-Kirk made their arguments for and against the motion The metrification of higher education is ruining the student experience. Whilst the debate was under Chatham House rules I can share that we heard about the state of marriages, the need to have metrics for everything, the potential of a previous Minister to implement frameworks such as GIF and FAF (thankfully not reality just supposition) to add to the world of REF, TEF and KEF.

Questions from the floor saw heated discussion between delegates on both sides of the debate, with challenges flying around the room on why you should measure everything, that it was all flawed and we should never measure anything and just to listen to all students. Finally, our chief executive Alison Johns brought order back to the room and the speakers made their closing argument before the big vote…the motion was carried, this house does believe that the metrification of higher education is ruining the student experience.

Find out more about upcoming conferences

Keep up to date - Sign up to Advance HE communications

Our monthly newsletter contains the latest news from Advance HE, updates from around the sector, links to articles sharing knowledge and best practice and information on our services and upcoming events. Don't miss out, sign up to our newsletter now.

Sign up to our enewsletter