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New virtual networking and greater flexibility with on demand resources at Advance HE’s 2021 Teaching and Learning Conference

11 Jun 2021 | Dr Celia Brigg Dr Celia Brigg, Associate Director for Conferences and Events at Advance HE, looks forward to the benefits of this years’ virtual Teaching and Learning Conference and introduces a new networking opportunity.

At Advance HE we have been planning for the 2021 Teaching and Learning Conference since the virtual rooms closed on the 2020 conference, and at that time, my hopes were that we would be back with a face-to-face event this year. But as we are all well aware, bringing together in person 700+ colleagues passionate about teaching and learning in higher education over three days is still not possible.

While this means it can be more difficult to network there are many advantages. We don’t need to travel on packed trains, sleep in unusual hotel rooms, be away from families for nearly a week or make small talk over breakfast when we are still not fully awake! The virtual conference world also has many benefits and I wanted to reflect on what we can look forward to on 6-8 July and how Advance HE has been working to try and replicate as much of our usual conference as possible in a virtual way.

More live and pre-recorded sessions and resources

In 2021 the Advance HE Teaching and Learning Conference is back to a full three-day event, allowing us to showcase a wealth of fantastic practice and work from across the global HE sector. The conference will have keynote speakers, panel sessions and over 30 live workshops alongside fast and furious ignite presentations – can they keep up with their automatically progressing slides and fit in all the key points? There will also be over 100 pre-recorded oral presentations available on demand and 20 posters. All live sessions will be recorded and all the sessions both live and on demand will be available to delegates after the conference finishes. We hope this will provide you will a stimulating three days but also a portfolio of resources to watch again at your leisure and to search through when you need inspiration from colleagues.

New virtual networking opportunity

The Advance HE virtual conference platform allows you to wander around the conference browsing content, finding resources, chatting to colleagues and visiting our information stands, and this year we will be increasing the networking functionality by running a Topia world alongside this. In Topia you can meet up with colleagues, find new contacts and catch up with old friends by moving your avatar around the world and literally bumping into people. As you move close to a group you hear their conversation fading in and their cameras appearing just as you would when you wander around the refreshment or exhibition area of a face-to-face conference. We hope this will allow greater connectivity between delegates in an informal and fun way.

Come and join us from 6-8 July. Full details including the programmes for each day, conference abstracts and information on our speakers can be found here.

We are offering discounts for bulk bookings of 10% of 5 places and 15% for 10 places. If you wish to take advantage of this offer please email

Our Teaching and Learning Conference 2021 will continue to position the spotlight firmly on teaching in a global context. In particular, the conference will focus on the theme 'What is the Future for the HE Curricula?'. Book your place for 6-8 July.

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