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Virtual networking in healthcare education returns for 2021

30 Jul 2021 | Liz Clark NET is the leading, international conference for networking in healthcare education. Co-founder, Liz Clark, introduces the 31st conference taking place virtually from 1-3 September 2021.

The NET Conference is a highly regarded, annual fixture that thousands of UK and international delegates have attended over its 30-year history. It provides a vibrant, international networking forum for healthcare educators dedicated to innovation and excellence.

Like so many events, the pandemic resulted in the cancellation of last year’s conference. At the time, we naively assumed we’d be able to host the 2021 conference as a face-to-face event, ie back to ‘normal’. Thankfully, towards the end of last year we began to realise we were probably being overly optimistic (as has, indeed, turned out to be the case), so we started to plan a virtual international conference. This has been both exciting and, also, slightly daunting. However, we think it’s important to run this different form of NET conference as a stepping-stone towards, hopefully, rebuilding a face-to-face conference in 2022.

Fortunately, Advance HE has built up considerable experience in running virtual conferences which has assisted our planning enormously. So, our 31st conference – NET2021 – will be an exciting voyage of ‘discovery’ during which we hope to learn new things that will help us to enhance future, face-to-face conferences.

We’re also incredibly proud of the collaborations that have emerged from NET over the years – the joint projects, the national/international networks that have been established and the friendships that have been forged.

As usual, we have a rich and varied programme. This year we have many examples of creative responses to the global pandemic, triggering innovation that is likely to become embedded in mainstream pedagogy going forward: opportunities that have arisen and been grasped from unprecedented challenge over the past 18 months.

Recent exchanges with many previous delegates over the past few months have triggered some heart-warming anecdotes and insights into how NET conferences have had, and continue to have, a significant impact on many colleagues’ personal and professional lives.

Healthcare is undoubtedly safe in the hands of enthusiastic students, practitioners and educators who are committed to best practice and continual quality improvement in everything they do.

We can’t wait to welcome you to our virtual conference so we can inspire and motivate each other to continue to innovate and deliver excellence in practice. In the words of one delegate:

"To facilitate excellence, healthcare educators need to be supported in a way that sustains their curiosity and imagination. This conference meets this need, enabling educators to present their work in a safe environment that provides mutual support."

 

Liz Clark, Visiting Academic, The Open University, UK

The virtual NET2021 Conference on 1-3 September will provide an unique opportunity for delegates to engage with the latest worldwide research evidence, developments and thinking with educators, practitioners and students. Find out more.

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