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STEM Conference 2020

STEM graduates for a world of change This two-day conference highlights cutting-edge pedagogies, innovations and research taking place across the STEM sector through a variety of peer-led sessions.

Find out more about STEM Conference 2021: Rethinking STEM Higher Education taking place on 28 January 2021.

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This year’s Advance HE STEM conference looked at how we prepare our students in a constantly changing world, with a focus on how we ensure our graduates learn the appropriate skills and attributes necessary for the global workplace.

The conference will allowed individuals to share their experiences, developments in teaching pedagogies and learn from others who share the same commitment to STEM teaching and learning.


Find out more about STEM Conference 2021: Rethinking STEM Higher Education taking place on 28 January 2021

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Conference themes

Under the overarching theme of ‘STEM Graduates for a changing world’, interactive breakout sessions, oral presentations, ignite sessions, workshop sessions and poster presentations addressed the following propositions:

Proposition 1: STEM graduates need to develop knowledge, skills, values and behaviours required to create a more sustainable world.

Proposition 2: Curricula should foster students’ understanding of how their discipline intersects with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Proposition 3: STEM graduates need to develop cross-cultural competency and understand how human rights, gender equality and global citizenship impact on the global workplace.

Proposition 4: The changing workplace will require STEM graduates to reflect on their personal goals, skills and attributes, and adopt resilient and flexible approaches to learning.

Proposition 5: Delivering a world of change requires strong individual and team leadership. All students should have the opportunity to develop and evaluate their personal leadership styles or lead and manage individual, team and/or multidisciplinary projects.

Conference outcomes

The conference:

  • created space for delegates to engage with creative thinking around STEM teaching and learning issues to enhance the student experience;
  • increased knowledge and confidence of delegates to enhance their STEM teaching practice and have a positive impact on the success of their students; and
  • engaged with leaders and influencers from across the HE sector who share a passion for continuous improvement and enhancement of STEM teaching and learning in HE.

Advance HE has acted as a nexus for thought leadership and research into learning and teaching policy and practice in HE. The underpinning evidence base has been built up by and for the sector and is used to inform the work of policymakers and practitioners. With an ever-growing global community of member institutions, a portfolio of thematic and subject-based communities with global membership and a global network of experts and teaching-focused activities, this conference sought to promote learning between global individuals with a passion for transforming teaching and growing excellence.

Keynote Speaker: Day 1 

Professor Nazira Karodia

Scientists traversing boundaries: STEM education is social education

Nazira Karodia is Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton and Professor of Science Education. Apart from her focus on green chemistry and heterocyclic chemistry research, her interests in the field of education are directed towards how education can address social injustice. Her specialisms encompass sustainability, widening access to higher education, inclusive curricula, gender in STEM, promoting gender equality in higher education, gender-competent management in research, innovation and scientific decision-making bodies allied to academia, and advancing social justice by examining issues of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and class.

In 2015 Nazira moved to the University of Wolverhampton as a Professor of Science Education; acted as the interim Dean of Science and Engineering in 2016 and is now the current Dean. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Senior Fellow of the HEA.


Keynote Speaker: Day 2

Professor Jim Longhurst 

Jim is Professor of Environmental Science and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability at UWE, Bristol.    

In his AVC role Jim leads the university’s sustainability agenda ensuring that sustainability considerations are present in the university’s teaching, research, campus operations and civic engagement work. As part of this role he has led the development of UWE’s innovative Grand Challenge which in 2018/19 and 2019/20 seeks to focus the university community’s attention on the causes, consequences and potential solution to the challenge of homelessness. In 2016 he won the UK and Ireland Green Gown Award for Leadership. In 2019 he is leading the development of UWE’s innovative Climate Action and Sustainability Strategy.

He is a Fellow of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, a Fellow of the EAUC, an Honorary Fellow of Society for the Environment, a Chartered Scientist and one of the first Chartered Environmentalist’s in the UK. 

Recently he was appointed the EAUC Commissioner for the Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education Leaders and has accepted an invitation from the Mayor of Bristol to co-chair Bristol’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change. 


Conference programme

Download draft conference programme

STEM Conference 2020 - Day 1

Download draft conference programme

STEM Conference 2020 - Day 2

Download session abstracts

Session abstracts




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"It's a good platform that allows academics to share practice across disciplines which fosters innovation, ideas and possible collaborations"

- STEM Conference 2019 delegate 

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