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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2023: The Shoulders of Giants: Listening, Learning and Improving our Practice

This conference will focus on best practice in addressing issues of equality, diversity and inclusion in HE.

In 1676 in a letter to his fellow-scientist Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton wrote:

“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”.

Newton’s metaphor was not original - theologian and author John of Salisbury, writing in 1159 used a version of the phrase, going on to say, "We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours."

Bookings now open

Dates: 15-16 March 2023
Venue: The DoubleTree by Hilton, Hull

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This metaphor acknowledges that advancement in thinking and practice often comes from the inspiration, provocation and challenge that encountering the ideas of others provides – giants are those from whom we can learn and springboard our own learning and process. When we think about the influences on the canon of equity, diversity and inclusion today, several significant questions come to mind:

  • Who are our ‘giants’? What is our framework of reference for recognising them? How do we challenge exclusionary notions of scholarship, evidence and expertise, and acknowledge and value the work of scholars and practitioners from marginalised groups?
  • How do we ensure that we are learning from the widest diversity of sources/resources/lived experience/location?
  • How do we encounter ideas that challenge our own ideas in a way that maximises the potential for learning?
  • How do we ensure diversity amongst future ‘giants’ in the way we encourage, support, value and promote our students and staff?
  • How can co-creation and collaboration with students, staff and other communities enhance our understanding of EDI?
  • What can we learn from EDI thinking and practice in sectors other than Higher Education?
  • How do we create opportunities to share/benefit from EDI expertise with international partners?
  • How do we understand, navigate and benefit from increasingly complex and intersectional ideas about equity, diversity and inclusion?
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Share and celebrate your achievements and learning

Presenter's contribution to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2023 will be digitally recognised

Digital recognition will make it easy for you to share and celebrate your Advance HE learning achievements by adding them to your email signature or including them in your social profiles including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Your certificates can also be easily downloaded as a pdf.

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Conference Outcomes

With a focus on exploring these questions, this conference offers:

  • An opportunity to think deeply and creatively about how we can build our learning on equity, diversity and inclusion to draw on the widest range of thinking and practice, including marginalised voices, new ways of learning, and learning from outside of higher education.
  • A chance to share what we are doing to disrupt traditional understanding of scholarship and scholars/expertise and experts, and to challenge structures and processes that limit career opportunities.
  • A platform to share new ideas that will stimulate our thinking about equity, diversity and inclusion – inviting people to stand on our shoulders and share our insights, as well as learning from those who do likewise.

Join us at the conference

Dates: 15-16 March 2023
Venue: The DoubleTree by Hilton, Hull

Book your place
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Conference themes

The conference will have the following sub-themes:

  1. Learning from students: Including innovative practice in curriculum design; co-creation and collaboration; student engagement strategies; student-led approaches to dignity and respect; mental health and wellbeing; working with student governors and representatives.
  2. Learning across difference: For example, approaches to fostering good relations and supporting respectful dialogue around contentious issues; ideas for developing whole-institution engagement on EDI.
  3. Learning across the globe: Sharing insights and expertise that widen our understanding of EDI across the world. For example, indigenous scholarship and ways of learning; models for effective international collaborations and exchanges.
  4. Learning from beyond HE: Examples of innovative practice from outside the sector.
  5. Developing giants: Ideas for encouraging and supporting the development of a diverse community of experts, scholars, leaders and practitioners. For example, early-career researcher development, positive action programmes.
  6. ‘On the shoulders of’: Sharing innovative thinking/research that widens knowledge and understanding of any aspect of EDI. An opportunity to be giants.
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About the conference

The conference will run across two days with an optional evening dinner and entertainment on the evening of the 15 March. Delegates can attend the full conference or choose the one day that resonates most with their work, experiences or requirements.

Please note that there will also be an early evening reception for Athena Swan and Race Equality Charter award winners from recent application rounds. Some of these winners will be offered the opportunity to showcase their work during specific sessions in the conference programme

This is a conference that anyone serious about matters of Inclusivity, Equity and Diversity, should attend. It really is a box of delights with something for everyone to take away.

Dr Barbara Howard-Hunt
Senior Lecturer Inclusivity Hub, Birmingham City University

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Download Programme

Day 1 programme

Download Programme

Day 2 programme

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Download Abstracts

Day 1 Abstracts

Download Abstracts

Day 2 Abstracts

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Speakers Day 1

Keynote speaker 15 March:

Dr Shaid Mahmood

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion)
Durham University
Shaid Mahmood
With many years of experience in working in senior roles in industry and as a Chief Officer for Transformation, Change and Communities in Local Government, Shaid is also the Chair of the Association of Colleges, Chair of the Luminate Education Group, and Pro Vice Chancellor of Durham University.
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Speakers Day 2

Keynote speaker 16 March:

Stephen Thomas Whittle

Professor Emeritus of Equalities Law
Manchester Metropolitan University
Stephen Whittle
A co-founder of Press For Change (PFC the UK's transgender lobby group, Stephen has been the organisation’s Head of Legal Services for over 25 years, running and training a team of volunteers providing free legal advice to transgender people and those who work with them. In 2005 he was a founder member and later Chair of Transgender Europe. He has been researching and writing about the law and transgender people for over 30 years, including being a co-author of the Yogyakarta Principles on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Human Rights.

Shames Maskeen

Lecturer in Developmental Psychology
Leeds Trinity University
Shames Maskeen
Shames Maskeen is a Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at Leeds Trinity University, and his PhD focusses on widening participation from a psychological perspective. In particular, increasing the participation of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in higher education through self-efficacy and role modelling. His research focusses on addressing the interplay of culture, religion, and gender on the lived experiences of people of colour. In his previous role as Institutional Lead for the Race Equality Charter, he was the driving force in Leeds Trinity University becoming the first University in Yorkshire to achieve the Bronze award.
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DoubleTree by Hilton Hull

24 Ferenway, HU2 8NH 

Rates are per room per night, incl. of VAT and breakfast.

(limited available) £135 Bed & Breakfast for 14th – 15th March and £105 Bed & Breakfast for 16th March to be booked via link below:

Holiday Inn Express

80 Ferensway, HU2 8LN (3 minutes walking from DoubleTree by Hilton Hull)

Tuesday – Wednesday - £102 per room per night, complimentary breakfast. (subject to availability)

To make a booking please email or call 01482 485700 - quote booking code: ‘AdvanceHE23’

Holiday Inn Marina 

Castle Street, HU1 2BX (19 minutes walking from DoubleTree by Hilton Hull)

standard twin or double for sole occupancy £119.00 per room, per nightmarina view twin or double for sole occupancy  £134.00 per room, per night

These rates are based on a 2-night stay only, if 1 night only is required it will be at the BAR rate subject to availability;

Thursday night add-on;

standard twin or double for sole occupancy £105.00 per room, per night, marina view twin or double for sole occupancy £120.00 per room, per night.

All rooms are subject to availability.  For listed rates please book before Monday 13th February. 

To make a booking please email and quote booking code: 'AdvanceHE23'


Osborne Street, Ferenway, HU1 2NL (7 minutes walking from DoubleTree by Hilton Hull)

Special rate of £55.00 per room per night inclusive of breakfast for 1 person or £62.00 per room per night inclusive of breakfast for 2 people for arrivals from 14th March 2023 for 3 nights (subject to availability).

To make a booking please call (01482 947950) or email Lucy: and quote “AdvanceHE23”

Village Hotel

Henry Boot Way, Hull HU4 7DY (15 minutes’ drive DoubleTree by Hilton Hull)


£135 per night Bed & Breakfast subject to availability.

To book, please email Simon: and quote booking code: 'AdvanceHE23'

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