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Student Engagement Conference 2021

Leading Student Engagement in Times of Crisis and Transformation: Student Engagement Conference 2021

New for 2021, this one-day event will focus on good practice in engaging students, the student voice and student participation in the governance and decision-making processes.

New for 20-21 and focusing on student engagement, this conference will focus on the engagement of students in all aspects of their higher education, from the ‘classroom’ to extra-curricular activities including leadership and governance. For this event student engagement is defined as:

‘Participation in curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities linked to high quality learning and personal development’

Join the conversation #StudentEgagementConf21

Date: 26 May 2021
Venue: Virtual
Who: Those with responsibility for the student academic experience and student engagement more widely, SU teams, course leaders and tthose focused on the student experience and improving student outcomes.

Book now
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Conference background

Student engagement has never been more important or more challenging. During these historically difficult and tragic months, institutions and staff have striven to deliver a quality student experience. However, new students have not been able to enjoy the excitement of face-to-face freshers’ week and the discovery of the physical campus; clubs and societies have struggled to operate as normal; student inductions have had to take place virtually, and learning in lectures, seminars, practicals and tutorials has had to be re-designed. Returning students have had to radically adjust their expectations, as one year that was hastily curtailed in extraordinary circumstances transitioned into a new academic year of ‘unknown unknowns’. And yet institutional life has had to continue. Education has remained a top priority for both policy makers and society more widely, and the challenge of engaging students amidst socially distanced teaching, rapidly constructed online modules, periods of self-isolation, tiered restrictions and COVID-lockdowns has been the lot of academic and student service colleagues working closely together, alongside senior management.

Focusing on student engagement, this conference is an important and timely opportunity for the sector to come together to review where we’ve been and to consider where next. Through the lens of leadership, we will discuss not only the challenges but also the opportunities presented by the COVID experience. What does it mean to lead student engagement, and how can we reboot our vision of student engagement as we build towards the 2021/22 academic year?

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Keynote speaker

Professor Anthony Smith, BPharm, PhD, FRPharmS, PFHEA, FRSA

Anthony Smith was appointed Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs) at University College London in 2012. Professor Smith takes the strategic lead for all matters related to education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and the wider student experience.  In addition to leading the Office of the Vice Provost (Education and Student Affairs), he oversees Student and Registry Services, UCL Careers and UCL Culture. 

Find out more about Anthony

Professor Anthony Smith
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Panel speakers

Maisha Islam

Maisha Islam is the Student Engagement Research and Projects Officer at the University of Winchester, whilst also studying for an EdD. Maisha’s main research interests lie in the area of BAME and Muslim student experience in Higher Education, where she has written and published on these topics. 

Find out more about Maisha

Maisha Islam
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Call for workshops

As part of the programme we intend to run three parallel workshops led by the sector where we showcase some excellent examples of student engagement and share the challenges, the learning, the solutions, and provide opportunities to enable the transfer of good practice. The three workshops are as follows:

  • Engagement in the classroom focused on how students are engaged in high-quality learning wherever that takes place;
  • Engagement in co-curricular and personal development opportunities focused on how students participate in wider institutionally linked activities, for example in student societies and other development opportunities;
  • Engagement in institutional leadership and governance focused on how student involvement in the leadership and governance of the institution (whether at course or board level) is best enabled.

This call is asking for HE providers to volunteer to lead one of the workshops at the conference, providing an overview of the work they have undertaken, the challenges encountered, the solutions found and any evaluation of this work involving both students and staff. We would encourage you to make the workshop as engaging and interactive as possible and to ensure there is time for sharing of ideas with attendees and in-depth discussions to facilitate full learning for the sector.

The conference is being held on the Advance HE virtual conference platform and as such workshop leads will have access to a virtual room with breakout options and the usual options for utilisation of interactive polling and other tools. Full technical run throughs will be undertaken with the selected workshop leads.

If you are interested in being involved please complete the online submission form with an outline of the work you would focus on in the workshop (max 500 words), this will be reviewed by Advance HE and three workshops will be selected to be delivered at the conference.

If you have any queries about the conference or the workshops then please contact Celia Brigg, Assistant Director, Programmes and Events.

The call will be open until midday, 4 March 2021. Presenters will be informed of the outcome of the review process by 15 March 2021.

Submit your abstract here
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Leading Student Engagement in Times of Crisis and Transformation: Student Engagement Conference 2021 - Conference programme
Download Resource

Student Engagement Conference 2021

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Related blogs and resources 

The student perspective: Top tips for student engagement in an online environment

We were keen to consider the student voice around contemporary issues that influence engagement in an online environment. 

We therefore collaborated with our colleagues at sparqs (Student Partnerships in quality Scotland) to source these ‘Top Tips’ from student sabbatical officers in November 2020.

View resource
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Event sponsors

EvaSys - sponsor logo

EvaSys has been a market-leading supplier of survey and exam solutions for over 20 years, with 1000+ customers worldwide, two-thirds of whom are education institutions, and 60+ Universities within the UK and Ireland.

EvaSys delivers: high survey response rates; extensive academic and student engagement; evaluation consistency; instant reporting to inform decisions; and powerful, flexible reporting for all stakeholders.

EvaExam assessments provide: secure, online, proctored exams; summative assessments and formative tests; immediate reporting with question analysis and mark distribution; reductions in marking time from days to hours; and accelerated results for students.

The UK office offers dedicated account, implementation, training and customer support to clients across the UK and Ireland, supported by development, technical and training teams in Germany.

Find out more