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Symposia Series

Our symposia series focuses on thematic areas of interest within teaching and learning and are for anyone wishing to improve their knowledge of the latest teaching pedagogies and upskill their practice in key areas.
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Our symposium events offer staff a useful forum to encourage the exchange and dissemination of different ways of thinking about key challenges and new approaches. Practitioners are invited to participate in each symposium through submitting an abstract on their work as a fifteen-minute stimulus presentation and case study to support the discussions.


Each symposium is facilitated by a Senior Advisor from Advance HE with specific expertise in the area being discussed. The day will feature a keynote presentation from a leading practitioner in each area, followed by themed sessions showcasing case studies from across the sector. Delegates will have the opportunity to learn from leading practitioners in the sector, debate priority issues and learn from cutting-edge initiatives.


The symposia provide teaching practitioners with access to an open and supportive environment and valuable peer network to share and discuss contemporary practice and initiatives. They enable participants to develop a principled, evidence-informed approach to devising subsequent support and guidance for change in enhancing student success in HE.

Who: Teaching practitioners including: heads of departments, academic programme leaders and developers, lecturers, academic and support staff, and learning technologists.

View the dates of the events below or in the calendar. 


Assessment Symposium

Date: 24 October 2019
Venue: Advance HE, York 

This symposium will address the priority area of assessment feedback, an enduring issue across HE globally, focusing on the connected areas of marking practices and feedback processes. It will offer insights and solutions for the enhancement of marking and feedback practices within departmental and institutional contexts, through building understanding about evidence-informed frameworks, principles and practices.

The day will consider approaches in re-evaluating feedback and marking practices both at a crossdisciplinary and disciplinary level, and look at how feedback and marking practices can be enhanced within institutional contexts.

The breadth of the areas covered means that the Assessment Symposium will be suitable for is for HE staff and student representatives with a keen interest in improving assessment practices and for those with responsibility to further enhance the curriculum and improve the student experience of assessment
and feedback such as programme leaders.

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Employability Symposium

Date: 3 December 2019 
Venue: TBC, Birmingham 

This symposium aims to bring together cutting-edge examples of how sustainable and innovative pedagogies for employability can be delivered at school, faculty/college or institutional levels.

Enhancing employability is a prominent feature of contemporary HE and globally, HE providers are examining the methods they use to enhance employability with a desire to strengthen and develop relevant activities. This work is impacted by a range of influences and factors, including graduate destination data, labour market detail, policy impact, and student expectations. As employability remains such an important topic, we need to explore whether the learning environments that we are providing are conducive not just to disciplinary learning, but also to developing the right mix of knowledge, skills, behaviours, capabilities and attributes that are expected of our graduates in today’s world. 

Embedding pedagogies that support employability can help develop a number of the critical components required to enable students to succeed. Not only are these components attractive to potential employers, but they also act as the foundation for developing the graduate as they progress through their chosen career or future education.


Student Retention and Success Symposium

Date: 21 April 2020 
Venue: Advance HE, York 

Retention and attainment remains a key issue across the HE sector with providers undertaking specific targeted activity to address the distinct challenges of this area across all student groups. This symposium will consider these three areas that are key to institutional efforts to better enable student success; student data, engagement and support.

These areas will be considered through a series of critical questions, including, but not limited to:

  • Improving the purpose and use of student data, are we collecting the right data? Is there any data that would be helpful that is not yet being collected?
  • What do we mean by student engagement? How do we use student engagement to inform teaching practice?
  • How do we best integrate student support services and teaching practice? How do we balance mainstream support with targeted support?

"Really enjoyed the meeting - speakers were interesting and got lots of good ideas and made new contacts with other attendees"

- Student Retention and Success Symposium 2018 delegate


Hidden Curricular Symposium

Date: 9 June 2020
Venue: Advance HE, York

The demographic profile of the student body is continuously changing as a result of the sector’s work on inclusivity and growing participation rates. In response to this shifting profile educators must reconsider
any assumptions they make in curriculum design, taking into account the accrued cultural and social capital of this emergent student population.

Drawing on research and evidence-informed practice, the event will appeal especially to academic leaders and professional staff with roles incorporating the oversight and design of curriculum, as well
as retention and success for learners. By way of a keynote session, participant-led workshops or presentations, and a closing plenary, the event will offer insights and solutions for the enhancement of
curriculum design within departmental and institutional contexts.