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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.
Early Bird price offer - Programmes and Events

Overview

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.

Structure

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.

Benefits

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. 

Calendar

Employability Symposium: Breaking the mould

Date: In response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak we have moved the delivery date of this event from 22 April 2020 to 15 September 2020.
Venue: Online

Individuals and society are increasingly expecting a different return on their investment in a university degree. Given the current policy context and a focus on graduate level outcomes by the OfS it’s important to understand and anticipate what this topography means in order to enable student success.

#EmpSymp20 ‘Breaking the mould’ wants to explore how HE providers are focusing on these shifts: to work in new ways, to collaborate, to provide fuller foundations for continuous learning and ultimately to provide a long-term commitment to ensuring students succeed and maximise their chances of chosen progression, in particular towards employment.

We want to recognise and promote good practice where employability is part of the curriculum, bringing together cutting-edge examples of how sustainable and innovative approaches to employability can be delivered at school, faculty/college and/or institutional levels.

We are particularly keen to encourage submissions that cover:
•    Inter and/or transdisciplinary approaches to employability.
•    Designing inclusive approaches to employability opportunities.
•    Innovative, high impact pedagogies.
•    Policy and institutional contexts focused on systematic and strategic change.

We believe that these areas are essential and, if focused upon, will lead to positive impact, reflected in student learning, student satisfaction and improved core metrics. This approach can further ensure that all stakeholders have a greater certainty in both the quality and ongoing value of their undergraduate course experience.

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Student Retention and Success Symposium: Examining the role of mental wellbeing in the curriculum and university

Date: In response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak we have moved the delivery date of this event from 21 April 2020 to 16 September 2020. 
Venue: Online

Retention and attainment remains a key issue across the HE sector with providers engaged  in a range of approaches and interventions to improve the learning experience and outcomes across different student groups. The theme of this year's Student Retention and Success Symposium is mental wellbeing in the curriculum and university. It will consider structures and culture that support wellbeing and the impact that wellbeing can and does have on student retention, transition, and success.

This symposium invites contributions addressing broadly the following questions:

  • How do leaders lead on wellbeing (leadership at all levels including PVC, Dean, Student Union, Programme Leaders)?
  • How can assessment design and curriculum framing contribute to student wellbeing? 
  • What are the discipline-specific challenges to student wellbeing, and how do we transfer best practice across departments? 
  • Does our curriculum need to be more compassionate? What does that involve? 
  • Does enhancing wellbeing require a new relationship between student support services and academic departments?
  • What is the optimum architecture of committee and reporting structures to drive student wellbeing, retention and success?
  • How is the wellbeing of research students supported and what is the role of the PhD-Supervisor relationship?
  • How do we manage workload?
  • Are there good examples of HEIs addressing staff wellbeing and student wellbeing together?
  • How does the professional development of staff best address student wellbeing? Do we need new approaches to professional dialogue around wellbeing in the curriculum?

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

- Previous Student Retention and Success Symposium delegate

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Assessment and Feedback Symposium 2020: Assessment and feedback in the pandemic era: A time for learning and inclusion

Date: 28 October 2020
Venue: Online

The call for papers for this symposium is now open until 5pm on 11 September 2020. Find out more and submit your paper here

This symposium invites participants to consider our assessment and feedback practices and how these might be enhanced, improved, and made more inclusive, in pandemic and post-pandemic higher education. By way of a keynote session, participant-led workshops and presentations, and a closing plenary, the event will offer insights about these issues, as well as examples and ideas for university staff and students. Drawing on research, evidence-informed practice and broader, recent developments, the event will appeal especially to academic leaders and professional staff with roles incorporating any aspect of assessment and feedback practices.

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Mental Wellbeing in HE Symposium

Date: 17 February 2021
Venue: Online

This symposium, by way of a keynote session, participant-led workshops and presentations, and a closing plenary, will offer insights and solutions on how to identify instances of, and improve, poor mental health and wellbeing among students and staff in HE.

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Sustainability Symposium

Date: 3 March 2021
Venue: TBC, Manchester

In an era of ‘climate emergency’, it is now more timely than ever for us to re-examine and reinforce the embedding of sustainability into higher education curricula. But with the outbreak of Covid-19, what does sustainability in the curriculum now mean and what lessons can be learned from the handling of the on-going pandemic? Are the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) still applicable, and how do we ensure that they remain foremost in our consciousness?

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Race Equality Symposium

Date: 20 April 2021
Venue: TBC, London

This symposium, by way of a keynote session, participant-led workshops and presentations, and a closing plenary, will offer insights and solutions to issues of race and racism within higher education, and will explore ideas for supporting and advancing change in HEIs and closing the attainment gap.

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Employability Symposium 2 

Date: 22 April 2021
Venue: TBC, Birmingham

It’s inescapable; employability is a prominent feature of contemporary higher education. Globally, a range of HE providers are examining the methods they use to enhance employability and increasingly there is a desire to strengthen and develop relevant activities due to a range of factors and influences such as graduate destination data, labour market detail, policy impact, and student expectations. 

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

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Gender Equality Symposium 

Date: 11 May 2021
Venue: TBC, London

Gender equality remains an ever-present concern within the HE sector. The Athena SWAN Charter’s process and framework is now being adopted across the globe, including in Ireland, the USA and Canada, but more work needs to be undertaken in order to address this. As Brian Schmidt, Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU) said, "we can't ignore 50 percent of the population's talent."

This symposium, by way of a keynote session, participant-led workshops and presentations, and a closing plenary, will offer insights and solutions into redressing the gender imbalance in HE.

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Curriculum Design/Development Symposium

Date: 3 June 2021
Venue: TBC, York

The outbreak of COVID-19 forced us to re-evaluate our curricula, particularly in terms of delivery methods, where online teaching and blended delivery have been the only channels available to us to teach our students. But what lessons have we learnt from this? What have been the benefits to students of full programmes taught online? What new models of teaching have emerged during the past year that allow us to expand and diversify the curriculum?

This symposium, by way of a keynote session, participant-led workshops and presentations, and a closing plenary, will offer reflections, insights and solutions to issues of curriculum design.

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Disability Symposium 

Date: 15 June 2021
Venue: TBC, London

Under the Equality Act 2010, a person has a disability 'if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities' and that higher education institutions have a duty 'to make reasonable adjustments for staff, students and service users' in relation to provisions, criteria or practices; physical features and auxiliary aids. But what does this mean in practice, and how can we improve the experiences of students and staff with disabilities?

This symposium, by way of a keynote session, participant-led workshops and presentations, and a closing plenary, will offer insights and solutions into supporting students and staff with a disability.

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Ireland Symposium

Date: 15 June 2021
Venue: TBC, Belfast

This symposium, by way of a keynote session, participant-led workshops and presentations, and a closing plenary, will look to explore priority areas of higher education within Northern Ireland and Ireland and will offer insights and solutions to assist staff in addressing them. 

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