Access and Participation Conference
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
On Friday 7th September, we welcomed over 120 practitioners, professionals and researchers from a number of organisations with an interest in widening participation.
The Access and Participation conference, co-funded by the University of Reading and Study Higher, was opened by Professor Gavin Brooks, who introduced our first keynote, Chris Millard (Director of Fair Access and Participation) from the Office for Students. Chris provided a reflection of the progress made in relation to improving access to higher education during the last decade as he set out the most important objectives for universities and government in the next 5 years.
Over 20 inspiring speakers then shared their work in two parallel sessions, discussing ongoing initiatives and challenges of raising student aspiration and attainment, before and during university education.
Our second keynote was Steph Hamilton (Area Director, South of England) from the Brilliant Club, who shared some of the successes the charity has had to date in their partnerships with over 700 schools and 40 universities across the UK.
The conference was closed by Dr Paddy Woodman and Professor Ellie Highwood, who encouraged the audience to think about future practices and researches in access and participation, as well as to try out the cakes provided to refuel our minds after a long and stimulating day!
Conference organising committee: Dr Billy Wong, James Aitken, Dr Paddy Woodman, Prof Ellie Highwood, Lucinda Morton and Nozomi Tolworthy