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Agenda

  • Live Sessions
  • On Demand
8:45 am
Registration, Refreshments and Networking
9:30 am
Chair's Welcome Address
Nathan Sansom
Nathan Sansom
CEO
The Access Project
Confirmed
9:45 am
Back in the Room Icebreakers

With live events back, we will be kicking off the Widening Participation Conference with interactive icebreakers.

This session will allow you to get to know colleagues from across the sector and explore your key learning objectives for the day.

Expect lots of interaction and an opportunity to restart your face-to-face networking experience!

10:00 am
OfS Keynote + Q&A: Grade Inflation and Widening Participation – Assessing what Works
  • Outlining how the OfS measures success through Access and Participation Plans, and how the OfS has evaluated its own approach
  • Examining the impact of teacher assessed grades and grade inflation on widening participation
  • Answering your questions on the OfS’s evaluation of their approach to access and participation, and how it will affect institutions moving forward
Chris Millward
Chris Millward
Director of Fair Access and Participation
Office for Students (OfS)
Invited
10:30 am
Interactive Panel Discussion: Targeting – Reaching Hard to Reach Groups

In this interactive session you will be able to explore the steps required for effective targeting. Ask your questions and hear our experts’ perspectives on:

 

  • Effective targeting and what is required to reach hard to reach groups
  • How to use data to make effective targeting choices and meet your Access and Participation Plan targets
  • Best practice for using effective targeting to plan long-term multi-intervention outreach activities
Jon Datta
Jon Datta
Outreach Coordinator
Trinity College Cambridge
Confirmed
Elly Rundle
Elly Rundle
Head of Operations (Impact & Strategy)
Into University
Invited
Leanne Taher-Bates
Leanne Taher-Bates
Head of Outreach & Student Success
Lancaster University
Confirmed
11:10 am
Networking Break and Refreshments
11:30 am
Sutton Trust Keynote: Grade Inflation and Widening Participation
  • Assessing the impact of teacher-assessed grades on widening participation students
  • Discussing how ongoing grade inflation will affect access and widening participation as universities begin to face capacity constraints
  • Sharing insights on how the transition back to an exam-based system will impact widening participation
Rebecca Montacute
Rebecca Montacute
Senior Research & Policy Manager
The Sutton Trust
Confirmed
12:00 pm
Networking Lunch
1:50 pm
Interactive Panel Discussion: Interventions – Working with Schools Effectively

In this interactive session you will be able to explore the steps required to work with schools to maximise the impact of interventions. Ask your questions and hear our experts’ perspectives on:

 

  • Practical guidance on working with teachers to design interventions that are appropriate for pupils
  • How to build long-term relationships with schools and collaborate to offer effective outreach activities
  • Managing the transition back to in-person activities and identifying what works well digitally
Sarah Richardson
Sarah Richardson
Outreach and Saturday Club Project Officer
University of Leeds
Confirmed
Laura Compton
Laura Compton
Managing Director
The Elephant Group
Confirmed
David Woolley
David Woolley
Director of Student and Community Engagement
Nottingham Trent University
Invited
Susie Whigham
Susie Whigham
Chief Programmes & Communities Officer
The Brilliant Club
Confirmed
1:30 pm
Social Mobility Commission Keynote: Recovering from the Disruption of the Covid-19 Pandemic
  • Examining how disruption during the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted students from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Highlighting the ongoing obstacles for entry to elite institutions, and how teacher assessed grades have widened the attainment gap
  • Evaluating how admissions systems and access to financial support can be further enhanced to reduce barriers to entry and improve inclusivity
  • Sharing what is required to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have disrupted educational backgrounds
Sasha Morgan
Sasha Morgan
Director
Social Mobility Commission
Invited
2:00 pm
TASO Keynote: What Works? Using Evidence Based Interventions to Improve Outreach

 

  • Highlighting the importance of focusing on evidence-informed practice to maximise the impact of interventions
  • Examining the evidence behind effective interventions
  • Sharing best practice for assessing your own interventions
Jessica Hunt
Jessica Hunt
Deputy Director of Research
TASO
Confirmed
2:30 pm
Networking Break and Refreshments
3:00 pm
Interactive Panel Discussion: Evaluation – Assessing the Impact of Your Interventions

In this interactive session you will be able to explore how to evaluate the impact of your outreach activities. Ask your questions and hear our experts’ perspectives on:

 

  • How to use POLAR, IMD, LPN, and ACORN data effectively to evaluate the impact of your interventions
  • Sharing how to use other factors and data when evaluating you intervention activities
  • Best practice for assessing the impact of interventions against APP targets
Dr Anna Anthony
Dr Anna Anthony
Senior Research Analyst
Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT)
Confirmed
Rain Sherlock
Rain Sherlock
Evaluation Manager
TASO
Confirmed
3:40 pm
Chair's Closing Remarks
Nathan Sansom
Nathan Sansom
CEO
The Access Project
Confirmed
3:50 pm
Conference Close

*programme subject to change

Case Study: Community Engagement at QMUL

According to the Good University Guide, almost 50% of students at QMUL are first generation students, and over 70% are from an ethnic minority. TO a large extent, this is due to the work QMUL does in the local community in Tower Hamlets. This session will cover:

 

  • Outlining QMUL’s approach to community engagement
  • Sharing best practice for working effectively with a variety of age groups through a tiered outreach offering
  • Highlighting the benefits in terms of WP of having strong community links
Jack Fox
Jack Fox
Head of Student Recruitment and Widening Participation
Queen Mary University of London
Invited
Case Study: Contextual Admissions at the University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow has established an effective contextual admissions procedure, which allows them to support Scottish students whose circumstances may have prevented them meeting the standard entry requirements. This session will cover:

 

  • Best practice for implementing an effective contextual admissions policy
  • Understand how contextual admissions for widening participation students relate to APP targets
  • Outlining how the University of Glasgow uses pre-entry programmes to prepare students for university
Neil Croll
Neil Croll
Head of Widening Participation
University of Glasgow
Invited
Case Study: Birkbeck’s Compass Project – Providing a Stepping Stone into Higher Education

Birkbeck’s Compass Project supports people from forced migrant backgrounds by offering several pathways into university. This session will cover:

 

  • Sharing best practice for supporting forced migrants from “Discover Birkbeck”, through to applications, scholarships, and ongoing support
  • Explaining how outreach activities were adapted during the Covid-19 Pandemic
  • Highlighting the role of Mentors in the Compass Project
Caroline McDonald
Caroline McDonald
Head of Widening Access
Birkbeck University of London
Invited