What's on the agenda

Join us for two days of inspiring, challenging and entertaining discussion and debate


Reasons to attend

  • Interact with this year’s nominees and last year’s award winners to learn more about their successful strategies
  • Mingle with our award winning panel through ‘knowledge café’ style discussion groups
  • Discuss pedagogic approaches with some of the sector’s most talented and decorated teachers, and hear their top tips for success
  • Hear from our team of in-house experts on stage discuss and debate all areas of higher education
  • Get hands-on practical advice through our series of interactive workshops

Topics and discussions at a glance 

Reimagining the civic university

Universities are unique as institutions of national and international significance in being located across the entire country – north, south, east and west. This makes them crucially important to cities and regions, both as the engines of economic growth and prosperity, and as powerful actors for social, cultural and (of course) educational development. Through a series of debates, discussions and keynotes, our speakers and delegates will share strategies for developing the civic role of universities for the greater good. They will also reimagine how civic engagement can be used to strengthen and deepen public understanding and support for universities’ crucial work.

Teaching Generation Z

In the past year, the first cohort of Generation Z students have started university. They come with new perceptions of their consumer power, and different dynamics and habits as learners, compared with the millennials they are following. We will be exploring what this generation wants from universities, what they need, and how institutions might change as a result. We will consider the socio-economic influences behind the choices they make, and offer practical advice and case studies from academics working with this new generation of students.

Getting serious about diversity

For universities to reclaim their position as beacons for the rest of society to follow, they have to both represent the whole of society and demonstrate what is possible. That demands a step-change in their commitment to delivering truly diverse student bodies, and equally diverse faculty and leadership. We will be discussing how this can be achieved, how good intentions can finally be turned into transformational change, and how universities will benefit as a result.

The university in an AI era

We live – as we are constantly reminded – on the cusp of a new era: the fourth industrial revolution, in which artificial intelligence will change everything. Or will it? In this conference stream, we will explore the role that universities can and should play in delivering technological advance that offers true benefits for society. We will be looking at the impact of the AI age on universities themselves, how and what they teach, how they retain the talent they need, and the modes of delivery that work for students and graduates in a new world of work.