UK conference season appears to be on us. Perhaps it never stops? I’ve been busy promoting the OU-hosted Discourses of Inclusion in Higher Education conference and now feel guilty because there’s a whole host of others that a very much worth a mention. Here’s a round-up of three interesting sounding conference with current calls for submissions (including a shameless plug…).

Widening Participation Conference 2012 Discourses of Inclusion in Higher Education CALL FOR PAPERS EXTENDED TO 5PM 23 NOVEMBER 2011

We have had an incredible response to far to the Call, with submissions received from across the globe. We have also received a large number of queries from authors requesting an extension to the deadline for the call. In the interests of fairness (and inclusion!) to all, we would like to announce that the Call for Papers has been extended and now closes on Wednesday 23 November 2011 at 5pm. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Full details can be found on the conference website at

We would also like to make the following further announcements about the conference:

We are very pleased to be able to confirm that we are now able to waive the delegate fee for all presenters of papers accepted for the conference (please note this only applies to up to two presenters for each paper).

We are thrilled to confirm our Keynote Speakers: Professor Sir David Watson, Professor Louise Morley and Professor Trevor Gale. These distinguished scholars need little introduction, but further details of their huge experience can be found at the conference website.

We are also pleased to announce that selected papers from the conference will be published in a Special Issue of the international journal Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning.

In all, the Widening Participation Conference 2012 – Discourses of Inclusion in Higher Education offers:

A full and varied programme of international peer-reviewed papers addressing key themes of Inclusive policy and practice and Student experiences and circumstances;

  • Workshops and collaborative sessions that bring together researchers and academics, policy makers and practitioners;
  • Keynote addresses from internationally renowned and influential speakers.
  • A range of opportunities which will facilitate the increased impact of research in inclusion, equity and widening participation.
  • An inclusive approach which supports and facilitates the presence of quality postgraduate and international research.

For first details of news relating to the conference, follow us on Twitter @heiwpresearch.

The Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO)

18th April 2012 Conference: Call for Papers

The Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO) at Plymouth University represents a new venture which builds on Plymouth’s many successes in higher education research and innovation. The institute represents researchers whose breadth of knowledge and expertise range across all aspects of HE pedagogy, helping us to understand the ways in which students experience higher education in a range of different contexts, and to enhance the opportunities for learning and personal transformation which access to higher education brings. Involvement of researchers from all disciplines provides a platform for interdisciplinary research which will impact on and influence policy and practice. More information about the institute is available here:

This inaugural PedRIO conference is designed to bring together colleagues from across and beyond the university to share pedagogic research. The event will be organised around 4 themed symposia in which researchers can disseminate and discuss research findings as well as and develop potential collaborations for future research. We are delighted to announce Professor Glynis Cousin, Director of the Institute for Learning Enhancement, University of Wolverhampton as our keynote speaker for this event. Registration will open in January 2012.

The call for papers is now open and we would like to invite contributions in the form of

  • Paper sessions (20 minutes)
  • Show and tell (5 minutes)
  • Poster (A1 Size)

There are a limited number of complementary places available at the one-day conference, and we are particularly interested in hearing about innovative work in the following four areas:

  • 21st century learning challenges and new learning cultures
  • Student voice
  • Education for Sustainable Development
  • Pedagogic Research Methodology

The deadline for abstract submissions is 19th December 2011. Further information about this event can be found at . Please download the abstract submission form and email completed forms to

If your paper is accepted, attendance at the conference will be free but travel and accommodation costs cannot be covered by Plymouth University. The review process will be completed by 20th January.

What Works? Student Retention and Success Conference 2012.  Call for contributions reminder

Two-day conference: Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 March 2012, University of York

Call for contributions: Papers, workshops and posters

Deadline 30 November 2011


We are pleased to be hosting a two day conference on student retention and success at the University of York on 28 – 29 March 2012.

The conference will take a research-informed approach to answering the question ‘what works’ to improve student retention and success in higher education.  It will present the outcomes from the three-year What Works? programme, including the key findings, the conceptual model and specific details and tools from the seven projects. In addition, it will showcase the best evidence-informed approaches to what works from across the UK HE sector and beyond through peer-reviewed papers, workshops and posters.

The conference is jointly organised by the Higher Education Academy and Action on Access as part of the ‘What Works? Student Retention and Success Programme’ initiated and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Call for contributions

The conference is open to individuals with a strategic or operational interest in retention and student success.  We welcome a broad range of perspectives and methodologies to critically look at the question of what works to promote student retention and success. While topics not listed below are very welcome, possible themes include:

•      Effective interventions to engage, retain and enhance the success of particular student or discipline groups.

•      Pre-entry support to engage students and improve their preparation for and transition into HE.

•      Improving the design and delivery of the curriculum to promote the success of all students.

•      Initiatives and approaches in the academic sphere that promote social engagement with peers and staff.

•      Proven approaches to identifying, monitoring and engaging students at risk of withdrawal.

•      The management and/or co-ordination of the student learning experience to promote student engagement, retention and success across the Programme, Department, Faculty or institution (or equivalent).

We invite the submission of abstracts for consideration by the peer review panel for one or more of the following types of sessions in the conference: paper, workshop or poster. All contributions should present research findings and/or evaluation evidence about effective approaches to improving student engagement, retention and success in higher education.

Papers should report research findings, or discuss evidence-based practice, or critically assess policy or practice. Papers will be clustered and presented in shared session. (15 minutes, plus discussion time per paper).

Workshops should be action-oriented. They should include a short input (up to 15 minutes) and activities for delegates to participate in. They should be of interest and relevance to a wide audience (45-60 minutes in total).

Posters should be A0 in size (portrait layout) and present summary information about your work in a visual or text format in a way that is of interest to the conference participants. Posters will be displayed throughout the conference, but you will be asked to talk about your poster during a networking session.

Abstracts should include a (provisional) title; speaker names, and the name of a key contact. They should be no more than 200 words. Please also indicate if you intend to write up your contribution for inclusion in the Compendium of Effective Practice (see below). Abstracts should be emailed to retention& by Wednesday 30 November 2011.

Peer review process

All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by two peer reviewers and the final selection of the successful contributions will be made by the conference organising committee. You will be informed of the outcome by Tuesday 20 December 2011.

Please note: we cannot guarantee which day your session will be allocated to if accepted.

Compendium of Effective Practice

In the run up to the conference we will be compiling a Compendium of Effective Practice. If you would like your work to be featured in this publication please indicate this when you submit your abstract. We will issue further details about the Compendium of Effective Practice in October.

Further details

Further information about the conference is available from:, or email retention&

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