Online 30 March - 1 April 2021

This online conference focuses on developing students as independent self-regulating learners. The event will have a conversational focus and will consider how personal tutoring enables the addressing of disparities in engagement, progression and degree outcomes by students from groups underrepresented in HE and/or with protected characteristics. Through discussion and practice sharing, we will identify ways in which this fundamental component of HE can make higher education more inclusive of diverse student populations and enhance outcomes for all students.

Additionally, it will look at how personal tutoring can combine with peer learning, academic study skills development, and mentoring and coaching to build confidence and resilience, and enhance student success academically and professionally.

Contributors may share good practice and research in a wide variety of session formats as described in the Call for Proposals, and we encourage all proposals to consider how they will encourage conversations between delegates during the session. 

We recognise the financial challenges affecting the higher education sector this year, so to make this conference as accessible to as many people as possible, we are offering a buy one, get one free discount on delegate registrations. When you register as a delegate* for the conference, you will be able to register an additional delegate to attend free of charge. So invite your friends and colleagues to attend with you and help shape the ways in which personal tutoring can welcome diversity, promote equality and make HE an inclusive, transformative learning experience which helps all students to flourish and achieve their goals. 

* Delegate registration will open in early 2021

Delegates at our previous conferences have said: 

The conference was filled with enthusiasm, expertise and the professionalism of speakers.
The international perspectives and level of engagement in the different sessions from a range of delegates representing institutions both nationally (UK) and internationally had a significant impact on me.
As a result of attending this conference I will be more aware of how I can work alongside academic advisors effectively for the student's experience/support (I am a mental health advisor).

Keynote Speakers

A portrait of Dr Celia Greenway

Opening Keynote

Dr Celia Greenway   Director of Student Engagement, University of Birmingham

Celia Greenway is Director of Student Engagement at the University of Birmingham. In this central Senior Leadership role, she is responsible for the personal academic tutor system, student representation and the enhancement of student engagement. She is a Reader in Education who leads Early Years Education within the University, and has contributed to several national reviews of sector policy. Initially as a practitioner Celia taught in schools and nurseries across Worcestershire. Prior to joining the University, she was responsible for developing Higher Education provision within the Further Education Sector, and worked in collaboration with the University of Worcester establishing Foundation degrees for Early Years workers. Since joining the University, Celia has held a number of leadership positions including the Director of Education for the School of Education and Head of Primary Initial Teacher Education. Her PhD research examined notions of ‘quality’ within the nursery sector and her subsequent writing has focused upon the Initial Teacher Education sector and approaches to learning within Higher Education.

In her current role Celia has led the development of an institutional approach to personal tutoring, placing emphasis on developing confidence in tutoring from the student and staff perspective. The revised approach places emphasis on the tutorial as a reflective space at the centre of a student’s experience. As part of this tutorial system every student has access to an e-portfolio which ensures staff and students prepare for the tutorial, this wide spread implementation of an interactive technology won the UKAT Institutional Award for Innovation in Tutoring in 2020. More recently Celia has led the development of an Inclusive Educator Framework which provides guidance and resources to develop a shared understanding of equality within the tutorial system. 

A portrait of Dr Diane Nutt

Closing Keynote

Dr Diane Nutt   Freelance HE Consultant

Diane is a freelance higher education consultant and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), with over ten years experience in staff development in higher education. Diane has worked with a variety of HE professionals (academic, support staff and managers) in Universities and colleges across the UK and Europe. She set up the European First Year Experience Network, and chairs the European First Year Experience Annual Conference Organising Committee. Diane is also on the International Advisory Board for the National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition based at the University of South Carolina, USA.