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Reforming the higher education admission system: what does the evidence tell us?

Exam crop

Join us for the FREE ‘Reforming the higher education admission system: what does the evidence tell us?’ conference on the 30th of November 2021 at Broadway House, London – from 9.30am to 1.30pm or online.

This timely conference, convened by the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), the professional organisation for access to higher education in the UK, in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, occurs as the government prepares to take its next steps forward in higher education admission system reform, presents an important opportunity to ensure that the developing evidence base on higher education admissions is at the centre of reform efforts.

If we are to move to some form of post-qualifications admission system it is vital that such changes are underpinned by the latest data and knowledge. This event brings together sector experts to shape the future of this policy area at a crucial time including:

  • Alex Burghart, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education (tbc)
  • Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students
  • John Cope, Director of Strategy, Policy, & Public Affairs, UCAS
  • Angela Nartey, Policy Officer, University and College Union
  • Angus Holford, ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change, University of Essex
  • Sonkurt Sen, ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change, University of Essex
  • Nick Hillman, Director, HEPI
  • Professor Debopam Bhattacharya, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Graeme Atherton, Director, National Education Opportunities Network (NEON)

This conference It will bring together new research looking at:

  • the higher education admissions system and contextual admissions
  • how admissions have been affected by the pandemic
  • the relationship between graduate employability and admissions

There will also be an expert panel discussing their perspectives on how the admission system can be improved and the importance of an evidence-based approach. We envisage an audience from across the higher education sector drawn from university leaders, admissions professionals and those engaged in widening access.

Register for online or in person

Draft agenda

9.30 – 10.00 Registration and refreshments

10.00 – 10.05 Welcome

Professor Graeme Atherton, Head Centre for Levelling Up (CELUP) and Director, National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), Vice Chancellors Directorate, University of West London 10.05 – 10.30 Overview: what should be reformed and how?

Alex Burghart, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education – to be confirmed

10.30 – 11.20 Exploring the evidence:

  • Angus Holford, ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change, University of Essex
  • Sonkurt Sen, ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change, University of Essex
  • Professor Debopam Bhattacharya, University of Cambridge

11.20 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 12.30 Panel discussion: Improving higher education admissions – what would work?

  • Chris Millward, Director of Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students
  • John Cope, Director of Strategy, Policy, & Public Affairs, UCAS
  • Angela Nartey, Policy Officer, University and College Union
  • Nick Hillman, Director, HEPI

12.30 – 12.45 Summary from Chair
12.45 – 13.30 Lunch