Beyond Boundaries: University Learning and Teaching Conference 2017

The annual University Learning and Teaching Conference held on 15/16th June was a huge success.  The theme Beyond Boundaries drew over 70 papers, workshops and ‘Ignite’ sessions, plus 7 posters.  Twenty-one papers came from students as academic partners projects, and over 200 people attended the conference including colleagues from the Netherlands and from other UK Universities.

Comments on the conference Twitter feed (#Beyondboundariesconf) included:

  • Many assumed boundaries, challenged, shoved and smashed by students and staff
  • Lots of energy and enthusiasm Beyondboundariesconf and excitement about collaboration in education
  • Loved my time @worcester_uni Beyondboundariesconf lots of research-informed practice possibilities.
  • #beyondboundariesconf confident, informed and professional student presenters
  • Good to see so many students presenting beyondboundariesconf – living the theme of breaking down boundaries.

The conference included two very thought provoking keynotes. Professor Richard Hall Co-Director, Institute for Education Futures, De Montfort University presented us with some radical ideas for re-thinking the University curriculum.  He raised questions about the purpose of the University and drew attention to the University of Worcester’s curriculum design policy commitments to promote understanding of sustainability in its widest definition and to enable students to be inclusive in their actions and value diversity

Richard’s presentation can be accessed at

Debby Cotton Head of Educational Development in the Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory at Plymouth University, talked about how pedagogic research, once described as the ‘Cinderella’ of academia  relates to both the REF and the TEF and how it has the potential to cross boundaries.  Debby’s presentation posed questions about the importance of pedagogic research in underpinning evidence of impact for both REF and TEF.

See Debby’s article in Studies in Higher Education: The Cinderella of academia: Is higher education pedagogic research undervalued in UK research assessment?

Thank you so much to Professor Maggie Andrews, Lesley Spiers, Carolyn Nisbet and Charlotte Taylor for organising the conference, and to everyone who presented, participated or supported the conference in whatever way. It was definitely an inspirational day.

We hope to make some of the conference materials available in due course.


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