Keele to host 10th anniversary of prestigious widening access conference
Keele University has been chosen to host a prestigious widening participation conference, featuring distinguished guests and educational leaders from all four UK nations.
The annual NEON (National Education Opportunities Network) Summer Symposium will celebrate initiatives and activities that have had clear, measurable impact on widening participation and improving access to higher education over the last 10 years, and consider what access work should look like over the next 10 years.
This is the 10th Symposium to be held since NEON was founded in 2012, as a way of formally bringing together education professionals to remove barriers and increase access to higher education. In that time NEON has grown substantially and now has over 160 institutional members, including colleges, universities and third sector organisations from across the UK.
This year’s Summer Symposium – which will be held over two days at Keele on 16th and 17th of June - will also be the first time the conference will be held in person since moving online due to Covid-19 over the past two years. The event will feature speakers from the worlds of politics and education including higher education policymakers from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Ant Sutcliffe, Head of Higher Horizons +, a widening participation partnership led locally by Keele University said: "Widening Participation is a collaborative effort, and in gathering such large numbers here at Keele for the symposium, that alone will remind us of all that we can achieve more together, than we can alone. We very much look forward to hosting John Blake, amongst other distinguished guests and practitioners.”
Professor Graeme Atherton, Director of NEON, said: “Keele University, and Higher Horizons+, have been long standing supporters of NEON and truly committed to widening access. We are therefore delighted to celebrate 10 years of the Symposium at Keele’s campus as we consider the future of widening access in the UK.”
Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost at Keele University added: “We are delighted to bring the NEON 2022 symposium to Keele. As the biggest gathering of widening access practitioners and leaders in the UK we feel it apt that Keele, with its long reputation for widening access work, has been chosen by NEON to host what promises to be a fantastic two days marking NEON's 10th anniversary of the symposium."
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