Moving Online – Taking outreach into the digital age

NEON Summit

  • Date


  • Time

      10:00 am - 4:00 pm

COVID-19 has caused all of us to radically change both the way we access learners and deliver content. Over the past year higher education has had to adapt its outreach to reach learners from widening access backgrounds in more innovative ways and develop new approaches to evaluating such work. This one day summit will consider the progress that has been made over the last twelve months and how the work invested in digital outreach can reap benefits as we move forward over the coming years.


Keynote speakers include:

Please see below for the agenda. More speakers to be announced shortly.


During the event, delegates will:

  • Understand why digital outreach should now be considered a key aspect of widening access to support advice, guidance and the progression of learners from under-represented groups.
  • Engage with key policy makers.
  • Discuss strategies to take forward digital outreach.
  • Reflect on current progress and the implications for future outreach work, both regarding the access to learners and the delivery of content.
  • Share best practice to inform future approaches.

This event is suitable for:

  • Vice-Chancellors and other members of Senior Management Teams with responsibility for widening access;
  • Heads of Widening Access/Widening Participation and members of their teams;
  • Heads of academic subjects who are keen to develop their approaches to outreach;
  • Other education professionals with an interest in the digital engagement of learners;
  • Heads of Further Education Colleges or staff with responsibility for progression;
  • Heads of Schools or Sixth Forms.



Time Session Speakers
10:00 Welcome  Sir Les Ebdon, Chair of NEON 
10:05 COVID: Meeting the challenges of widening access in 2021/22 and beyond. Sarah HowlsHead of Access & Participation Funding and Programmes, Office for Students 
10:35 The importance of access to technology as a tool to reduce educational inequalities. TBC
11:05 Break 
11:15 Report Launch NEON speaker 
11:45 Online practice Kizzi Keast, Access and Outreach Manager, University of Reading 
12:05 Online practice Chloe WarsopSenior Student Recruitment Manager, The University of Law 
12:25 Lunch 
14:00 Welcome back Professor Graeme Atherton, Director, NEON  
14:05 What do sixth forms need moving forward in terms of online engagement from higher education. James Kewin, Deputy Chief Executive, Sixth Form Colleges Association 
14:35 How is COVID transforming access to, and success within, higher education? Jon Baldwin, Managing Director of Higher Education, JISC 
15:00 Break 
15:10 Discussion Panel: Widening access in a post COVID landscape – What part will technology play in improving access for disadvantaged learners? Dr Antoine RogersCodirector – Urban Scholars Programme, Brunel University London 

Carys FisherSenior Policy Adviser, UCAS 

Dr Jon Rainford, Associate Lecturer, Open University

Jon Baldwin, Managing Director of Higher Education, JISC 

16:00 Closing remarks and end of event Professor Graeme Atherton, Director, NEON