NEON Summer Symposium 2024

NEON Summer Symposium

  • Date

      13/06/2024 - 14/06/2024

  • Time

      10:15 am - 1:30 pm

The 2024 NEON Summer Symposium, supported by StudentPulse, was held on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th of June at the University of West London.

Keynote speakers included:

  • The Lord Bird MBE, Cross Bench Peer in the House of Lords and founder of The Big Issue
  • Ben Jordan, Director of Strategy, Chief of Staff, UCAS
  • Professor Jane Robinson DL,  Pro-Vice Chancellor, Engagement and Place, Newcastle University
  • Shahid Omer, Director of Policy, Universities UK
  • Sarah Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer, Social Mobility Foundation
  • Nick Hillman, Director, Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI)
  • Angela Nartey, Policy Officer, University and College Union
  • Professor Peter John CBE, Vice Chancellor and President, University of West London
  • Professor Graeme Atherton, Director of the Centre for Inequalities and Levelling Up, University of West London, and Director of NEON.

The theme of the 2024 Symposium was ‘Inequalities in access and success in higher education – the next 5 years’. The next year will see a general election, over 400 higher education providers in England having new access and participation plans agreed by the Office for Students, the launch of the new Commission for Tertiary Education and Research in Wales and a decision on the future of the Uni-Connect programme in England and the development of a new funding model for post-school education provision in Scotland.

It will shape the future path for this area of work to 2030. The symposium focused on the ideas, the initiatives, innovation and strategies that will support students from all background who have the aspiration and aptitude to progress and succeed in higher education. It brought together the key stakeholders and leaders from across the UK alongside those taking forward the most innovative practice. Key themes included:

  • What does partnership and collaboration mean now in practice and what is its future?
  • What will be the language that best captures work to address inequalities in access and success in higher education over the next 5 years?
  • What part can technology play in access and success in higher education work moving forward?
  • What is the relationship between outreach, student success and progression work in practice? How and where do they connect?
  • What data should be collected on the impact of access and participation work; why should it be collected and how should it be disseminated?

The 2024 Symposium once again brought together key figures from across the education sector, policymakers and employers with organisations from across sectors committed to social mobility through widening access to HE. Making NEON’s Summer Symposium the most important event for those working in the field.

For more information about the event, please click on the links below:

Call for Papers


Conference Dinner


Location and Draft Agenda

Exhibition Stands and Sponsor


Please note that bookings for this event are now closed.


The 2024 Summer Symposium was supported by StudentPulse and hosted by the University of West London.