Taking outreach online: delivering widening access to HE work in the Covid-19 context

NEON Summit

  • Date


  • Time

      10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Bookings for this event is now closed. If you would like to join the event, please contact Maria-Anna at Maria-anna.petrou@londonhigher.ac.uk


As with so many other sectors of society the impact of Covid-19 presents unprecedented challenges for widening access to higher education work. Higher Education (HE) providers and Uni Connect partnerships are having to look rapidly at how to re-purpose their work to mainly virtual forms to reach learners and support schools and colleges whilst HE admission arrangements are uncertain.

It is crucial that innovative ways of continuing to support learners from widening access backgrounds are found as it is the learners we serve that stand to lose out from the disruption caused by Covid-19. NEON will be delivering two online summits to assist our members in dealing with these challenges:

1. Taking outreach online: delivering widening access to HE work in the Covid 19 context

Date: Thursday 30th April 

This first summit will look at how HE providers/Uni Connect partnerships are planning to deliver their work in summer term 2019-20. It will be a vital opportunity to pool ideas, share practice/intelligence and devise ways of supporting learners until the summer.

It will include presentations from:

  • Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation, Office for Students
  • Emma Hardy MP, Shadow Further Education and Higher Education Minister
  • Jon Rainford, Digital Learning and Development Officer, University of Bedfordshire
  • Hannah Merry, Operations Manager, Higher Horizons+
  • Chris Bayes, Outreach and Student Success Manager & Nik Marsdin, Development Manager (Schools), Lancaster University
  • Hollie Baker, Deputy Head of Widening Participation and Outreach, University of Surrey
  • Mike Garnock-Jones, Director, HEPP
  • Dr Graeme Atherton, Director, NEON

It will include findings from initial work NEON is undertaking to try and capture how our members are adapting, innovating and planning their work for summer term 2020.

2. Where to now for outreach? Innovation and impact of Covid 19 on widening access to HE work in 2020-21

Date: Wednesday 1st July – TBC

The second summit will highlight the work that has been done to adapt to the challenges of Covid-19 so far by the national widening access community and what new resources and projects have been developed. It will also look forward at what we know at this stage regarding:

  • HE admissions for 2020 and 2021
  • The future of the Uni-Connect project
  • The 2020-21 school and college year
  • Access and Participation Plans 2021-2025 and impact of Covid-19
  • How what ‘outreach’ is may have been changed by Covid-19

Speakers at the event are TBC.

Agenda for April summit