Widening Access in Higher Education – Are we there yet?
Thursday, 8th & Friday 9th June 2017
Leeds Beckett University
The 2017 NEON Summer Symposium was attended by 220 delegates from across the country over the two days of the conference in Leeds. This was the fifth annual NEON Summer Symposium and it was the most well-attended to date.
Widening access to higher education has been an imperative for policy makers and higher education providers since the late 1990s. As we approach twenty years of concerted efforts to widen access to HE in England, the 2017 NEON Summer Symposium looked at what progress means and whether it is being made? What have we learnt in the last two decades and crucially, what should the goals for the next decade and beyond look like in the area of access and equity in HE participation?
The 2017 NEON Summer Symposium focused on a number of specific issues:
Dr Graeme Atherton, Director, NEON
Diana Beech, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Higher Education Policy Institute
Louis Coiffait, Head of Education, REFORM
Katherine Griffiths, Director of HE Development & Learning, University Campus Oldham
Chris Hale, Director of Policy, Universities UK
Nicola Turner, Senior Policy Executive, UCAS
Caroline Rowley, Regional Director, Association of Colleges – Yorkshire and The Humber
Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor, Leeds Beckett University
The NEON Summer Symposium offered two days of stimulating keynotes, presentations and discussions. It was also an invaluable opportunity for widening access professionals, careers advisors, student support specialists, policy analysts and academics to engage with each other, discussing best practice and driving forward a social mobility agenda that we are all dedicated to.