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    Celebration and collaboration to the fore at largest ever Harper Adams Learning and Teaching Conference

    14 September 2023

    An annual conference focussed on learning and teaching at Harper Adams has marked its seventh year with its largest attendance yet.

    Every year, employees across the Harper Adams community who teach and support learning come together in different ways come together to catch up, exchange ideas – and discuss practice. The conference both allows staff to share the ways in which they support students’ learning and gives them a chance to hear from inspiring speakers from across higher education and beyond.

    Harper Adams Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning, Teaching and Digital) Professor Lydia Arnold, said: “Throughout the day, we shared practical tips and ideas and heard about research into teaching and supporting students which has been undertaken by our staff; exchanging ideas in this way helps us develop our teaching and support approaches.

    “We welcomed our Students Union to the event too; a student-led session on neurodiversity has needed to be repeated because of the interest from staff.

    “This is our biggest conference yet and it is inspiring to see. It really demonstrates our shared commitment to student learning experience at Harper Adams.

    "People want to come along and learn from each other.”



    During the day, Harper Adams staff not only shared best practice with each other – but also heard from a series of guest speakers from across higher education and beyond.





    Professor Arnold added: “This year, we welcomed Dr Thomas Lancaster from Imperial College, London, as our keynote speaker - focussing on artificial intelligence and academic integrity, which is a very current topic.

    “We were joined by colleagues from Nottingham, Trent University, Askham, Bryan College, Staffordshire University, Birmingham City University, and AdvanceHE who shared ideas on for sustainable development, industry engagement, and different ways of supporting students.”

    A series of awards were also made as staff gathered for lunch at the conference.

    Presented by Harper Adams Vice Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan and Students’ Union President Ellie Mace, the awards – nominated and selected by students – recognised individuals for their outstanding support and care as well as innovation in their teaching practices.

    Staff who have gained their AdvanceHE Fellowship in the last year – a formal award related to teaching and supporting learning – were also recognised and praised for their success during the event.


    Professor Arnold said: “This conference is a celebration of the work undertaken by all those who teach and support learning, as well as the work of others who may work behind the scenes but with a strong impact on students every day.

    “The atmosphere is incredibly positive, and people are genuinely pleased to network and share.

    “It is a moment of pride for us; some staff are involved in producing formalised research about teaching or exploring different ways of supporting students. This event provides a space to share that work to allow others to learn from it.

    “This sometimes even leads to further sharing to national and even international audiences – for example two colleagues who shared their research last year went on to present at an external internationally attended conference.

    “The event reflects, to our own students and others who may want to come and study at Harper Adams, that we take teaching and supporting our students seriously.

    “We have a deep commitment to providing an inclusive and engaging educational experience for all our students; moments such as this demonstrate how invested this community is in making that happen.”



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