2021 Conference


The Changing University

Date: Friday 2nd July 2021

The theme of this years’ conference was chosen to represent the shift in higher education we have seen in recent years. The conference sub-themes are all areas that have increasingly gained importance in the sector, resulting in significant change in recent times. Much of the content that will be explored within these sub-themes through the presentations, workshops, posters, and discussions is novel and forward-thinking.

  • Employability Within Higher Education: Students are placing increased emphasis on their future careers from the moment they commence university, and often before then. Many programmes and courses are now specifically designed according to the employability requirements desired by employers in their field.
  • Innovation and Digital Learning: Innovation is seen throughout all sectors of higher education – we’ll be exploring some recent practices that have taken place within the University and its partners. Digital learning has long been on the agenda for universities, and while there are a lot of common place practices, there are many instructors who are looking to explore how to best engage students, facilitate learning and teaching, and support online and blended delivery that has become increasingly important.
  • Decolonisation: Often described in the context of decolonising the curriculum, decolonisation is about creating means for a dialogue on the representation of cultures and knowledge systems used. While this is by no means a new area, universities are now working to specifically address the issues it covers to ensure they have a fully inclusive institution. We have a central team leading on this, as well as departmental-led initiatives, working with students as partners and their unions to develop inclusive policies, processes, and practices.
  • Interdisciplinary Methods of Teaching: Interdisciplinary instructional approaches allow for the synergistic combination of two or more disciplines such that the resultant understanding is more holistic and greater than the sum of the constituent parts. Through such interdisciplinary instruction, students have the potential to be better equipped in solving grand challenges, requiring more lateral and collaborative approaches to problem solving. This is an area where there is significant development and changes within the sector and is a current focus for the University. There are many benefits to be gained from delivering more interdisciplinary curricula for both students and staff, which will be explored during the conference.


The conference programme is included below. Click on the links for session abstracts and recordings.

Welcome and keynote lecture

  • Welcome talks
    • Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of York
    • Dr Glenn Hurst, Chair of the Learning and Teaching Forum
  • Keynote lecture
    • Professor James Pickering, the University of Leeds.

Abstract and recording

Oral presentations 1-4

  • Flood Week: Integrating York Strengths into a taught module for Environment and Geography Students
    • Jenny Pollard, Tamsyn Kiss and Brett Sallach; Environment and Geography
  • Industrial Project: Providing Software and IT services to organizations serving the public interest.
    • Dimitris Dranidis, Computer Science, CITY College, University of York Europe Campus.
  • Faculty opinions regarding the incorporation of systems thinking into undergraduate chemistry education
    • Alice Jackson and Glenn Hurst; Chemistry
  • Futures thinking, interdisciplinary workshops in the Department of Environment and Geography
    • Claire Hughes, Laura Chapman, Jo Cruz and Dean Walters; Environment and Geography

Abstracts and recordings

Oral presentations 5-7

  • Using Online Game-based Business Simulation to teach Entrepreneurship effectively to Engineering students – A Case Study
    • Bidyut Baruah; Electronic Engineering
  • Moocing an impact: What lessons can we learn from massive online courses?
    • Andy Parsons and Iain Barr; Chemistry and Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Developing research skills in medical students online using an active research study
    • Heidi Baseler, Murat Aksoy, Alison Graham, Aziz Asghar; Hull York Medical School

Abstracts and recordings

Oral presentations 8-10 and closing talk

  • Employability Skills in Counselling Programmes: how they are developed and exercised in our Community Counselling Center
    • Suzie Savvidou; Department of Psychology
  • Undertaking a Placement Year in the Covid-19 pandemic
    • Govind Panesar, Taylor Atkinson and Katy Elliot; Careers and Placements, University of York
  • Graduate Attributes Badges: Verifying the Delivery of Employability Skills
    • A. Sotiriadou, Z. Tatsioka, N. Tsorakidis, S. Savvidou and P. Kefalas; CITY College, University of York Europe Campus
  • Closing Talk
    • Professor Tracy Lightfoot, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students

Abstracts and recordings

Poster presentations

Abstracts and recordings (UoY Google log-in required)