Bridging the Inclusivity Gap

Wednesday 10th July 2019

In July we held our 9th annual Teaching and Learning Conference and what a day it was.

This year’s conference theme, ‘Bridging the Inclusivity Gap’, brought together a host of leaders in the field and experts from across the higher education sector with our very own Bloomsbury Institute staff and students.

The conference explored what the inclusivity gap means to a range of audiences, how it is impacting higher education and what practical measures are being taken to actively bridge the identified gaps. Themes explored included widening participation, inclusive curriculum and assessment, mental health challenges, specific learning difficulties and BAME students in higher education.

The day kicked off with our first keynote speaker, Dr Joan O’Mahony, Senior Advisor from Advance HE. Joan set the tone perfectly for the conference, starting with her talk, ‘Building inclusivity: opportunities and obstacles’. Joan analysed the obstacles teaching staff face when carrying through a commitment to inclusion within their institutions, and examined how together we can all better support teachers in their work.

Throughout the day we welcomed external speakers from King’s College London to the Open University Student Association, the University of Birmingham to Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Many of our own Bloomsbury Institute academic and professional service staff also presented, including the Admissions team, the Centre for Student Engagement, Wellbeing and Success team and Business, Law and Accounting lecturers.

We were also lucky enough to witness the unveiling of Bloomsbury Institute’s Artist in Residence’s latest work which involved a process of gold leafing rubbish left by students on campus. Visit our Gower street reception or keep an eye on our news and blog page to see the work for yourself.

The latter part of the conference saw Dr Karisa Krcmar, our second and final keynote speaker of the day, present on ‘The Inclusivity Gap’, a popular ebook which inspired our conference theme and title. Dr Karisa pulled together 8 approaches to inclusive learning and teaching taken from her ebook, starting with getting to know your student cohort and ending with fostering a good work placement ethos.

From how to empower students and staff to talk about race, to evaluating audio feedback and its contribution to inclusion, the day was packed with inspiring and enlightening insights for us all to take away.

We’d like to thank all that took part and presented at the conference as well as all that attended. We hope to see you all again next year!

Don’t forget to head over to our Facebook page to see all the photos from the day.