Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Annual conference 2021

Our annual Learning and Teaching Conference, Engage, celebrates learning, teaching and assessment-related activities across our University. In 2021 it took place remotely on Tuesday 22 June.

Guest speaker Dr Jason Arday considered how we can move the dial forward with regards to anti-racism in higher education.

There has been a groundswell of movement geared towards creating greater intersectional equality. The horrific murder of George Floyd provided the global catalyst for how we mobilise to reject all forms of discrimination.

While higher education has historically been a site for discrimination, it also holds promise for all of the egalitarian values that we hold dear. This talk focused on the importance of four key themes: engagement and belonging, acknowledging and celebrating diversity, clarity and fairness in assessment, equality of access and social capital and equality of opportunity and employment.

You can watch the Keynote here:

Colleagues from across all faculties and professional services were invited to hear keynotes and participate in workshops and paper presentations at the 2021 conference.

The Active Curriculum Framework provided our strapline: maximising opportunities and minimising barriers.

It says: “The Active Curriculum Framework is underpinned by a universal design for learning approach to the design of learning outcomes, assessments, teaching methods, and learning materials which aims to minimise barriers and maximise opportunities for all learners. It is exemplified by the principles listed below which are embedded within each of the framework’s educational dimensions.”

Our theme and keynote focused on ‘inclusion’, and we explored key aspects of this important topic throughout the day. The following 'golden threads’ ran throughout the conference in 2021:

  • Fostering a sense of belonging Exploring intersectionality and celebrating diversity
  • Ensuring clarity and fairness in assessment Promoting equality of access and social capital
  • Championing equal opportunity and employment Showcasing interdisciplinarity and diverse representation

Please read our Learning Curve blog post about last year’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion and its potential to inspire new ambitions and reinvigorate current good practice.