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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning

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About the Forum

This cross-institutional forum was intended to bring together people critically engaging with the range of theories and practices of evaluation in higher education initiatives related to awarding gaps and Access & Participation Plans. It followed the Awarding Gap Symposium hosted by Oxford University in November 2022.

Evaluation of access and participation work is central to a university's approach to improving students' experiences and outcomes. This is most effective when supported by a culture grounded in evidence-gathering to understand the complex, contextual factors contributing to inequities experienced by students into and through their journey of higher education.

With the emphasis on universities now moving towards a risk-based approach to equality of opportunity, there is much scope for cross-institutional learning on the types of principles, methodologies and approaches to evaluation developed so far. Continued shared thinking between universities can also serve in advancing our knowledge base and inspiring collective responsibility and innovation within the sector.

If you would like to know more about the event, please get in touch with Dr Amy Smail.



We hope the programme provided an interesting, thought- and discussion-provoking forum.

There were a series of keynote sessions throughout the day along with interactive parallel breakout sessions focusing on 'access', 'participation' and 'student engagement'. There was also dedicated time for small-group networking, discussions and collaboration over future plans and activities for evaluation.

See the agenda for the day


Guest Speakers

Our three keynote sessions were delivered by Professor Liz Austen (Sheffield Hallam University), Dr Paul Ian Campbell (University of Leicester) and Dr Sally Andrews (Staffordshire University).

Please see their abstracts on the Guest Speakers page.

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