Get up and close and personal with your favourite weekly higher education podcast being recorded live from the festival.

Students are pretty committed to action on the climate crisis – and its activist wing is increasingly turning to direct action and protest to shake the state and institutions like universities out of perceived inaction. Meanwhile campuses are seeing increased protest activity in the wake of the Hamas-Israel war – all in the context of heavy demands to reduce harassment and disruption, improve progress on Net Zero and secure free speech. This session will examine the contours of these debates and attempt to plot a way forward for the future.

Let’s be honest – we’re not expecting higher education to make headlines during the next general election campaign or emerge as a doorstep issue. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a good time to think through how higher education connects into the key issues facing the country, and talk to the political parties about what policies might be enacted in the next Parliament. Working together, you’ll tackle the issues and come up with policies to address them – bonus points if any of them appear in a party manifesto.

We are delighted to welcome you to the launch of a new report by Demos and the University of London, looking at how AI and other new technologies are transforming the labour market, and what this might mean for the future of universities. 

One of the main drivers behind the growth of universities in recent decades has been the expansion of the ‘knowledge economy’ which has created greater demand for skilled people across a range of professions. However, rapid technological developments are transforming the knowledge and skills that students will need to prosper, putting a new premium on ‘softer’ skills, including critical thinking, creativity, self-motivation, teamwork, and the ability to adapt to new technologies and ways of working. This in turn poses some fundamental questions about the role of universities, what and how they should teach and how they should operate. 

This event will bring together report author Richard Brown and expert respondents to discuss the report’s findings and recommendations.

Our expert panel discusses why universities might seek accreditation as a Living Wage employer, and shares their insight about the process.

Public First has undertaken a comprehensive survey of the public’s attitudes to higher education funding. Associate director Jess Lister shares the findings – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and what they mean for universities’ efforts to change the public conversation on university finances.

Beyond the hype, and the sales pitch, beyond digital transformation and digital natives – this session will explore how technology is likely to shape higher education provison in the years ahead, what changes universities can realistically expect to learning and teaching, and how they might work with technology providers to get ahead of the curve.

Brexit has been just about got done, but that doesn’t mean that UK universities have any intention of withdrawing from Europe. EUA director of policy coordination and foresight Thomas Jørgensen shares the latest on opportunities and challenges after the association to Horizon Europe, and how UK universities can stay connected to our European colleagues.

Recent research from Wonkhe and Adobe showed how universities are transforming curriculum to be more engaging, more inclusive, and more authentic. But how does an on-paper strategy translate into authentic change on the ground, with educators and students equipped with the skills, knowledge, and mindset they need? 

Richard Puttock – former Director of Data, Foresight, and Analysis at the Office for Students – in conversation with Wonkhe’s David Kernohan about data, metrics, and regulation.