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Home Event ECU’s annual conference 2018- Call for workshop and paper proposals around our 2018 themes of practice and progress

ECU’s annual conference 2018- Call for workshop and paper proposals around our 2018 themes of practice and progress

Practice and progress: advancing a strong culture of learning, professionalism and pride in EDI work- Liverpool, 31st October & 1st November

Conference overview 

2018 will see sweeping changes to the higher education sector: how it is regulated, how it is supported, and how it fits into “Brexit” Britain. ECU has changed too. As Advance HE we continue to support the professional practice of those in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

At this year’s conference we focus on ensuring a strong and resilient culture of learning, professionalism and pride in EDI work: celebrating your successes, pushing for progress, and equipping you for challenges ahead. The conference will focus on the theme of practice and progress.

Call for contributions

ECU invites submissions for workshops from universities across the UK and colleges in Scotland to share experience and innovation around each of the themes.

We also welcome submissions from organisations and individuals working in other sectors where there is the potential for useful cross-sector sharing of experience and knowledge:

  • Theme 1: Tools for the job

Sessions relating to this theme should aim to empower and equip delegates with new tools, skills or approaches to their professional development.

Topics could include:

  • Effecting change: designing innovative equality training, successful approaches to campaigns, engaging with different audiences.
  • EDI data, evaluation and assessment: using equality data for change, understanding GDPR and disclosure, learner analytics for equality interventions, embedding evaluative approaches to EDI work.
  • Managing conflict: mediation and facilitation skills between different groups, discussing unfamiliar topics with confidence, case-work and complaints, understanding reactions.
  • Developing EDI as a core competency: innovative practice to recruit, develop, recognise and reward staff with EDI expertise, embedding EDI into student employability programmes.


  • Theme 2: Beyond the campus walls

These sessions should offer members the opportunity to explore ‘what works’ to progress diversity and inclusion in other sectors, countries, or wider communities. It could also explore the challenges of implementing EDI work beyond centralised campuses. Delegates should be inspired and informed to bring fresh approaches to their work.

Topics could include:

  • Going global: international research and approaches, evidence from other education systems, trans-national education and mobilities.
  • Learning from successful partnerships with community groups, charities, and local services
  • Work/life balance: considering distance learning, commuter students, caring needs.
  • Public vs private sector? Reflecting on EDI in different employment contexts, the public sector equality duty, equality in procurement, and ‘students as consumers’.


  • Theme 3: Learning together

A chance for members to share their own successes and develop their knowledge of EDI issues, approaches and research. ECU is committed to connecting members together and empowering them to share the latest practice and progress. We welcome submissions such as:

  • institutional research on equalities themes (including research which may be taking place as part of Catalyst funds, work for Athena SWAN and/or Race Equality Charter, attracting and increasing diversity projects or other projects

Note that under this theme ECU will also be providing some innovative new sessions involving delegate co-production of guidance, and helping you to take your research into the academic world – further details will be announced closer to the time.

We encourage content which looks at equality, diversity and inclusion as a whole, specific protected characteristics, or intersectional approaches.  We encourage continued discussion of work around race equality, supporting trans individuals, gender and disability.  However we also encourage focus on the following which were under-represented at last year’s conference:

  • characteristics of religion or belief (including intersection with ‘race’)
  • pregnancy, maternity and caring duties
  • mental health
  • ageing workforce/mature students

Options for contributions

Option 1: Workshop

Workshops will provide a forum for collaborative development and discussion of ideas and practical examples related to one or more of the conference themes.

If you wish to submit a workshop proposal, you will be asked to indicate how your will ensure that the session considers accessibility issues. We will be happy to discuss this with you.

Option 2: Paper (individual submission)

Papers will provide a focused opportunity for delegates to formally present on a topic or issue related to the conference theme/s.

ECU will group these papers into panel sessions around common themes.

Option 3: Panels of papers (group submission)

This year ECU welcomes submissions of panels of papers. We invite you to submit three papers around a common theme together with colleagues. These could be colleagues within your institution or from other universities or organisations.

If you wish to submit an individual paper, or have fewer than three papers to submit, please use the individual submission option (option 2, above). ECU also reserves the right to select individual papers from these group submissions.

Allocation of places:

When submitting your proposal please indicate clearly who will deliver these sessions.

For workshops we welcome up to two facilitators and both facilitators will be provided with a free space at the conference. For papers we welcome up to two presenters but only one presenter will be provided with a free space at the conference. When you are informed that your submission has been successful ECU will require you to confirm the number of presenters.

If you wish to discuss including additional presenters or facilitators in your submission please contact ECU’s events team. However, please be aware that any additional facilitators and/or presenters will need to purchase a delegate place at the conference.

Submitting a proposal

To submit proposal for one of the above, complete the relevant submission form and return to by Monday 23 April 2018 at 17:00.

Full details of how to submit proposals are included within the forms. 

2018 ECU conference panel of papers submission guidelines

Panel of papers Submissions Form

2018 ECU conference paper submission guidelines

Paper Submissions Form

2018 ECU conference workshop submission guidelines

Workshop Submissions Form