Teaching & Learning


Leading staff-student partnership conference to be hosted at UCL - sign up today!

6 May 2022

Alison Cook-Sather, Mary Curncok Cook, Jenny Mary and Sara Berkai confirmed as keynote speakers for the Change Agents' Network (CAN) Conference, 2022, to be hosted at UCL, 11-13 May 2022.

Three women in conversation at a table

The Change Agents Network (CAN) conference brings together students and staff working in partnership to drive change and enhance the student experience in HE and FE. This friendly, vibrant conference will both inspire you through the sharing of experiences of students and staff working in partnership on all aspect of the university and college experience, whilst providing plenty of practical suggestions and ideas to develop your own partnership practice and help you build a strong and supportive network of colleagues working in this area.  

The 9th Change agents’ network (CAN) conference, co-hosted by UCL and Jisc, will take place on 11th-13th May 2022 and will be a blend of both online and in-person session. The in-person day on the 12th May will be hosted on the UCL London Bloomsbury campus. 

Book your ticket now for CAN 2022, running 11-13 May 2022. More info about the conference on the CAN 2022 website.  

Confernece programme 

As well as a programme packed full of exciting and engaging presentations and workshops, we are pleased to announce Alison Cook-Sather, Mary Curnock Cook, Jenny Marie and Sara Berkai as keynotes for CAN 2022. All keynotes will be streamed online, meaning you can engage in all these inspirational talks through the purchase of an online delegate ticket at just £30 for staff (free to students).

Dr. Alison Cook-Satherwill review recommendations offered by student partners during the pandemic regarding how to make learning more humane and compassionate. Building on these, she will reflect on what it might mean to consider student experience in terms of mattering as well as belonging. Highlighting scholarly arguments regarding inequity in the realm of assessment in particular, she will then describe several pandemic-inspired innovations in assessment approaches that staff and students co-created through pedagogical partnership. Finally, she will discuss the ways in which partnership itself constitutes as well as supports assessment for both students and staff. Dr. Cook-Sather will invite reflection on points raised throughout the keynote, offer a set of questions focused on equity in assessment for participants to address, and dedicate time at the end for discussion of all the points explored in the keynote. Alison’s keynote is on Thursday 12th May at 2pm.

Mary Curnock Cook is an independent education expert serving in a non-executive capacity on a number of Boards. In 2021, Mary took on the Chair of the UPP Foundation Student Futures Commission, set up to ensure successful student futures following the pandemic. She is a regular speaker and commentator on HE policy and practice and a recognised champion of the student interest. Her keynote will explore the role of a Student Futures Manifesto as mechanism for embedding the new spirit of collaboration and co-creation between students and universities that became a necessary - rather than a nice-to-have - partnership to respond to the immediate crisis of the pandemic. Mary’s keynote is on Friday 13th May at 11am.

Meanwhile, our other two keynote sessions will share personal journeys and reflections from their own experiences of student-staff partnership. Two of our own Student Fellows, Steph and Arthur, will be in conversation with Prof Jenny Marie where they will be talking through how their experiences of working in partnership, and the values that underpin partnership work, have influenced and shaped their journeys and careers to date. This will be our first keynote on Wednesday 11th May at 11am. Sara Berkai will be speaking on Thursday 12th May at 10am to open the return of in-person sessions at CAN, although her keynote will be streamed to our online audience. Sara is founder of Ambessa Play and her keynote will explore her personal journey from university life to her social impact work. 

We look forward to seeing you next week at CAN 2022!