Did you miss the Student Education Conference 2024 (SEC2024)?
Want to listen again to the inspirational student panel? Couldn’t get to all of the parallel sessions you were interested in? Would you like to hear from our keynote speaker Paul Ashwin, discussing whether Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) can transform educational policies and practices?
The recordings of all the sessions are now available to University of Leeds colleagues on SEC Rewind.
Why not have a look at the upcoming events we are hosting. On the 13th March we are hosting a special University of Leeds Network for Sustainability in Higher Education (LUNSHE) workshop: Putting Sustainability at the heart of Student Education. While on 16th April we are hosting an conference exploring Evidence-based education: the value of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
Before catching up on the sessions, here are a few reflections from your colleagues:
Jeff Grabill - Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education
To say I was thrilled with the Student Education conference is an understatement. I was overjoyed!
There is that word joy again. I’ve talked about joy before and sincerely believe that our work can and should be joyful, by which I mean that our work has purpose, that we produce something that others find valuable, or that they perhaps experience as delightful, and that experience brings joy to others and to ourselves.
At the conference, I think we experienced two fantastic days filled with students and colleagues showcasing their incredible work and their dedication, commitment and passion for education and the educational experience here at Leeds. You care about our students, and that brings me enormous joy. I hope it does for you, too.
Those of you who heard my opening remarks at the conference heard me reiterate what we can do to help our students achieve transformative outcomes for their lives.
What we do here is meant to prepare students for work and a career, but just as importantly, we prepare them to find meaning in their human relationships and their work, and to contribute to the common good.
If it's true that this is our purpose as educators, then we need to understand which experiences during a student’s education are most likely to lead to life-transformative outcomes such as these.
I referenced the Gallup surveys of graduates of higher education in the US. According to that survey, those graduates who were more likely to report high levels of well-being and work engagement later in life had a meaningful experiential learning opportunity and who had someone who cared about them as a person while they were undergraduates. This was true no matter how many years out from graduation they were.
Similarly, graduates who had a strong sense of purpose in their work were highly correlated with an experience in which someone encouraged their goals and dreams, and they had the opportunity in the curriculum for engaged, experiential learning.
Helping every student find identity, agency, purpose, and well-being over a lifetime has a great deal to do with us. With you.
The sessions, workshops and showcases we listened to at the Student Education conference filled me with joy because I know you all understand what matters. I hope you all feel as energised by the conference as I do, and I thank you enormously for your passion, your commitment and your care. If we continue to listen to our students, to learn from them, to care about them and care for them, we’ll understand their hopes and dreams and design our learning experiences to help them find meaning in their lives and contribute to the common good.
Gabriel Cavalli - Director of Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence
I was hugely impressed by the depth and breadth of work showcased at SEC 2024, as well as the excitement of Leeds community for this conference. My highlight were student contributions of their own projects: too many to single out any, and all greatly commendable. Prof Paul Ashwin's keynote was outstanding.
Charlotte Haigh - Dean of Student Education (Educational Enhancement and Student Experience)
By far the most empowering sessions of the SEC were those that involved educational enhancement projects led or co-created by students and Leeds colleagues. The student panel opening the conference highlighted this with both professionalism and compassion. The research projects they were involved in not only demonstrated huge impact for student education and support across the University, but the students also clearly articulated how being involved in them changed their future ambitions, potential outcomes, and how they had demonstrated skills they hadn’t anticipated at the start.
Another highlight for me was Day 2, Session 7, Parallel Session 2, Room 3: Sense of Belonging. We heard from Clare Tweedy about her PGCAP project working with students to determine how they find a sense of belonging on their course, and she left us with recommendations directly from the students. Charlotte Crooke, a student intern, highlighted her important work on the academic personal tutoring system at Leeds and analysis of a method utilizing a group format. Finally, we heard from Karolina Glasek, another intern student who had analysed multicultural groups at PGT level, and again provided some recommendations on training and support we need to consider when implementing these activities in our teaching.
Finally, I would like to say that for me, the student engagement on research projects was the main highlight of the conference, and something Leeds should be proud of as a community and as partners.
Greg Miller - Deputy Director of Student Opportunity
SEC was truly memorable this year for many reasons. As expected there was inspiration, innovation, new connections and opportunities coming from the event. However I was really struck this year, more than ever, by the sense of community across the academic and professional services alongside so many fantastic students. It reminded me how important we are as a collective and how much passion we all have in supporting and developing student education at Leeds. We were reminded in a number of presentations how special it is to have this event in our calendar. The evolution of SEC is something we should be so proud of at Leeds. A huge thank you to the LITE team for putting together a fantastic programme.