Keynote speakers

Teaching and Learning Conference

Teaching and Learning Conference speakers

Keynote, Wednesday 12 June, 9:30 – 10:30

Stacy Johnson

Stacy Johnson MBE, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham

Becoming…an Organisation with an Inclusive Learning Culture

Inspired by sitting at the feet of Michelle Obama on her 2019 book tour Becoming, Stacy will share her thoughts on the path Liverpool John Moores University and the tribes and individuals within it must travel in their journey to becoming an organisation with a truly inclusive learning culture.

She will explore the power of openness, honesty and vulnerability in facilitating game changing conversations about the causes and mechanisms of marginalisation. She will discuss why, without exception, each student and staff member must let fear be a catalyst for the courage needed to create learning environments and cultures in which people, and as a result organisations, thrive not in spite of but because of their difference. In this talk, Stacy will confront the difficulties inherent in changing organisational cultures and the ongoing, evolutionary but arguably never complete process of “becoming”. Drawing on her work developing culturally intelligent boards in the healthcare and higher education sectors, developing junior/student leaders and her recent ground-breaking research on reverse mentoring, Stacy will make a case for disruption for inclusion.

Stacy says “This conference theme, Developing an Inclusive Learning Culture, is spot on for our time. I am just so bored of the same old, scripted, superficial conversations about disadvantage. We are holding ourselves back from realising the potential of our students and staff. We have too many wicked problems to solve and too many amazing ideas to explore to be wasting talent and squandering learning opportunities the way we do. Creating sustainable, truly inclusive learning cultures should be an urgent imperative for our sector.”

Stacy Johnson is an Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham in the School of Health Sciences. After training as a nurse and completing a BSc in Health Studies at the University of Manchester, she read for a Masters degree in Economic and Quantitative Methods in Healthcare.

Stacy has developed an exemplary reputation for capacity and capability building in the international higher education sector. She has been involved in advising on curriculum reform, faculty development and leadership development in nurse education in the UK, China, India and the Caribbean. Stacy is in demand as an advisor and speaker on health sector equality, diversity and inclusion, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. Since 2012, Stacy has been advising England’s Chief Nurse on matters affecting black and minority ethnic (BME) patients and staff as a member of the Chief Nursing Officer’s BME Advisory Group. She was a 2012 Mary Seacole Leadership Scholar and a 2016 Florence Nightingale Foundation research scholar. Ms Johnson is a member the Mary Seacole Leadership and Development awards Steering Group and a Trustee of the Foundation of Nursing Studies.

In 2013 Stacy was included in the Health Service Journal’s list of 50 BME Pioneers in recognition of her contribution to the UK health sector. Judges described her as “…a powerful trainer and coach”. In 2014 the National Junior Leadership Academy for Student Nurses, which Stacy founded, won the Student Nursing Times Award for Teaching Innovation of the Year. This has evolved into the EU funded European Junior Leadership Academy for Student Nurses and Midwives, which won a highly coveted Advance HE, Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence in 2018. Stacy is currently occupied with The ReMEDI Project which uses reverse mentoring to raise standards of equality, diversity and inclusion in the UK health and higher education sectors.

Stacy was appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list for services to healthcare and higher education equality, diversity and inclusion.

Keynote, Wednesday 12 June, 14:00 – 14:50

Debbie McVitty

Dr Debbie McVitty, WONKHE

Is there an alterna-TEF?

According to the latest Wonkhe 360 report, the TEF is the number one issue consuming time and attention in universities. Yet it may be fatally flawed as an indicator of teaching excellence. Nor does it appear to be informing student choice or shaping academic practice. The independent review of the TEF opens up the possibility of reconfiguring or rehabilitating the TEF so that it achieves its objectives - or of consigning it to the ever-growing heap of failed policy interventions to improve teaching and learning. In a post-Brexit landscape, how could universities take back control of the narrative on teaching excellence?

As Wonkhe’s editor, Debbie has oversight of Wonkhe’s daily insight, debate and analysis of higher education policy. Debbie has previously worked in policy and communications roles at Universities UK, the University of Bedfordshire, and the National Union of Students. She holds a DPhil in English literature from the University of Oxford and a Masters in research in higher education policy, evaluation and enhancement from Lancaster University. Debbie is interested in bringing to light new and less-represented perspectives to inform policy and practice in higher education.

Keynote, Thursday 13 June, 09:30 – 10:20

Lee Elliot

Lee Elliot Major, Professor of Social Mobility, University of Exeter

Breaking down the Ivory Tower: what universities can do to improve social mobility

Britain suffers from low social mobility – and this is inextricably linked with extreme inequalities in society. What can universities realistically accomplish? In this key-note the country’s first professor of social mobility will challenge the higher education sector to think more radically: developing new ways to identify potential students, reconsidering how social diversity is embraced for students and employees, reviewing the role for local communities, and re-assessing how institutions are incentivised to pursue social mobility.

Lee Elliot Major is the country’s first Professor of Social Mobility. Appointed by the University of Exeter to be a global leader in the field, his work is dedicated to improving the prospects of disadvantaged young people. As a Professor of Practice he is focused on the impact and dissemination of research, working closely with schools, universities, employers and policy makers.

His Penguin book Social Mobility and Its Enemies, co-authored with Stephen Machin, has attracted attention across the world. One of the book’s conclusions is that income inequality and income mobility are inextricably linked together. Lee’s forthcoming Bloomsbury book What Works?, co-authored with Steve Higgins, offers best bets to teachers for improving outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

Lee is a founding trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation and chairs its evaluation advisory group. He was formerly Chief Executive of the Sutton Trust. He commissioned and co-authored the first Sutton Trust-EEF toolkit, a guide used by 100,000s of school leaders. He is an Honorary Professor at the UCL Institute of Education.

Lee regularly appears in national broadcast and print media, commenting on education and social mobility issues. He has served on several Government advisory bodies and presented several times to the House of Commons Education Select Committee.

He has a PhD in theoretical physics and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Sheffield for services to education. He was an education journalist working for the Guardian and the Times Higher Education Supplement. He is a Governor at William Ellis School. He is the first in his family to attend university.