Downing College, Cambridge, 21 to 23 March 2018
This year the UALL Conference was held at Downing College, Cambridge and in this beautiful setting we were delighted to have a great turnout with strong international contingent joining us from Europe, America and Asia. In total, 88 delegates attended during the three day conference.
The theme for this year was Opportunities for Lifelong Learning in a Changing World and the programme was packed with 34 presentations on a wide range of subjects that fell under this theme. The conference was formally opened by our Chair, The Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil and Professor Graham Virgo, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education, University of Cambridge.
We were extremely lucky and grateful that the Chief Executive of the new Office for Students Ms Nicola Dandridge, CBE agreed to be our keynote speaker for the Thursday. With the launch of the Office imminent at the time of the conference, it allowed our delegates the opportunity to hear Ms Dandridge’s thoughts on lifelong learning, how she envisaged the role that the Office would undertake for lifelong learners and for their questions to be answered by her.
Friday’s events were dedicated to our international strand, with the keynote address by Sten Tiedemann, Rector Folkeuniversitetet Aarhus, Herning & Emdrup. Mr Tiedemann spoke on the current situation of lifelong learning in Denmark and how the institution had to change their tactics in recent years to reach out further and widen their participation in the face of government cuts.
It was then followed by an international panel, chaired by our International Vice Chair Dr. Rob Mark, with members from our affiliated organisations in Europe, America and Turkey. We ended the panel with a first for UALL, an exchanging of Memorandum of Understanding with our International partners to solidify an already strong relationship between our two organisations.
We exchanged Memorandum of Understanding with the following organisations:
American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)
Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE)
The Higher Education Lifelong Learning Ireland Network (HELLIN)
Turkish Council for Continuing Education (TUSEM)
The informal and social aspects of the Conference including a welcoming buffet on the evening of the Wednesday and the formal Conference Dinner on Thursday which was held in the College’s Great Hall. A perfect setting for the concluding aspect of the dinner, the UALL Awards ceremony. For the first year, the Awards has four categories that celebrates aspects of Lifelong Learning: Innovation, Sustainability, Research and Internationality. This popular event was compered by our own Pauline McManus, with the UALL Chair, The Reverend Canon Professor Peter Neil presenting certificates to the runner ups and finally, for the winners of each category, the coveted UALL Trophy.
But it didn’t end there. To celebrate and thank her for all her hard work over the years, our Chair presented our former Administrator Lucy Bate with an Award, flowers and necklace. A small-ish gesture of UALL’s appreciation for all her dedicated and hard work over the years.
After the formal close of the conference, our delegates were offered a walking tour of Cambridge followed by tour and afternoon tea at Madingley Hall; home to our Cambridge colleagues.