4th HERAG Think Tank: Call for contributions

4th HERAG Think Tank – Call for contributions

Inclusive University – travelling the distance to turn policy into practice

14th June 2017     Location: Woburn House, Bloomsbury London


Background and brief overview of the conference

HERAG’s fourth Think Tank will draw upon the sector-wide focus on developing meaningful strategies to improve the success of BME students and staff in higher education. Factors such as the ECU’s Race Equality Charter (REC), the introduction in many universities of race-specific KPIs and objectives, and the Cabinet Office Race Disparity Audit have given increased focus to race equality in our universities.  This Think Tank will be an opportunity to share emerging and proven strategies to advance race equality for our staff and students. The Think Tank has proven itself to be an exciting and effective way of engaging colleagues from across the sector to race equality issues, including the ethnicity attainment gap, retention, progression to secondary degrees and low numbers of senior staff both within Academic and Professional and Support roles.

We invite proposals for sessions exploring a number of areas which are relevant to BME students and staff. We hope that this will be an event where creative and cutting-edge ideas and activities are brought to the table for us to engage with, discuss and debate.

The Think Tank will be relevant to staff working in equality and diversity roles, widening participation and learning and teaching, as well as in other related specialisms.


  • BME representation and success in postgraduate courses and/or increasing the pipeline into staffing and leadership roles;
  • Developing consistent approaches to improving BME retention and attainment and ensuring effective implementation within the institution;
  • Initiatives to increase colleagues’ and institutions’ confidence to engage with issues related to racial inequalities;
  • Co-creating race equality aims, policies and good practice with students and student unions;
  • Developing and implementing targeted race equality policies without taking a deficit model approach;
  • Ethical and methodological issues in researching/evaluating institutional interventions;
  • Using the REC as a lever and tool for change.

Session formats Proposals for discussion papers and workshops are invited which address the themes. The emphasis should be on reflection, exploration, scholarship and evaluation rather than merely a description of activities. HERAG would like to include sessions which involve delegates in active participation and discussion, and consequently, this is a key requirement of all discussion paper and workshop proposals. Discussion papers: (up to 25 minutes plus at least 20 minutes of questions and discussion) giving an account of research, evaluation, policy or practice with the emphasis on drawing out lessons for others and involving participants in engaging with your findings. Workshops: (45 minutes) with the emphasis on a more detailed exploration of a research-informed issue or resource and including high levels of creativity, innovative thinking and practical participation.

Panel Session: (45 minutes) providing opportunities to share good practice and experience on a thematic area drawing on a range of contributors to help inform different approaches to redressing specific issues.

Criteria for acceptance of proposals

Each proposal will be reviewed for acceptance at the conference against the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the Think Tank’s title and themes;
  • Clarity and coherence of the proposal including title;
  • Contribution to scholarship and evaluation of equality, diversity and inclusion in higher education;
  • Appropriateness of session structure and specified timings in relation to session type;
  • Value of session aims to the participants.


Submitting your proposal

Proposals should be submitted electronically to k.coutinho@bbk.ac.uk by 28th April 2017.

As the Think Tank is organised by equality, diversity and inclusion practitioners without a budget, it is a requirement that all presenters register as conference delegates, which provides access to participate in other sessions.

You will be notified whether your proposal has been accepted by 2nd June 2017.

Submission form

Deadline for submissions: 5pm on Friday 28th April 2017