With the 2023 UKFIET Conference just around the corner, this summary aims to help you make the most of participating in our first face-to-face conference for 4 years, and our first ever hybrid conference.

Firstly, if you are not attending this September’s conference, do not fear – there are lots of blogs being published over the coming months on our website summarising key issues discussed during the sessions. Keep an eye on our website and social media to stay updated. (And think about joining us next time in September 2025).

For those of you attending this year’s conference, whether in person or online, read on…

When and how do I join?

If you are registered for this year’s conference, the first thing to do is download the App. Details have been emailed to you of how to do this. This will enable you to join the first day of the conference on 7 September, which will JUST be online. We have dozens of sessions organised so do spend time going through the programme.

During the following week, from 12 to 14 September, the main conference will move to Oxford. However, all plenaries and all sessions held in Rooms 6 and 7 will also be available to online participants.

Conference theme

This year’s conference theme is: Education for Social and Environmental Justice: Diversity, Sustainability, Responsibility. There are six sub-themes. In the lead up to the conference, we asked the convenors of all six sub-themes what excites them about their theme, how it links to the overall conference theme of social and environmental justice, and what kind of sessions we can expect from their theme. You can find more information here:

·         Conflict, crises and migration

·         Decolonisation, politics, knowledge and power

·         Education systems, including workforce and curricula

·         Holistic learning processes and outcomes

·         Planning, finance, technology and data

·         Rights, equity and inclusion

Plenary speakers

You can read all of the plenary speaker bios on the website.

7 September: The opening online plenary will be by Dr Vandana Shiva, who founded a national movement in India to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade.

12 September: The opening keynote in Oxford and online will be from Dr Maria Balarin, GRADE (Group for the Analysis of Development), Peru. Maria’s most recent work focuses on the potential contributions of education to social justice and sustainable development.

13 September: The BAICE Presidential address, will be delivered by Professor Nidhi Singal, University of Cambridge and President of BAICE. Nidhi’s research, teaching, policy and civic engagement have demonstrated the critical importance of identifying, listening and responding to the experiences and needs of persons with disabilities.

Thursday 14: Our closing plenary, moderated by Professor Leon Tikly, brings together a fascinating group of young activists, practitioners, and change-makers who are passionate about education and learning for everyone, including vulnerable groups in some of the most disadvantaged areas. Panellists are:

  • Sally Gear, Global Partnership for Education – expert in gender, education and international development.

  • Michelle Varaidzo Tarumbidzwa Chikurunhe, Global Youth Panel for Education in Emergencies – member of UNGEI Feminist Coalition, trainer of entrepreneurial skills, social worker.

  • Sarah Amu, UNICEF UK – Global Youth Panel for Education in Emergencies, Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld, advocacy on education financing.

  • Byaruhanga Nestori, Solidarity Initiative for Refugees – social media consultant, refugee, teacher, coach, advocate for refugee education.

Hopes and tips from the conference Chairs and team

The Conference Chair, Dr Yulia Nesterova, and Deputy Chairs, Dr Aliya Khalid and Amy Parker, have written an article discussing the conference theme, outlining the rich and varied programme, exciting keynote speakers and how you can share your ideas during the conference.

The Deputy Chair of the UKFIET Executive Committee, Dr Lizzi Milligan, outlines how this year’s conference theme of education for social and environmental justice relates to her work. The full list of members of the Conference Committee can be found on the UKFIET website.

Share your ideas

We encourage all participants to share their key takeaway messages relating to the six sub-themes. There will be virtual boards in the App and physical boards between the North and South Schools in Oxford. We will also have a Selfie Pod in Oxford – reply to one of the prompts (e.g. What does environmental justice mean to you?) and take a photo to share on social media, using #UKFIETConf so we can find you!

All presenters are invited to submit a blog relating to issues discussed in your sessions. Although we welcome articles throughout the year on a full variety of topics, around the conference is the busiest time for our readers.

Meet new and familiar colleagues

Do visit the posters – both online and in the Marquee. The presenters will be available to discuss their work. If you are in Oxford, do go and visit the exhibitor stands during your coffee breaks to hear from UKFIET member organisations about their latest work.

If you are staying at New College, do introduce yourself to someone new at the dinners and breakfasts. All participants are invited to the drinks reception on the Tuesday evening in the Cloisters, and of course to the legendary disco on Wednesday evening!

If you are an early career professional, and if this is your first UKFIET conference, do be encouraged by the words of Professor Angela Little, UKFIET Trustee, who outlines the six ‘A’ of the conferenceapproach someone new, ask questions and enjoy the time for reflection.  And make connections at lunchtime on  Tuesday 12th in Room 9.

As the Chairs said so well in their article: “We hope to create a community of action around the conference that will shout loud and clear about the change we hope to see.”

Thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors:

Logos for Sponsors and Exhibitors, Cambridge Education, NFER, BAICE, Oxford MeasurEd, DAI Global, Cambridge University press and assessment, EENET, British Council, Young Lives, Right to Play, Education Development Trust, IIEP UNESCO, Curriculum Foundation, War Child and Girls' Education Challenge