National Teachers and Advisers Conference

The 2020 National Teachers and Advisers Conference (NTAC) that was due to take place on Wednesday, 13 May from 10am to 4pm at The University of Manchester’s Business School, was postponed.

In light of changes within the HE sector, this one-day event was going to explore key developments in the policy landscape and its impact. It was going to equip teachers and advisers with information and advice to prepare students for entry to higher education and address key topics including contextual offers, graduate employability and best practice in the provision of information, advice and guidance (IAG) in schools and colleges.

At this free conference delegates would have the opportunity to attend workshops and discussion panels that would enable them to ask questions and receive information first hand from the experts.

Conference programme

Keynote speaker: Professor Andy Westwood

The keynote will be delivered by Professor Andy Westwood, Vice Dean for Social Responsibility in The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Humanities and Professor of Government Practice.

Previously Andy was a Professor of Politics at the University of Winchester and Chief Executive of GuildHE. He has also worked at a number of think-tanks and in Whitehall for many years as a special adviser to ministers on education, skills and science policy at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and as a senior adviser at HM Treasury and the Departments for Education and Communities and Local Government.

He writes regularly for Policy@Manchester, WonkHE, the Times Higher Education magazine and the Guardian.

Workshops and breakout sessions

Session one options

Future students: 20 must-know things to excite, challenge and terrify you  Jim Tudor

A fast-paced look at various trends converging to paint a picture of student engagement in the run up to 2025. Some trends will be alive and kicking now; others will be quietly simmering away. Using insights from employers, universities, students and the emerging ‘Generation Alpha’, we’ll look at future learning, skills, wellbeing, aspiration and connectivity, within a context of future careers, changing technology, globalisation and the increasing importance of purpose and social responsibility. We’ll cover the crucial questions  such as how seriously should we take inter-generational tension and ‘Ok Boomer?’ Above all, we’ll look for positive inspiration to help connect with, and celebrate, this emerging generation.

How to support more students to progress to competitive universities  Advancing Access

Participants will learn strategies for increasing the number of students who aim high by applying for the most competitive universities and courses. Strategies discussed will include challenging student misconceptions, inviting suitable role models into schools, building portfolios of university contacts and learning lessons from destinations data. Some of the various ‘behavioural barriers’ which prevent students accessing competitive HE courses will be considered, informed by research Advancing Access has commissioned from the Behavioural Insights Team.

Session two options

Ask the expert: Admissions to The University of Manchester  Admissions staff at The University of Manchester

Put your burning questions to our panel of admissions experts on any matter relating to admission to The University of Manchester.

Factors affecting applicant choice  Andreanne Orsier, Youthsight

Following the popularity of her session last year at the National Teacher's Advisers Conference covering 20 trends to reveal the state of the youth nation, Andreanne Orsier from Youthsight will be returning to look at a range of topics affecting applicants' behaviour and expectations.

Session three options

Contextual data  Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach at The University of Manchester

This session will provide an overview of how contextual data is being used to inform admissions decisions across the sector. It will put this practice into context of the work universities are doing to increase access to widening participation students, particularly at higher-tariff institutions, as part of their Access and Participation Plans with the Office for Students. We'll look at the range of data being used and the different ways in which institutions employ this data as part of their selection processes. The session will also look specifically at the use of contextual data at The University of Manchester and the evaluation undertaken to assess the impact of this practice. Attendees will gain an insight into contextual data practices across the sector in order to support their students in their decision-making.

Graduate employability, myths and trends  Prospects

Prospects will explain their latest research into the labour market including graduate employment trends, regional data, skills shortages and labour market myths.