AHEP Annual Conference and Exhibition 2024 Call for Proposals

The theme for the AHEP Annual Conference and Exhibition 2024 is:

Pioneering through political uncertainty: Navigating the impact of UK elections on higher education

taking place at the University of Warwick

Sunday, 24 March – Tuesday, 26 March 2024 

Call for Proposals: Lead a session at the inaugural AHEP conference!

The 2024 AHEP Conference warmly welcomes you to join us in an engaging and inclusive dialogue centred around the ever-evolving landscape of higher education (HE). As the UK prepares for a general election before January 2025, we explore how HE continually adapts, thrives, and innovates regardless of the prevailing political landscape. But this conference isn’t just about politics with a capital ‘P’; it’s about navigating the multifaceted world of politics with a small ‘p.’ Our inaugural conference invites professionals at all career stages, especially those who are new to the higher education sector, to be a part of this transformative experience. 

We understand that for those embarking on their journey in higher education, the terrain may seem daunting. That’s why we encourage sessions that explore not only the broader political context but also the essential soft skills needed early in your career to navigate the intricacies of office and organisational politics. Join us in discussing how to influence, foster collaboration, and excel in your roles, regardless of your level of experience. 

Inclusivity is at the heart of our conference. We actively welcome discussions on gender politics, diversity, and equity within the higher education sector. Let’s explore how to create an environment that embraces and celebrates diversity, ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities to succeed. 

While we focus on the UK’s political landscape, our discussions will resonate on a global scale. Higher education is a global endeavor, and we invite participants from around the world to share their insights and experiences, putting the UK situation into a broader international context. Let’s learn from each other and enrich our collective understanding of higher education’s global dynamics. 

Join us in shaping the future of higher education, no matter where you are on your professional journey. Your contributions, whether you’re a seasoned expert or just starting out, are invaluable to this vibrant community. Submit your proposal today and be part of this transformative conversation. Together, we’ll pioneer through political uncertainty and build a more inclusive and resilient higher education sector. 

Crafting your conference proposal

Interested in submitting a proposal? We have a variety of resources available to assist your submission below. Check out this short briefing from AHEP’s Head of Professional Development, Dr Ella Popper to get you started.

Successful proposals will get discounted conference entry!

In recognition of the contribution made to the conference programme, presenters and co-presenters (maximum of three to a session) are entitled to attend the day they are presenting for free and will also receive 50% off day two if booking for the full conference.

Submit Your Proposal Today and Be Part of the Conversation 

Your session should align with this year’s conference theme, promote audience interaction, and prioritise inclusion and accessibility. Please read the information below before submitting your proposal. 

The deadline for proposal submission has been extended to: 

Midnight Monday 20, November 2023

We aim to inform presenters of accepted proposals for the Annual Conference and Exhibition 2024 by email within six weeks following the deadline. 

About the Conference

Our theme underscores the essential and proactive role of HE professionals in shaping the future of higher education institutions, taking into account potential political challenges. Our theme emphasises the importance of four professional commitments outlined in AHEP’s Professional Framework to effectively respond to political shifts and their influence on HE. Each commitment forms a stream, an area of focus for our conference and your proposal must align with one of these streams.  

We have provided a brief explanation of each stream with examples of what proposals may cover. However, these explanations and examples are not exhaustive. 


1. Engaging with the Wider Context 

In this conference we focus on horizon scanning and the bigger picture. Identifying potential shifts in political landscapes allows higher education professionals to proactively adapt strategies and policies, ensuring resilience in the face of uncertainty. 

Session proposals may cover: 

– Horizon scanning and trends analysis for early-career professionals 

– The influence of the growth in the tertiary sector in Scotland and Wales. 

– Examining emerging trends in social, technological, economic, and other domains. 

– Addressing megatrends such as globalisation, digitalisation, demographic shifts, and evolving job markets. 


2. Demonstrating Responsible Practice and Personal Integrity 

Within this stream, we focus on advocacy, empowering HE professionals to influence decisions and policies, safeguard the sector’s interests and foster conducive environments for growth. 

Session proposals may cover: 

– Advocacy and influencing decisions and policies. 

– Building well-being during change. 

– Ethical leadership. 

– Championing social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. 


3. Being Agile and Adaptable 

We consider innovation as a fundamental aspect of this stream. Through embracing and driving innovation HE professionals can respond creatively to changing circumstances, fostering the development of dynamic and relevant approaches to service delivery. 

Session proposals may cover: 

– Developing creative thinking 

– Embracing innovation, including leveraging technology like AI. 

– Responding creatively to disruptions and transformative ideas. 

– Exploring, adopting and embedding new business models. 

– Cultivating resilience and thriving amidst change 


4. Working Together 

Facilitating collaboration inside and outside the sector enables the sharing of diverse insights and resources, fostering collective problem-solving and the creation of comprehensive strategies to navigate political fluctuations successfully. 

Session proposals may cover: 

– The art of teamwork and enhancing collaboration skills. 

– Engaging stakeholders to problem solve and build partnerships for change. 

– Cross-sector collaboration between HE institutions and other sectors. 

– Building communities of practice  

Insightful Plenary Sessions: Featuring keynotes, interviews, and panel discussions, including futurist perspectives. 

Interactive Workshops: Hands-on sessions for sharing insights and shaping the future. 

Special Interest Groups: Connect with peers who share your interests. 

Ample Networking: Forge connections during social events, activities and sessions. 

Join Us in Shaping the Future of HE 

A strength of AHEP Conference 2024 lies in sessions led by professionals like you, actively contributing to the HE sector. The call for session proposals is now open. 


Four-Stage Process to Become a Presenter: 

– Review the guidance and submit your proposal by the due date (available in the key resources dropdown)

– If accepted, register for the conference and collaborate with the conference team on developing your session. 

– Deliver your session at the University of Warwick. 

– Receive valuable feedback for your professional development. 

Your session can be 20, 30, or 60 minutes, depending on the level of interaction you propose. Consider these formats: 

Presentation: A short talk or demonstration of 10-15 minutes followed by audience questions. Alternatively, multiple speakers (max of three) can give lightning talks to provide diverse perspectives. 

Case Study: Describe a situation, invite the audience to propose solutions, and relate it to relevant frameworks or theories. Encourage discussion. 

Facilitated Discussion: Pose questions for theoretical or practical discussions. Panel discussions or round-tables can also be effective. 

Game or Activity: Engage the audience with trivia or problem-solving activities. 

Exploratory Workshop: Host a world café or brainstorming session. 

Wild Card: We invite you to be creative and imaginative and submit a proposal with a difference. We particularly welcome proposals which make effective use of campus space.  

The review panel will expect your proposal to show how your session:  

– Includes the latest content that shares research and/or practical experiences of higher education professionals  

– Maximises engagement and interest from the audience  

– Is complete, accurate, and clear  

– Has clearly defined take-aways for participants  

– Embeds equality, diversity and inclusion  

AHEP welcomes session proposals from:  

– AHEP members  

– Non-members working as higher education professionals in higher and further education institutions or private providers  

– Higher education sector associations and bodies  

– Not-for-profit organisations from the UK and around the world.  

AHEP doesn’t accept proposals from corporate organisations or consultancy firms. If you want to introduce or promote products and services to delegates you can take part in the conference as sponsors. If you are interested in being part of the AHEP Annual Conference and Exhibition as a sponsor or exhibitor and would like the opportunity to host a session, please contact events@ahep.ac.uk to find out more.   

Please note, if your proposal is accepted, each session leader and co-presenter must register as a conference delegate for at least the day on which your session takes place.

– Read the guidance notes for submitting your proposal 

– Download the template for drafting your abstract 

– Download the selection criteria that will be used to evaluate your proposal 

Keen to attend but unsure about how to approach your manager for support? We’ve prepared a draft email for you to customise and send to your line manager, setting out why you should attend AHEP 2024.

Submit your proposal

Proposal submission: Annual Conference 2024

  • Availability

  • Proposal Type

  • (maximum 30 words)
    (select one)
    (select one)
    (select a maximum of two)
    (select one)
    (select one)
  • Lead presenter

    Complete this section for the main presenter. Additional presenters do not need to supply a biography.
  • (max 150 words)
  • You will need a photo: closeup of face or head/shoulders, high-quality JPG or PNG format
  • Co-presenter(s)

    For each author, list their full name, email, phone, institution, job title. Maximum of two co-presenters
  • Session proposal

    Describe the content, format and purpose of your proposed session. Maximum 400 words total.
  • What are three key things those attending your presentation will take away?
  • What are three key things those attending your presentation will take away?
  • What are three key things those attending your presentation will take away?
  • Engagement and interaction

  • (100 words maximum)
  • Equity and diversity

  • see our guidance notes for advice. (maximum 200 words)
  • Accessibility and inclusion

  • Mention provisions for accessible materials, presentation formats, etc. (100 words maximum)
  • AV Requirements

  • (100 words maximum)

We look forward to your proposals and the opportunity to explore the future of HE together.